Culture

'Estonians in the Americas' book launch at Museum of Occupations on Friday

24.04.19 ... This Friday, authors Maarja Merivoo-Parro and Sander Jürisson will be hosting a book launch at the Museum of Occupations and Freedom (Vabamu) in Tallinn for "Eestlased Ameerikates: Estonians in the Americas," a new photo-rich tome focussing not just on diaspora Estonians in the Americas — but specifically those who arrived and lived there before World War II.

'Ott Tänak: The Movie' sets box office record for Estonian documentary

23.04.19 ... Tarvo Mölder's documentary "Ott Tänak: The Movie" has been seen by over 50,000 cinemagoers since its debut a week and a half ago, crushing the record 43,140 viewings only recently set by Joosep Matjus' "The Wind Sculpted Land" (2018) to become the most-watched Estonian documentary of all time.

Noted political analysts join May HeadRead literary festival lineup

22.04.19 ... Renowned political analysts David Patrikarakos (UK) and Anton Shekhovtsov (Ukraine) are set to join the roster of international authors appearing at the HeadRead literary festival in late May.

Nominees announced for LHV New Music Award

17.04.19 ... Seven nominees have been shortlisted from a total of 41 candidates for the LHV New Music Award, which aims to spotlight contemporary works by Estonian classical composers. This year's award, the fourth presented by the Estonian Composers' Union and LHV, will recognise one work that premiered in 2018.

Required reading: Notre-Dame fire affecting thousands of Estonians

16.04.19 ... To thousands of Estonians, the fire that destroyed much of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral on Monday night has special significance thanks to writer Victor Hugo's novel, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, having been required reading in secondary school for decades. The story was among the few works of Western literature that was officially sanctioned and even promoted in the USSR.

Gallery: Kõigi Eesti Laul concert brings 10,000 to Song Festival Grounds

15.04.19 ... The Kõigi Eesti initiative, which got its start on social media encouraging a more tolerant Estonia shared by everyone, organised a concert at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds on Sunday in support of its message, and more than 10,000 people turned up to support it as well.

'Sõnajalaõis' voted most Estonian word

15.04.19 ... ERR's quest to determine the "most Estonian word" concluded on Sunday, when sõnajalaõis, or "fern blossom," was announced the winner of the final vote. Öö, or "night," and kullakallis, or "precious," came in second and third place, respectively.

'Cut by Estdocs' to bring Toronto Estonian film festival to ESTO 2019

13.04.19 ... EstDocs Film Festival Toronto, the annual Estonian documentary film festival organised by the largest active diaspora community outside of Estonia, is coming to the homeland this summer with "Cut by Estdocs," a film festival to take place within the framework of ESTO 2019.

Estonian Institute brings poetical slant to Finnish tourism

12.04.19 ... An interactive poetry map takes readers on a journey around Estonia, but in the language of its neighbour to the north, Finland.

Most Estonian word survey result to be announced on Sunday

11.04.19 ... ERR's quest to find the ''most Estonian word'' garnered close to 8,000 nominations from members of the public. Of these, 30 were shortlisted, after the survey ended on 9 April.

Film festival nearest thing to Michelin stars so far in Estonia

11.04.19 ... Friday sees the inaugural Estonian film festival of food, with the opening movie, ''Michelin Stars: Tales from the Kitchen'' playing at Sõpruse Cinema in Tallinn's old town.

Kõigi Eesti concert on Sunday makes freedom stand

10.04.19 ... This Sunday sees a free concert, organised by social movement Kõigi Eesti and featuring several top Estonian acts, including Ivo and Robert Linna, Tanel Padar and Ewert and the Two Dragons.

'Truth and Justice' visitors' centre to open in Võru County

04.04.19 ... Later this spring, the Film Vargamäe Visitors' Centre will open in Vastse-Roosa, Võru County, offering fans the opportunity to personally visit the buildings and locations where Tanel Toom's "Truth and Justice" was filmed in 2017 and 2018.

