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The Intl. Federation of Film Producers’ Assn. (FIAPF) has accredited the Black Nights Film Festival held in Tallinn, Estonia, as a non-specialized competitive international film festival.

Founded 18 years ago, the Black Nights Film Festival become a specialized competitive festival in 2008. This year’s expansion establishes the festival as an event with international reach in time for its upcoming edition held Nov. 14-30.

“The inclusion of Black Nights in the non-specialized category not only remarkably widens our possibilities for programming outreach, but also sets us face to face with an obligation and responsibility towards filmmakers and the industry to match the high standards with the other 14 member festivals with long history in that category,” said Black Nights founder and director Tiina Lokk.

The Black Night Film Festival is the 15th international film festival to be inducted by FIAPF in the non-specialized competitive category, joining programs such as Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Tokyo and San Sebastian. FIAPF director general Benoit Ginisty said the decision came with the festival’s development as an important platform of exchanges for industry practitioners over the past years.

“In the long process of consultations we have carried out, the Black Nights Film Festival’s will to extend its past EurAsia competition has been seen as very consensual,” said Ginistry. “It will offer new opportunities for films and will support Black Nights’ ambitions without creating unnecessary competition within the international film festivals’ community.”

In its expansion for filmmakers around the world, Black Nights is expected to provide opportunities for territories that have been previously excluded from competition, including Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Australia. In 2013, Black Nights screened 220 feature films and 250 shorts, with attendance of 77,600.