Animated Dreams

Animated Dreams in Tallinn: film articulates art and the market

‘Refreshing’, ‘unusual’, ‘schizophrenic’… Estonians are often at a lack of words for accurately describing the universe that animates the films of this tiny little country in the north east of Europe. Poetic, sinister, definitely for adults, elaborately alive when the puppets suddenly appear, multicoloured or sepia, daring. And above all, unsellable! On a wall in the Nukufilm studios, a map of the world is dotted with drawing pins. In Europe, an army of points agglutinates. ‘This is the map of the festivals in which our films are shown,’ Mait says. ‘Without these trips in the European Union, favoured by the creation of networks like Anoba (Nordic and Baltic animation), and sometimes to the ends of the earth, there wouldn’t be Estonian cinema. Short films don’t go over well in theatres. And on TV, it’s televised series for children that are hits.’ Author’s cinema flourishes in craggy terrain.

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