Estonian horror short film 'Bad Hair' to premiere at HÕFF

03.04.19 ... The opening of the Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival (HÕFF) will be extra special this year, as it will feature the premiere of the Estonian horror short "Bad Hair."

Gallery: Estonian Film and Television Awards presented, ETV scoops up 8

02.04.19 ... The Estonian Film and Television Awards (EFTA) were presented at a gala event on Monday, 1 April. ETV earned a total of eight awards for various programmes, and "The Little Comrade" was crowned Best Film.

Culture.ee's weekly recommendations: 1-7 April

01.04.19 ... A selection of cultural events taking place in Estonia this week as curated by culture.ee: "New recommendations for the coming week!"

The Long Road to Laulu- ja Tantsupidu, Part 2: Europe and beyond

01.04.19 ... For many diaspora Estonians in North America, making it to the Laulu- ja Tantsupidu in Tallinn is a nearly religious pilgrimage — a must at least once in their lifetimes, whether singing, dancing, or simply spectating. For significant numbers of more recent Estonian emigrants, however, the Estonian Song and Dance Festival is still eagerly anticipated, despite the homeland being a relatively short plane-, train- or ferry-ride away. Ahead of the double-jubilee event, nearly three dozen choirs and folk dance troupes from Europe but also Turkey and even Australia are hoping to earn coveted spots in the festivals.

Day in the Life: Lena the festival organiser

31.03.19 ... While I am currently studying at a vocational school, that is the least of who I am, or what I do. Officially, I don't have a job. But in reality, I am a singer, a songwriter, a musician, and a performer. And since 1993, I have been responsible for organising a singer-songwriter and poetry event known as "Narvski Pri4al." My name is Lena Sabinina and I am a festival organiser in Narva.

49th Estonian Cultural Days coming to New York

28.03.19 ... For nearly half a century, New York City has played host to an annual festival of Estonian culture in the heart of Manhattan. The 49th edition of the Estonian Cultural Days in New York will take place from 3-7 April and feature a range of events, from film screenings and theatre performances to lectures, a startup showcase and even a performance by popular artist Nublu.

'Truth and Justice' sets record as most-watched film in Estonia

18.03.19 ... "Truth and Justice," a new film based on the eponymous series of novels by Estonian author Anton Hansen Tammsaare, racked up a total cinema attendance of 205,595 over four weeks of screening, making it Estonia's most-watched film since Estonia regained its independence in 1991.

Gallery: Nearly 8,000 participate in e-dictation on National Language Day

14.03.19 ... In honour of Native Language Day, Vikerraadio on Thursday hosted the 12th nationwide e-dictation contest, which was Song Festival-themed this year to mark the 150th anniversary of the Estonian Song Festival. In just half an hour, 7,969 submissions were received, smashing last year's record participation by more than 1,500.

Mikk Pärnits: Less protecting language, more chances for understanding

13.03.19 ... "Language is flowers on the manure pile of understanding, if one may wax so poetic," writes author and journalist Mikk Pärnits ahead of Native Language Day, stressing the importance of slang and foreign influences to language in noting the fact that, when free to do so, a language develops to benefit its speaker, enhancing speakers' ability to understand one another.

Gallery: Saskia Boddeke exhibit 'Sex and the Sea' reaches Seaplane Harbour

13.03.19 ... Last Thursday, the Estonian Maritime Museum held a festive opening at the Seaplane Harbour in Tallinn for Dutch multimedia artist Saskia Boddeke's exhibit "Sex and the Sea," which focusses on sailors' lust and longing.

Estonia's 12th e-dictation exercise to take place on Thursday morning

12.03.19 ... In honour of Native Language Day, Vikerraadio on Thursday morning is hosting the 12th nationwide e-dictation contest, which will be Song Festival-themed this year to mark the 150th anniversary of the Estonian Song Festival. The text of this year's e-dictation exercise will be read live on air on Vikerraadio at 10:30 EET, and those interested in joining in abroad can listen live online as well.

