Pärnu International Documentary and Science Film Festival, in short – Pärnu Film Festival – was originally named Pärnu Visual Anthropology Festival.
Born from Lennart Meri’s idea in 1987 the Pärnu International Documentary and Science Film Festival is the oldest of its kind in the Baltic countries and is about to happen for the 34th time in 2020.
Since its birth, one of the main themes of the festival has been the survival of indigenous peoples and their cultures. The screening program also includes audiovisual interpretations of contemporary society, portraits of fascinating people and human relations, as well as films on music and art. Children and youth have always been included, both at workshops and as viewers of the films for our youngest.
As of 2020, to highlight the importance of scientific research on various issues as well as the importance of allowing the scientists to be heard, we will screen a special subprogram of science films that are of high value artistically.
Main subjects of the festival are: Human Interest, Social Issues, Art and Music, Survival of Indigenous Cultures, Scientific Research, Docs for Kids and many more.
Since 1999, a separate competition has been held for films that will be broadcasted on Estonian Television (Estonian People’s Award). Next to awards given by the international jury there is always the competitive program on TV for the people to vote. In cooperation with the Estonian Television we show thought provoking and fascinating docs to the whole of Estonia and everyone is welcome to vote for their favourite worthy of the Estonian People´s Award. The beautiful woven blanket of West Estonian pattern will be placed on the shoulders of the filmmaker whose work will get the highest number of votes.
AWARDS OF THE PÄRNU FILM FESTIVAL
Winners of the GRAND PRIZE – the best film of the festival:
2019 – SUMMA by Andrei Kutsila (Belarus/Poland)
2018 – OF FATHERS AND SONS by Talal Derki (Germany/Syria/Lebanon/Qatar)
2017 – DEAD WHEN I GOT HERE by Mark Aitken (Mexico/UK)
2016 – WEDDING: A FILM by Mohammadreza Farzad (Iran)
2015 – THOSE WHO FEEL THE FIRE BURNING by Morgan Knibbe (The Netherlands)
2014 – RAMIN by Audrius Stonys (Latvia)
2013 – THE LAST STATION by Cristian Soto and Catalina Vergara (Chili)
2012 – WITH FIDEL WHATEVER HAPPENS by Goran Radovanovic (Serbia)
2011 – TEACHER IRENA by Itamar Chen (Israel);
VODKA FACTORY by Jerzy Skladkowski (Sweden);
2010 – STEAM OF LIFE by Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen (Finland);
2009 – LEFT BEHIND by Fabian Daub and Andreas Gräfenstein (Germany);
2008 – GUGARA by Andrzej Dybczak and Jacek Naglowski (Poland);
2007 – THE SEEDS by Wojsiech Kasperski (Poland);
2006 – BEFORE FLYING TO THE EARTH by Arunas Matelis (Lithuania);
2005 – THE 3 ROOMS OF MELANCHOLIA by Pirjo Honkasalo (Finland);
2004 – EBBA AND TORGNY by Johan Palmgren (Sweden);
2003 – NOW YOU ARE HAMLET by Ulrika Bengts (Finland);
2002 – I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU UNTIL I DIE by Maciej Adamek (Poland);
2001 – KUSUM by Jouko Aaltonen (Finland);
2000 – IN SEARCH OF SHANGRI-LA by Wen Pu Lin (China);
1999 – THE ARTIST’S LIFE by Lasse Naukkarinen (Finland);
1998 – GAIA’S CHILDREN by Bente Milton (Denmark);
1997 – PORTAL TO PEACE by Thomas Stenderup (Denmark);
1996 – PARADISE by Sergei Dvortsevoy (Russia);
1995 – EVALD’S ACRE by Kersti Uibo (Estonia/UK);
1994 – LIVING ON THE AGANO RIVER by Makoto Sato (Japan);
1993 – TAIGA NOMADS by Heimo Lappalainen (Finland);
1992 – A VISIT by Kari Happonen (Finland);
1991 – THE ALLOTMENT GARDEN by Lise Roos (Denmark);
1990 – SONG OF HARMONICS by Hugo Zemp (France);
1989 – CROSS-STREET by Ivars Seleckis (Latvia);
1988 – VIDAROSEN by Jon Jerstad (Norway);
1987 – WINTER IN ICE CAMP by Asen Balikci (Canada).
Winners of the Estonian People’s Awards:
2019 – BUDDY by Heddy Honigmann (The Netherlands)
2018 – REBEL SURGEON by Erik Gandini (Sweden)
2017 – A BASTARD CHILD by Knutte Wester (Sweden)
2016 – MUSSA by Anat Goren (Israel)
2015 – SOMETHING BETTER TO COME by Hanna Polak (Denmark)
2014 – MERCY MERCY by Katrine Riis Kjaer (Denmark)
2013 – ROMAN POLANSKI: A FILM MEMOIRE by Laurent Bouzereau (Switzerland)
2012 – ONCE THERE WAS LOVE by Kage Jonsson and Hakan Pieniowski (Sweden)
2011 – VILLAGE WITHOUT WOMEN by Srdjan Sarenac (Serbia);
2010 – A GOOD MAN by Safina Uberoi (Australia);
2009 – FLYING WITH ONE ENGINE by Josuha Weinstein (USA);
2008 – MOTHER by Antoine Cattin (France) and Pavel Kostomarov (Russia);
2007 – FIRST LESSON IN PEACE by Yoram Honig (Israel);
2006 – THE DEVIL’S MINER by Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson (Germany);
2005 – DO YOU LOVE ME? by Lars Westman (Sweden);
2004 – MY FLESH AND BLOOD by Jonathan Karsh (USA);
2003 – TO BE AND TO HAVE by Nicolas Philibert (France);
2002 – NARROW IS THE GATE by Kersti Uibo (Estonia/UK);
2001 – CLEANERS AND I by Agnes Varda (France);
2000 – GRANDFATHERS AND REVOLUTIONS by Peter Hegedus (Australia);
1999 – SALTMEN OF TIBET by Ulrike Koch (Switzerland).