Black Market offers filmmakers new opportunities

Estonia’s Tallinn Black Nights, one of Eastern Europe’s leading winter film festivals, is adding an industry event to this year’s lineup.

Dubbed the Black Market in a tongue-in-cheek reference to the reputation that parts of the old Warsaw Bloc have for movie piracy, the regional cinema and audiovisual market screenings will be a strictly legitimate opportunity for buyers and sellers to make deals at a midway point between larger international events, L.A.’s AFM in early November and Berlin in February.

Devised by festival director Tina Lokk, this year’s Black Market –which runs Nov. 30-Dec. 3, partially coinciding with established co-production event the Baltic Event — is being treated as a pilot.

Lokk said the market would feature up to 48 industry screenings mainly focusing on new pics from neighboring regions and countries with smaller film industries: Central and Eastern Europe; the Nordic region; Russia; and the likes of Georgia, Ukraine, Romania, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The traditional Baltic Event, now organized in cooperation with Black Market Industry Screenings, will unspool the newest features from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

“The goal of Black Market Industry Screenings is to enhance audiovisual cooperation on both sides of the eastern border of the European Union and Nordic countries and to give filmmakers visibility and access to the bigger audiovisual markets around the world. The timing of the screenings and meetings in the beginning of December will help to summarize the year and prepare for the next one,” Lokk said.

The market overlaps with the Baltic Event, where 12 projects from the Baltic countries, Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe and Russia would be presented, she added.

Another new feature of the Tallinn Film Festival, the main program of which runs Nov. 27-Dec. 6, is From Books to Films, a literary rights market presenting and promoting film literature from neighboring regions that takes places Nov. 29-30.

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