Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival aka PÖFF is the only FIAPF-accredited competitive feature film festival in Northern Europe, attracting more than 80,000 visitors, 1,000 film professionals and press from around the world in 2016. It is a cinephile’s dream, screening an extensive and diverse selection of world cinema at various locations in Tallinn and Tartu. The colorful events programme turns cinemas, bars, restaurants and nightclubs into a buzzing, yet relaxed celebration of film.

Dates: 17th of November – 3rd of December, 2017.

Concurrently with the festival, Industry@Tallinn and Baltic Event co-production market take place. I@T serves as a gateway for global audiovisual industries to the Baltic, Nordic and CIS region as well as being the event where the audiovisual industry meets new technology, gaming and venture capital. It includes a co-
production market, three international work in progress showcases, Storytek Forum mapping future business and creative industry strategies as well as the European Union’s audiovisual, media and film visionary conference co-hosted by
Industry@Tallinn and much more.

Dates: 27th of November – 1st of December, 2017

PÖFF in numbers (2016):

Attendance 80,000
250+ films from more than 70 different countries
48 world and international premieres
More than ,1000 film professionals and press from around the world
Potential reach in global media of 432 million

The 2017 programme includes:

Official selection: 12-15 exciting world or international premieres from around the world, judged by an international jury.

First Feature Competition, 12-15 world or international premieres by talented debut filmmakers, who’s next film you’ll be dying to see. Also judged by an international jury.

Estonian Film Competition – showcasing the best of current Estonian cinema.

Several non-copetitive programmes such as Panorama and Forum with more than 100 films showcasing new discoveries and a selection of the best picks from other film festivals.

Midnight Shivers – a feast for all horror and fantasy buffs.

Doc@PÖFF, Fashion Cinema and other non-competitive programmes.

The Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival has two sub-festivals:

Children’s and Youth Film Festival Just Film (17-26 November) – submission is open.

Introducing PÖFF Shorts (21-26 November) short film and animation festival including internationally established programmes Animated Dreams and Sleepwalkers.

Submit your animated film at https://vp.eventival.eu/poff/21
Submit your short film at https://www.shortfilmdepot.com/en

Awards & Prizes

The Official selection has an international jury that selects the award winners for the following categories:

 Grand Prix for the Best Film (Grant of 10,000 Euros, shared by the Director and Producer).
 Best Director (Grant of 5000 Euros).
 Best Cinematography (Grant of 1000 Euros).
 Other awards include; Best Script, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Music and Best Production Design.

First Feature Competition has an international jury that chooses the winners from the following categories:

 The Award for the Best First Feature (Grant of 5000 Euros, shared by the Director and Producer).
 Two Special Jury Prizes.
 The First Feature Competition jury also selects the winner of The Award for Best Estonian Feature (Grant of 3200 Euros, shared by the Director and Producer) from the entries of the Estonian Film Competition.

The festival also has the NETPAC, FIPRESCI and Ecumenical Jury.

Rules & Terms

REGULATIONS

21st Black Nights Film Festival (17.11-03.12 2017, Tallinn, Estonia)

1. Black Nights Film Festival main programme
1.1 Official Selection - Competition
1.2 The First Feature Competition
1.3 The Estonian Film Competition
1.4 Additional awards for full-length film
1.5 Non-competitive programs
1.6 Programming
1.7 Juries
1.8 Film Delegations
1.9 Confirmation of films and reimbursment
1.10 Technical guidelines and requirements
1.11 Delivery of materials

2. SUB FESTIVALS
2.1 Children‘s and Youth Film Festival Just Film
2.2 Juries
2.3 Confirmation of films and reimbursement
2.4 Technical requirements
2.5 Delivery of materials
2.6 Film Delegations

Summary

The 21st edition of PÖFF will be held between the 17th of November and 3rd of December 2017, in the Estonian cities of Tallinn and Tartu.

1. Black Nights Film Festival main programme (17th November – 3rd December 2017)

1.1 Official Selection - Competition
The Official Selection is a non-specialised international competition presenting feature length (60+ min) films produced worldwide after the 15th of September 2016, a European regional premiere is a minimum requirement (NB! European films and films co-produced that have been presented in their country of origin remain eligible). Priority will be given to films giving a world or international premiere. The festival will not accept films in the Official selection that have been in competition at another festival accredited by FIAPF as competitive festival. The festival reserves the right to evaluate eligible films for the competition on a case by case basis.

