Veiko Õunpuu's "The Last Ones" ("Viimased") was selected as the best film of 2020 by the Estonian Film Journalists' Association and was presented with the Neitsi Maali bronze statue award. The award gives the winner €2,000.
Documentaries "Heartbeat" ("Südamering") and "Fred Jüssi. The Beauty of Being" ("Fred Jüssi. Olemise ilu") and feature movies "O2" and "Rain" were also among the nominees.
"Veiko Õunpuu, who has won the Neitsi Maali bronze statue award four times has a recognizable style, yet he leaves quite a lot of space for the viewer to fill," chairman of the Film Journalists' Association Andrei Liimets said.
Õunpuu said "The Last Ones" took longer to make than his previous films. "It's been seven years since the project began. It's been a long wait."
He said the idea came to him even more than seven years ago. "Together with Heikki-Huttu Hiltus and Eero Tammis, we rewrote it a few more times and eventually, the film was born."
The film is a Nordic Western that takes place on the Lapland tundra. The protagonist is young miner Rupi, who hopes to scrape together enough money through excavating the tundra to leave his village forever. But work comes to a halt when Rupi's reindeer herder father refuses to sell his land. Rupi must decide where and to whom he belongs.
Editor: Roberta Vaino, Helen Wright