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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.

History In Pictures




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).

On the photo: Ville Niemi (on the left), author of ″World´s Fire″, one of the two Best Student Docs and Paul-Andres Simma, winner of the Estonian People´s Award for his film ″My Dear Mother″

Winners of the 34th Pärnu Film Festival


Theme: Human Rights Naked

MY DEAR MOTHER by Paul-Anders Simma (Finland)

The Estonian People´s Award as voted by the TV-audience


ANIMAL IMAGE by Perttu Saksa (Finland)

Grand Prize of the festival as the best artistic achievement

THEN COMES THE EVENING by Maja Novaković (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Special Mention of the International Jury

THE TOUGH by Marcin Polar (Poland)

Best Short Doc in the category of Between Life and Death

PRIPYAT PIANO by Eliška Cílková (Czech Republic)

Special mention in the category of Between Life and Death

Members of the International Jury:

Andrei Kutsila 

Jaan Tootsen

Kersti Uibo

Liis Nimik

Lukas Berger

Mário Gajo de Carvalho

Mark Aitken


ASAK by Mahdi Zamanpour Kiasari (Iran)

Best Art Doc

Members of the Jury from the Estonian Art Museum KUMU:

Mare Pedanik

Sirje Helme 

Eda Tuulberg


WHAT IF BABEL WAS JUST A MYTH? by Sandrine Loncke (France)

Members of the Jury:

Kira Jääskeläinen 

Garri Raagmaa

Karl Pajusalu


WORLD’S FIRE by Ville Niemi (Finland)

FUCK, IT’S BIOLOGY by Veronica Andersson (Sweden/Poland)

Best Doc by Student (both)

As voted by the students of Baltic Film and Media School