Awards:

Grand Prix for the Best Film (Grant of 10,000 Euros, shared by the Director and Producer)
Best Director (Grant of 5000 Euros)
Best Cinematography (Grant of 1000 Euros)
Best Script
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Music
Best Production Design
All films in the competition are eligible for a maximum of two awards (including Grand Prix). The Grand Prix and Best Director award and grant cannot be given to the same film. The awardees are presented with the Black Nights bronze Wolf Statuette by Estonian sculptor Simson Seakülast.

1.2 The First Feature Competition
The First Feature Competition presents feature length debut films (ie. 60+ min, first time directing status) produced worldwide after the 15 th of September, 2016 with a world or international premiere required (films that have been presented in their country of origin remain eligible). The festival will not accept films in the The First Feature Competition that have been in competition at another festival accredited by FIAPF as a competitive festival. The festival reserves the right to evaluate eligible films for competition on a case by case basis.

Awards:

The Award for the Best First Feature (Grant of 5000 Euros, shared by the Director and Producer)
Two Special Jury Prizes
A film in this competition is only eligible for one award.
The awardees are presented with the Black Nights bronze Wolf Statuette by Estonian sculptor Simson Seakülast.

1.3 The Estonian Film Competition
The Estonian Film Competition presents Estonian feature length (60+ min) films produced worldwide after the 15 th of September, 2016. Priority will be given to films with a world and international premiere, but films which have previously premiered in Estonia are also eligible. The festival reserves the right to evaluate eligible films for the competition on a case by case basis.

Awards:
The Award for Best Estonian Feature (Grant of 3200 Euros, shared by the Director and Producer)

1.4 Additional awards for full-length film
Lifetime Achievement Award
Audience Award (Grant of 2 000 Euros, shared by the Director and Producer)
Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) Award
International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Award
Cross Religion award presented by the spiritual leaders of the largest congregations in Estonia

1.5 Non-competitive programs
Films submitted, but not selected for competitive programs can be invited to non- competitive programs with a minimum requirement being their Estonian premiere. There are no geographic restrictions for films in non-competitive sections.

1.6 Programming
The Programming Committee, headed by the Festival Director, selects films for the competitions and non-competitive programs. The committee also determines the programme schedule and sets the screening order for all films. Each film may be screened a minimum of two (2) times and a maximum of five (5) during the Festival, including press screenings. Consent from the applicant will be asked for any extra screening. The Programming Committee reserves the right to not comment on its decisions as well as the final lineup of the Festival.

1.7 Juries
The Festival Director appoints at least five (5) members of the International Jury to the International Competition and at least three (3) members to other competitive programmes. No jury member can be involved in the production or promotion of any of the films in the competitive programs.

1.8 Film Delegations
For competitive programs the Festival will invite a delegation of up to three representatives per film. The festival will cover the round trip airfare for one delegate, with a preference given to the Director and / or a Main Cast member, as well as accommodation for up to 3 persons in the Delegation at the Official Partner Hotel. For non-competitive films, the festival reserves the right to invite guests upon the decision of the Programming committee. Detailed terms and conditions for film delegates are provided on a non-disclosed one to one and guest agreement basis.

1.9 Confirmation of films and reimbursment
Upon confirmation of a film, the Festival will inform the applicant via email. The applicant agrees that confirmed titles may not be withdrawn from the festival programme after its participation has been officially confirmed and the producer or producer's authorised representative has verified the confirmation of the film to the programme.

If, for exceptional reasons, the film has to be withdrawn three weeks or less before the opening of the festival, the applicant agrees to reimburse all costs to the festival related to the confirmation and programming of the film including screening fee (when applicable), print delivery and handling costs as well as associated travel costs for the film delegation. The invoices for the film rights or print loans should be issued and delivered for payments no later than two months after the end of the festival. The festival does not accept or reimburse invoices issued after that date.

1.11 Technical guidelines and requirements
To ensure the highest quality of the confirmed films, all screening copies must be in DCP format with accompanying English subtitles. Damaged or dubbed copies, non compatible DCP‘s or files on broken hard drives are refused. Video formats are accepted only with prior acknowledgement from the festival. No tapes or Blu-rays are accepted.

The festival reserves the right to demand screening copies of competition films free of charge, including alternative keys to DCP copies or new DCP packages if quality standards are not met. These include missing subtitles or wrong soundtracks. Thus, the festival has the right to refuse and withdraw the screening of the film from the competition if all guidelines are not being strictly followed.

