Estonia’s “November” picks up the Best Cinematography award at Tribeca

The Estonian film, “November”, has won the Best Cinematography award in the International Narrative Feature Film category at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

The award was handed over by the American actors, Alessandro Nivola and Willem Dafoe, on behalf of the jury.

“We were particularly impressed by the high level of the cinematography of the films we’ve just seen, which had very different styles and demands. One film was particularly audacious and showed supreme command of its visual language. The Best Cinematography Award goes to Mart Taniel for ‘November’,” the jury said in a statement.

Shot in black and white, “November” is based on Andrus Kivirähk’s novel “Rehepapp” and was directed and written by Rainer Sarnet. Co-produced by Estonia, the Netherlands and Poland, the film premiered in January 2017 to somewhat lacklustre and mixed reactions in the domestic market, but judging by the first signs, is stirring more interest internationally.

Bonkers-ass folk tale

Just ahead of the film’s international premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on 24 April, Oscilloscope, an independent US film company, acquired North American rights to “November” – it will be released in cinemas later this year.

“November is one of the most unique and stunning films to come along in some time. It is equal measures beautiful love story and balls-to-wall bonkers-ass folk tale. It keeps you rapt, guessing and intrigued from its first frame to its last,” Dan Berger, the president of Oscilloscope, said.

Based loosely on the historical background of Estonia and the ancient beliefs of its people, the film mixes the Estonian pagan and European Christian mythologies. As the filmmakers say, “both mythologies look for a miracle; for an ancient force that gives one a soul. This film is about souls – longing for a soul, selling your soul and living without a soul.”

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Cover: Screenshot from “November”. Please consider making a donation for the continuous improvement of our publication.

About the author: Silver Tambur

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. He has previously studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and Politics & Society at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Silver has been the editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s news service in English, as well as contributing for the Business Sense magazine in the UK, Deutsche Welle and Radio New Zealand. You can also follow him on Twitter. You can write to Silver at silver@estonianworld.com.