World Premiere of Light Falls from acclaimed cinematographer Phedon Papamichael at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (POFF)

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (POFF) has selected 15 films for the second year of its Critics’ Picks competitive section, including the world premiere of Light Falls from acclaimed cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, distributed by 102 Distribution.

Greek filmmaker Papamichael’s film is a thriller about a young couple vacationing on a Greek island, who suffer an accident when exploring an abandoned hotel.

The film is a Georgian-Albanian-Greek-German co-production, with dialogue in English, Albanian, Georgian and Greek. It is Papamichael’s first film as director since 2012 comedy Lost Angeles; he is well-known for his work as a cinematographer, securing Oscar nominations for Nebraska and The Trial Of The Chicago 7, and Bafta nominations for Nebraska and Ford v Ferrari.

The 12 films competing in the Critics’ Picks strand are all world premieres; with three titles playing out of competition having launched at festivals earlier this year.

Further competition entries include Nicholas Parish’s The Old Man And The Land, a drama about an old farmer forced to consider what he will do with his land when he becomes too old to run it. The UK title is produced by Josh Eve, Anneli Flexman and Parish for Milkwood Productions and Eve’ll Films, with Roger Marten leading the cast and Rory Kinnear and Emily Beecham in key voice roles.

Critics’ Picks launched last year, with POFF director Tiina Lokk saying the section “solves a challenge our programme team has seen for many years: brilliant arthouse films that are unfortunately often lost in the mix of our fast-growing line-up and large-scale international festivals.”

Its programming team is headed by Nikolaj Nikitin, a curator, journalist and author who is head of Berlin’s School of Film Advancement. “This year’s thin red artistic line is the fight for personal and political independence,” said Nikitin of the 2023 selection.

POFF will take place from November 3 to 19, with the festival’s industry platform Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event running from November 13 to 17.

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