The films were made by both professionals and film enthusiasts, including a student entry by a 14 year old. The quality of films submitted was high and the approaches very varied. The jury would like to commend each of the filmmakers and has valued the opportunity to screen and review all original submissions.
The jury deliberations were based on a number of factors, including story-line, cinematography, and overall jury response to the various films. All the filmmakers are to be thanked for their work and their contributions to the art of cinematography and visual storytelling, which contributes so much to the EstDocs community.
The winning film "Saaremaale!", by Jaak Kilmi and Aleksandr Heifets, was chosen for it's unique storytelling approach, quality editing, the use of humour as well as a touch of pathos in a recognizable Estonian setting - the ferry dock on the way to Saaremaa.
Second prize is given to "Go Tallinn!" by Riho Västrik, for it's effective use of cinematic language, a beautiful metaphor showing one element of Estonia's history. Shots using fluid head and slider contribute to the viewer's imagination.
Third prize is awarded to "In the City" by Sari Sari, a very creative, quirky visual poem, creating a very strong atmosphere that very succinctly demonstrates city life.
Three Honourable Mentions were given:
"Tartu. Kalevi/Pargi" by Aleksandr Heifets for its artistic value, subtly conveying a most powerful chilling feeling, through the use of b/w cobblestones and the aerial shot. Visual poetry like this film demands openness for interpretation.
"Leib" by Jüri Soomägi, an ironic documentary with humorous narration on the laborious complexities of bread making , from '"juuretis" to the finished bread.
"Eestlane Olen?" by Sylvi Oja, a youth POV film about what it means to be Estonian, with interesting music choices and good use of archival photos. An enthusiastic young filmmaker with storytelling promise.
The Otto Rannamäe Memorial Audience Award went also to Saaremaale! (Jaak Kilmi and Aleksandr Heifets), based on the voting results at Stephen Bulger Gallery on October 14th.
All the 2016 short films can be seen here or on EstDocs Youtube channel at www.youtube.com/estdocsto: