Screened as part of NZIFF 2004

Estonian Panorama 

Directed by Various

Estonia In Estonian with English subtitles
75 minutes


Estonia is a small nation of 1.5 million people nestled at the top of the Baltic group of nations, with Russia on one side and Finland just a short boat journey across the Baltic Sea on the other. This paradoxical geographic position on the cusp of East and West is reflected in the unique animation that has flowed from Estonia’s two animation studios: Nukufilm, a studio specialising in puppet animation; and Joonisfilm, which concentrates predominantly on drawn animation. Other than the children’s films produced to fill government quotas (and to pay the bills), most Estonian animated films plumb extraordinary depths in their exploration of some of mankind’s most elemental issues, fears and desires. At the same time, many are intricately coded political dissertations. Gravitation (Priit Tender, 1996, 9 mins), Nail (Heino Pars, 1972, 6 mins), Colourful Bird (Rein Raamat, 1974, 7 mins), Mont Blanc (Priit Tender, 2001, 13 mins), The Way To Nirvana (Mait Laas, 2000, 12 mins), Bermuda (Ülo Pikkov, 1998, 14 mins), On the Possibility Of Love (Janno Põldma, 1999, 14 mins). — MT