The Estonian-Georgian film, Mandariinid (Tangerines), won two prizes at the 62nd International Mannheim-Heidelberg Film Festival.
The film took home the Special Award of the Jury and the Audience Award; in addition it was named a potential German cinema distribution favourite, the Estonian Film Institute said. The jury was headed by the Hungarian movie director and Academy Award winner, Istvan Szabo.
In October the movie also won two prizes at the 29th Warsaw Film Festival – the Best Director Award and the Audience Award.
Tangerines has been chosen to screen at the International Palm Springs Film Festival in 2014, and it has gathered over 40,000 viewers in Georgia and over 10,000 in Estonia.
The film tells a story that takes place in 1992 during the war in Abkhazia in an Estonian village situated there. In the village, whose residents have fled from war, injured fighters from two opposite sides of the battle front happen to all be staying in the same house of an Estonian. The leading roles are played by Estonian actors Lembit Ulfsak and Elmo Nüganen, and Georgian actors Giorgi Nakhashidze and Mihhail Meskhi.
The film was produced by Estonian film production company Allfilm and Georgian production company Cinema 24.
According to the EstonianWorld film expert, Birgit Drenkhan, Mandariinid has a potential to take Estonian filmmaking to a completely new level. “For me, this film opens a new chapter in the Estonian cinematic history. Mandariinid, although war is always around, is not a war film. War just helps bring out the most important message (as white looks brighter in front of black). The story is about being human and, no matter what, believing in the human kind. The story is balanced, without being too dramatic or brutally funny. A serious subject is dealt with through subtle humour. The director knows psychology and how to manipulate with the viewer, so he takes us to an emotional rollercoaster by making us both laugh and cry. It is also an artistically beautiful movie with nice nature scenes, impressionistic sunsets and close-ups of an old man’s hands making woodwork,” commented Drenkhan.