'Laulupidu 2069' contest seeking drawings of Song Festival of the Future

11.03.19 ... The youth drawing contest "Laulupidu 2069," or "Song Festival 2069," is seeking children's drawings of what the Song Festival of the Future may look like.

Agreement signed on construction of planned Red Terror Museum

02.03.19 ... The Ministry of Justice and the state's real estate management company, RKAS, have signed an agreement with the aim to build the planned International Museum for the Victims of Communism (working title, also referred to as the Red Terror Museum) into Tallinn's Patarei sea fortress.

'Truth and Justice' sets new opening weekend box office record

25.02.19 ... "Truth and Justice," a new film based on the eponymous series of novels by Estonian author Anton Hansen Tammsaare, has set a new box office opening weekend record with a total cinema attendance of nearly 52,000.

The Long Road to Laulu- ja Tantsupidu, Part 1: North America

24.02.19 ... Over 6,000km and the Atlantic Ocean stand between North America and the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, but until 1990, it was the Iron Curtain that rendered the Estonian Song and Dance Festival completely unreachable to diaspora singers and dancers. This year, more than a dozen diaspora Estonian choirs and folk dance troupes from the US and Canada alone are trying out for a chance to perform in the double-jubilee festival, and even those who don't speak the language know at least three words: Laulu- ja Tantsupidu.

Estonia chooses Victor Crone with 'Storm' for Eurovision Song Contest

17.02.19 ... On Saturday evening, Estonian voters in 2019's instalment of Eesti Laul, a competition held to pick an artist to send to this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, chose Swedish singer Victor Crone to represent the country with his song 'Storm', co-written by Estonian artist Stig Rästa.

Nordic Council of Ministers contributes €100,000 to Baltic Culture Fund

14.02.19 ... Last month, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers Helle Engslund Krarup and Cultural Endowment of Estonia Chairwoman Kertu Saks signed an agreement for the contribution of 750,000 Danish krone (DKK), or €100,000, to the Baltic Culture Fund for the organisation of joint Baltic cultural events in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Tallinn Music Week 2019 lineup confirmed

13.02.19 ... The lineup for Tallinn Music Week (TMW) 2019, the international new music and urban culture festival, has been announced. The three-day music programme, which runs from Thusday 28 March to Saturday, 30 March, brings a broad spectrum of genres to the Estonian capital, with a total of just under 170 artists from nearly 30 countries confirmed.

HeadRead literary festival lineup complete

12.02.19 ... This year's annual HeadRead literary festival in Tallinn is once again set to welcome a very full list of internationally renowned writers and literary figures.

Tickets to Song and Dance Festival, major concerts going like hotcakes

12.02.19 ... This summer will see a schedule jam packed with music in Estonia, with events ranging from the Estonian Song Festival to rock concerts by major international acts. Anyone who still doesn't have a ticket to the Metallica concert in Tartu or the Song Festival had better hurry, though, because tickets are going fast.

Culture.ee's weekly recommendations: 11-17 February

11.02.19 ... A selection of cultural events taking place in Estonia this week as curated by culture.ee: "This week's recommendations include film screenings, concerts, exhibitions and performances. There's something for everyone!"

Rakvere city council sued for cutting back funding of LGBT+ festival

07.02.19 ... Non-profit MTÜ SevenBow, the organiser of the Festheart LGBTI film festival in Rakvere, is suing the city council because they decided to cut back funding for the festival.

Organisers: 20th Dance Festival already sold out

05.02.19 ... All three of the upcoming Dance Festival's grand performances are sold out, organisers reported on Tuesday. Tickets to the event were gone in less than a month, which is a new record. All in all, more than 50,000 have already been sold.

Premiere to bring new choreographers, ideas to Stage of Independent Dance

05.02.19 ... This Friday, 8 February, Premiere, a programme aimed at up-and-coming choreographers, will be introducing two new dance performances at the Stage of Independent Dance (STL). Grėtė Šmitaitė (Lithuania) will debut with her performance "What Do I Cry For?" and Lee Sanghoon (South Korea) will make his choreographic debut with the performance "It is Still Impossible to Exist at Two Places at Once."