For quality and technical testing purposes the festival may ask you for one KDM per film for our test-screen or DKDM for laborartory testing.

DCP‘s have to be provided and shipped on industry standard and protected hard drives or uploaded to our server with previous confirmation from the festival technical department. Files on broken hard drives are not permitted and the festival has the right to demand new copies as well as KDM‘s free of charge for damaged and non working DCP packages.

The filmmaker or film representative has to provide appropriate KDM‘s for the original language soundtrack and English subtitle tracks at least 72 hours prior to screenings. If the festival is provided with broken or wrongly assigned KDM‘s, appropriate new KDM‘s must be provided free of charge by the film submitter or representative.

The festival supports 2K and 4K content. However, not all screens have a 4K projecting capability. The festival therefore cannot guarantee that all 4K films will be screened in a 4K resolution!
All screens support both Flat and Scope content.
Countdown / start leaders are not to be included.
We can accept high-frame-rate DCP‘s (HFR), but we are only able to screen them in selected cinema halls. Please notify the festival office if you are planning on presenting a high-frame-rate DCP.
All DCP’s must be DCI compliant! (http://www.dcimovies.com/)

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
Image-Encoding

JPEG 2000 maximum bit rate 250 Mbps
Frame rate: 24 fps, 25 fps and 48 fps (only in selected cinema halls)
Packaging Format

JPEG 2000 MXF Interop DCP or SMPTE DCP in XYZ colorspace
Subtitles

All subtitles must be on the “active” picture area inside the “video safe” area.
Data media

The distribution media partition must be formatted inEXT2 or EXT3. EXT3 is preferred.
DCP distribution disks shall contain a standard “MBR” partition table. This is meant to specifically exclude “GPT”, “BSD”, and other partition table types. The MBR partition table shall contain one and only one partition record. The single partition record shall be the first Primary partition record.
Proper file naming convention of your file must be observed. (http://isdcf.com/dcnc/)
All casings, hard drives or included tech sheet must clearly state the film name, DCP format, aspect ratio, subtitle and soundtrack information.
Soundtrack

5.1 Channel PCM or 7.1 Channel PCM at certain venues
Atmos only at certain venues

VIDEO SCREENINGS
The Festival only accepts Quicktime Prores video files, besides the DCP format. No tapes or Blu-ray’s are accepted! All video files will be converted into encrypted D-Cinema Packages (DCP‘s) to ensure the best possible image and sound quality during playback .

The following technical specifications for the delivered content are mandatory.

All content must be unencrypted.
The festival executes technical quality checks on all video files. In order to be able to carry out these checks, the material must be delivered on time.
DCP‘s will be created for festival use only. We will not be able to send you a copy of the DCP.
Files need to be encoded using the following settings in QuickTime:

Supported format: Quicktime Prores 422 or Prores 422HQ
Supported resolutions: FullHD - 1920 x 1080px, 2K Flat - 1998x1080px, 2K Scope - 2048x858px. No 4K files are accepted.
Supported frame rates: 24, 25, 30 Hz
Scanning Method: progressive
Gamma: Apple ProRes codecs have a native gamma of 2.2 . If the gamma differs in any way it should be clearly stated while communicating with the festival technical team.
Audio: 5.1 Linear PCM or stereo
Subtitles: All subtitles must be in the “active” picture area inside the “video safe” area, not in the “letterbox” area.
Sound formats for video screenings

The track layout for 5.1 formats must be: L left channel – R right channel – C centre channel – Lfe subwoofer – Ls left surround – Rs right surround

1.12 Delivery of materials
All costs related to the shipping of publicity materials (including DVD screener) are paid by the submitter or film representative. Submitted preview copies may be returned to the submitter or forwarded only at the submitter's expense. All packages must be clearly marked with the title of the film, the sender’s / submitters name, return address and telephone number as well as the festival address:

Black Nights Film Festival
Attn: Programming
Telliskivi 60a, 3rd floor
Tallinn 10412, Estonia

Costs related to the shipping of the screening copies to the festival are paid by the festival, unless otherwise agreed upon. Return shipping costs are the responsibility of the submitter or film representative, or party appointed by them.

The festival will return or forward the screening copies within 14 days from the end of the festival unless instructed otherwise by the submitter or film representative.

The festival covers all expenses connected to the storage and insurance of the screening copies during the duration of the festival.

