The third instalment of Estonia’s “Melchior” trilogy premieres in Germany

“Melchior the Apothecary. The Executioner’s Daughter”, the third instalment of “Melchior the Apothecary” medieval crime trilogy, had its world premiere at the Cottbus Film Festival in Germany on 11 November.

According to Bernd Buder, the programme director of the Cottbus Film Festival, the trilogy is “an incredible crime story: a high level of production, the films are extremely authentic, exciting and very modern”. “Estonia produces high-quality original films, which is confirmed by the large presence of Estonian films at this year’s Cottbus Film Festival. It is especially pleasing that the saga of the apothecary Melchior managed to bridge the gap between art and commercial cinema – this is audience movies at their best,” he said.

The trilogy, all released this year, was directed by Elmo Nüganen and is based on the seven-novel series about Melchior the apothecary by Estonian author Indrek Hargla. The stories take place in medieval Tallinn, where Melchior the apothecary investigates various murders.

Released in Estonian cinemas this past April, the first part of the adventure trilogy, “Melchior the Apothecary”, became the most watched domestic film of the year, with ticket sales exceeding 130,000. The second part of the trilogy, “Melchior the Apothecary. Ghost” – which premiered in August 2022 – has been watched by more than 70,000 people to date.

One of the trilogy’s producers, Esko Rips, said the filmmakers’ ambitions were never limited to the domestic market. He hopes Melchior will become an important export item for Estonia, which could pique worldwide interest in local culture and Old Tallinn.

The producers of the trilogy have inked an international sales representation agreement with Global Screen, the worldwide distribution arm of Telepool, a Munich, Germany-based film and TV distribution and production company with more than 50 years of experience. Telepool is owned by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Inc.

Still from Melchior; photo by Robert Lang.

Film Festival Cottbus focuses on films from Eastern Europe. In total, 219 films from 28 countries, including six Estonian films, will be screened at this year’s festival from 8 to 13 November.

The film will hit Estonian cinemas on 14 April 2023.

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