Gallery: Popular TV drama ENSV returning to screens soon

03.02.19 ... A new series of popular soap ENSV, set towards the end of Soviet-era Estonia, is to hit the screens on 11 February.

Eeva Mägi wins young documentary filmmaker award

02.02.19 ... The Docpoint Documentary Festival has awarded its annual award for young documentary filmmakers to Eeva Mägi for the first time.

Gallery: Estonian Music Awards gala held in Tallinn

25.01.19 ... Hosted by Triinu "Lepatriinu" Paometsa and musician Reigo Ahven, the Estonian Music Awards gala was held at Tallinn's Saku Suurhall on Thursday night, where awards were handed out in a total of 17 categories.

Culture.ee: Ago Väli on Out-Or's Structures

24.01.19 ... Estonian electronic artist Out-Or has released his latest album, Structures, digitally, on CD and, true to his authentic 90s sound, on cassette, taking reviewer Ago Väli back to his own days of recording songs played on the radio, including one by Out-Or himself, onto cassettes.

'Elect a better past!' exhibit to open at Maarjamäe Palace

23.01.19 ... On 1 February, "Elect a better past!" an exhibit focusing on the events of five particular days in 1992, culminating in the Riigikogu and presidential elections, will open at Maarjamäe Palace in Tallinn.

Anu Tali begins second half of final season conducting Florida orchestra

22.01.19 ... News continues to trickle in regarding Estonian conductors' performances abroad this year, whether with their own orchestra or as guest conductor. Anu Tali, musical director of the Sarasota Orchestra, has two new progammes to direct with her Florida orchestra, and is kicking off the second half of the current season with a total of seven concerts.

Song and Dance Festival tickets on sale, popular seats going quickly

11.01.19 ... Tickets for the 2019 Song and Dance Festival went up for sale at noon on Thursday, and already many of the best seats at Kalev Stadium, the venue for the XX Dance Festival, have sold out, despite ticket prices having gone up since the last festival.

Street artist Edward von Lõngus wins Foreign Ministry Culture Award

10.01.19 ... Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) on Wednesday presented the 2018 Culture Award of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Estonian street artist Edward von Lõngus for his digital street art project "(R)estart Reality."

Estonian Song and Dance Festival tickets to go on sale next Thursday

03.01.19 ... Tickets for the 2019 Song and Dance Festival, which takes place in Tallinn on 4-7 July, go on sale next Thursday, 10 January at 12:00 EET (5:00 EST).

Culture.ee's full list of 2019 Estonian festivals

02.01.19 ... While summer is the festival high season in Estonia, crowned this year by the 150th anniversary edition of the Estonian Song and Dance Festival, there are actually plenty of events to choose from all year long. The Culture Critics' blog at culture.ee has published a full list, broken down by month, of festivals across Estonia to watch for in 2019.

Estonian films attract more than 600,000 viewers in 2018

29.12.18 ... Estonian films attracted an audience of more than 600,000 in 2018, over half of whom saw films produced as part of the Estonia 100 centennial film programme.

Interview: Helena Maria Reisner on being a child star

28.12.18 ... While it wasn't always easy acting in a film about the difficult Soviet era, in her year-end interview with journalist Anna Pihl, 8-year-old lead actress Helena Maria Reisner, who played a young Leelo Tungal in the award-winning Estonian film "The Little Comrade," admitted that it's pretty cool being called a child star.

Tommy Cash: Charli XCX herself wanted to perform with me in Tallinn

28.12.18 ... Estonian rapper Tommy Cash, who has continued to make waves on the world stage and recently released his debut full-length album "¥€$," revealed that English pop star Charli XCX, who will be guest performing at his concert in Tallinn on Saturday, had herself approached him about joining him onstage there.
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