Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival is moving on with preparations to hold physical screenings while the international industry and press will be granted virtual access to films and events regardless of their location.
Since the first COVID-19-related lockdown in spring, Black Nights has been preparing for several possible scenarios, getting ready to take place physically while also upgrading the digital infrastructure that would enable to organise a hybrid or even a completely digital event. It looks likely that foreign travel to Estonia will be restricted, thus accredited foreign press and industry delegates will be granted access to the festival’s programme digitally via the Shift72 platform, no matter their geographic location. The industry strand, Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event has moved fully online this year, using the Elisa Stage platform.
Travel of foreign filmmakers and the press will be decided upon according to the situation in early November, depending on whether Estonia’s COVID restrictions allow movement from the country of their current residency or not. The latest update on foreign travel regulations to Estonia can be found here.
The physical screenings, however, have not been cancelled, as the Health Board of Estonia currently remains optimistic that the complete lockdown of cinemas can be avoided this time around. As the festival has always hosted several hundred filmmakers to present their films every year, some might be forced to do so virtually this year. For this reason, the festival is preparing virtual video greeting and Q&A formats that would precede the film screenings. The number of films to be screened is lower than in previous editions.
The festival has teamed up with medical companies SYNLAB and Medicum for building safety protocols for testing kits and masks.