A tight film production support budget has forced the Estonian Film Institute (EFI) to skip over number of film projects this year as they only have the funding to support the production of three feature-length films.
This year, EFI will be granting €292,000 in support to the feature film "Rain," €240,000 to feature film "Sandra Gets a Job" ("Sandra saab tööd") and €80,000 to "Class Reunion 2: Weddings and Funerals" ("Klassikokkutulek 2 - pulmad ja matused"), a sequel to last year’s comedy "Class Reunion."
The full length debut of director Janno Jürgens, "Rain" is a movie inspired by personal experiences about the difficulties of being a man, co-written by Jürgens and Anti Naulainen and produced by Kristjan Pütsep of the production company Alasti Kino.
"Sandra Gets a Job," written and directed by Kaupo Kruusiauk and produced by Anneli Ahven of Kopli Kinokompanii, looks at how losing a job affects the identity of an intelligent woman in the scientific world.
"Class Reunion 2," a sequel to last year’s comedy, was written by Claudia Boderke, Lars Mering and Martin Algus, directed by René Vilbre and produced by Kristian Taska of the production company Taska Film.
Not enough money to sustain Estonia's film industry
According to EFI executive producer Piret Tibbo-Hudgins, a total of €2.8 million was requested in support for the production of ten new feature films, however the film institute’s budget only allowed for them to provide a total of €612,000 to three of them.
Tibbo-Hudgins, noting that the competition was the toughest in recent years, stated that such a situation has created an unsustainable environment in which many filmmakers have been without work in their field for years.
On the one hand, Estonian films have been doing better and better, as reflected not just in their success at various festivals but also the increased interest by domestic moviegoers, however the funding situation could prove a serious blow to the country’s film industry.
"Of course the increase in quality is the result of many years of consistent work, but if the financing situation does not allow for its sustainability, then at some point the quality curve will begin to dip down," said Tibbo-Hudgins. "The only opportunity for avoiding this is practice."
Second-stage film production support will go to three feature films whose production began last year already. "The Last One" ("Viimane," directed by Veiko Õunapuu and written by Heikki-Huttu Hiltunen, Eero Tammi and Veiko Õunapuu) will receive €177,000, "The Man Who Looks Like Me" ("Minu näoga onu," directed and written by Andres and Katrin maimik) €100,000 and "Heroes" ("Sangarid," directed by Jaak Kilmi and written by Martin Algus) €50,000.
EFI’s total film production support budget for 2017 is €1.059 million, €939,000 of which has already been distributed. An additional €120,000 will be distributed to micro-budget films, whose application deadline is March 14.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla