EstDocs announces 2014 Short Film competition results
Eestlased Kanadas 18 Oct 2014  EWR
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EstDocs (the Estonian Documentary Film Festival in Toronto) announced the EstDocs Short Film Competition winners for 2014 at the EstDocs Gala event on Saturday, October 18, at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto. The event was hosted by EstDocs festival Director Kristi Doughty and moderated by journalist, filmmaker and public affairs broadcaster Indrek Treufeldt. The award winners were announced by EstDocs Short Film Competition Director, Tauno Mölder.

The EstDocs2014 short film jury would like to thank each of the 16 filmmakers who submitted films to the 2014 EstDocs short films competition. The theme for this year was Connection | Ühendus which was interpreted by our filmmakers in diverse and compelling ways.

The films submitted were made by professional filmmakers, students, and film enthusiasts of all sorts - an exciting variety of voices. The quality of the films submitted this year was high, and the jury applauds each individual filmmaker for their effort. The films reflected Estonian stories told across the globe and our selections reflect the broad range of styles and topics among the films. The jury certainly valued the opportunity to screen so many thoughtful and unique expressions of this art form.

The jury deliberations were based on two fundamental aspects of filmmaking: story and style. How compelling, surprising, and/or memorable was the story, and then how well did the filmmaker work with their material stylistically, technically, and structurally?

The winning 2014 short film is Pearls of the Black Sea (Erik Norkroos).
The sincerity and simplicity of this film stood out. The tasteful editing and cinematography worked well with the simple life of the characters, who really are “pearls”. This film brings to life the story of the community of Estonians in the Caucasus mountains, with a main character who has clearly kept her roots deeply planted and close to her heart. A strong sense of “connection” and nostalgia shines forth particularly in her version of a traditional Estonian song which she sings at the end of the film. Lovely and affecting.

Second Prize:
Visions of Kihnu (Madis Ligema) is a confidently made film, with style and a sense of humour, about a strong and independent country woman who speaks her mind (“otsekohese suuvärgiga”). This is a story about mainland Eesti’s connection to the island folk of Kihnu, as well as the relationship of the film maker to his subject and this feisty woman.

Third prize:
The House of the Poor Writers (Jaak Kilmi ja Jaan Tootsen) is executed with a nice sense of Estonian irony. It perfectly portrays a bohemian “artist” (“kunstnik” ) lifestyle. This film depicts the artist struggle along side their “joie de vivre”, grouped together, eating potatoes when times are tough, dancing, having saunas - all Estonian clichés that seem natural and necessary in this context.

In addition, five Honourable Mentions were given to the following films, each told in a different style and made by filmmakers of diverse backgrounds, skills and experience, yet all with a unique voice.

A Man Who Knew the UFOwords (Mees, kes teadis UFOsõnu) (Mari Miller), for its confident style, image, edit and sound design.

Awake (Meelis Rondo), for its candor, honesty and transparency of the main character, persevering, literally against all odds.

Motherland (Steve Zilberman)- A film with a beautiful opening, portraying emotions about visiting Estonia and laulupidu in a charming manner.

Nationwide (Riho Västrik) - A poetic musing, with a sense of humour, using simple sound design to convey that Estonians are a singing and hardworking nation.

Laulukaar (Sylvi Oja) - A charming story told by a 12 year old filmmaker, who we hope will continue to develop her talents.

We are certain that the audience will enjoy seeing the diversity of films and styles in this selection and join us in thanking each of the filmmakers who submitted to the short film competition in 2014.

2014 Short Film Competition Jury Members
Naomi Bock
Matthew Raudsepp
Maria Kivirand

In addition to the jury awards, the film Motherland (Steve Zilberman) was awarded the EstDocs Short Films Competition Audience Favorite Award by the viewing public at Stephen Bulger Gallery on October 3rd.

All short film competition entries can be viewed here:
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