2. SUB FESTIVALS

2.1 Children‘s and Youth Film Festival Just Film (17 - 26 November 2017)
Just Film presents films in the following programmes:

International Competition programme of feature films for children
International Competition programme of feature films for young people
Non-competitive and / or informative programmes, retrospectives and special presentations

Films eligible for the programmes are feature length (60+ min) either fiction or documentary and produced after the 1st of January 2016 with a minimum requirement being their Estonian premiere. Films produced in Estonia or that are Estonian-co-productions, which have previously premiered in Estonia are also eligible. The festival reserves the right to evaluate eligible films for competition on a case by case basis. The applicable screening copies are in DCP format in English or include English subtitles. Films in the competition may be presented in the PÖFF main programme non-competitive section and touring screenings after Just Film.

Awards:

Just Film Grand Prix for the Best Youth Film
Best Youth Film
Best Children’s Film
Up to two special Special mentions per competitive programme

2.2 Juries
The Festival Director will appoint the Domestic Children’s Jury and Youth Jury, both consisting of five members. Also an international jury consisting of three film specialists will be invited. No jury member can be involved in the production or promotion of any of the films in the competitive programs.

2.3 Confirmation of films and reimbursement
Upon confirmation of the film, the Festival will inform the applicant no later than the 26th of October 2017.

The applicant agrees that confirmed titles may not be withdrawn from the festival programme after its participation has been officially confirmed and the producer or producer's authorised representative has verified confirmation of the film to the programme.

If, for exceptional reasons, the film has to be withdrawn three weeks or less before the opening of the festival, the applicant agrees to reimburse all costs to the festival related to the confirmation and programming of the film, including screening fee (when applicable), print delivery and handling costs as well as associated travel costs for the film delegation.

The invoices for the film rights or print loans should be issued and delivered for payment no later than two months from the end of the festival. The festival does not accept or reimburse invoices issued after that date.

2.4 Technical requirements
To ensure the highest quality of the confirmed films, all screening copies must be in DCP or a technically inspected film format with appropriate quality, soundtrack and English subtitles. Damaged or dubbed copies, non compatible DCP‘s, files on broken hard drives as well as consumer formats are refused.

The festival reserves the right to demand screening copies of competition films free of charge, including alternative keys to DCP copies or new DCP packages if quality standards are not met. These include missing subtitles or wrong soundtracks. Thus, the festival has the right to refuse and withdraw the screening of the film in the competitions if the above-mentioned guidelineshave not been adhered to.

DCP‘s have to be provided either as Interop with subtitles burned in or STMP with subtitle tracks of a clearly stated DCP format, aspect ratio, subtitle and soundtrack information marked on the casing and drive (or accompanying tech sheet).

In case of SMTP DCP‘s a separate spotting list has to be provided to avoid possible projection issues due to incompatibilities between certain DCP servers and projectors. DCP‘s have to be provided and shipped on industry standard and protected hard drives. Files on broken, consumer grade hard drives, memory sticks, or download formats are not permitted and the festival has the right to demand new copies as well as KDM;s free of charge for damaged and non working DCP packages.

The filmmaker or film representative has to provide appropriate KDM‘s for the original language soundtrack and English subtitle tracks at least 72 hours prior to screenings. If the festival is provided with broken or wrongly assigned KDM‘s, appropriate new KDM‘s must be provided free of charge by the film submitter or representativeof the film.

If the above mentioned terms are not met, the festival has the right to refuse or withdraw the film from competitions and / or programmes.

2.5 Delivery of materials
All costs related to the shipping of the screener copy (DVD) and publicity materials are paid by the submitter or film representative. Submitted preview copies may be returned to the submitter or forwarded only at the submitter's expense. All packages must be clearly marked with the title of the film, the sender’s / submitter‘s name, return address, telephone number and the festival address:

Black Nights Film Festival
Attn: Just Film
Telliskivi 60a, 3rd floor
Tallinn 10412, Estonia

Costs related to the shipping of the screening copies to the festival are paid by the festival, unless otherwise agreed upon. Return shipping costs are the responsibility of the submitter, film representative or party appointed by them.

The festival will return or forward the screening copies within 14 days from the end of the festival unless instructed otherwise by the submitter or film representative. The festival covers all expenses connected to the storage and insurance of the screening copies during the duration of the festival.

2.6 Film Delegations
The festival may invite members of the cast and/or crew of any film, in any section. Providing the travel and/or accommodation and Festival accreditation.