Black Nights unveils line up

Selection includes 'Talk About Kevin,' 'The Artist'

MOSCOW — Estonia’s 15th Black Nights Film Festival opens next week with a rich line up of competition films to brighten the dark days of November.

The 13-day fest, which kicks off Nov. 18, features three main competitions with focuses on European and Asian features, Baltic film and U.S. indies that programmers feel have good potential for European distribution.

Among the top picks in the main competition, the Intl. Eurasia Focus, Lynne Ramsay’s film about a mother struggling to cope with her son’s disturbing actions, “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” is expected to draw strong auds.

Other hot titles include “Rose” by Polish director Wojciech Smarzowski, about the harrowing treatment of Poles at the end of the World War II; French helmer Michel Hazanavicius’ ode to the silent screen, “The Artist,” and Estonian foreign language Oscar entry, “Letters to Angel,” directed by Sulev Keedus, which explores the battles an Estonian soldier has to fight on his return home from the Soviet-era Afghan war.

In the Tridens Baltic Feature Film Competition, the field includes documentaries “The New World” by Estonia’s Jaan Tootsen, about a group of activists trying to change their corner of the world, and “How Are You Doing, Rudolf Ming?,” about a boy obsessed with violent films, shot by Latvian filmmaker Roberts Rubins.

There is also a study of Lithuanian activists who saved their ancient Sanskrit-based language from extinction in the 19th century, “The Book Smugglers” directed by Jeremiah Cullinane, a co-production between Lativa and Ireland.

Pics in the North American Independent Film Competition include helmer Sean Durkin’s “Martha May Marcy Marlene,” the Sundance hit about a girl suffering from paranoia and delusions after escaping a cult; Jonathan Levine’s “50/50,” a comedy about a man diagnosed with cancer, and “Win Win” from director Thomas McCarthy (“The Station Agent,” “The Visitor”).

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