PÖFF Shorts, the sub-festival of the Black Nights Film Festival that amalgamates previous events Animated Dreams and Sleepwalkers, has announced the titles that will comprise its five competitions alongside the jury members who will judge them. Selected from almost 4000 entries from more than 100 countries across the world, the competitions will showcase some of the very best live action and animation shorts that represent the very cutting edge of cinema.

The Animated Dreams International Competition – with Estonian animation studios Nukufilm and Eesti Joonisfilm presenting Heino Pars’ Nail, an award named after the legendary Estonian animator – contains 42 films that represent the best and most innovative approaches to short animation. With examples of animations from far and wide – with Korea, Iran and China all represented in the competition – this is a snapshot of the year in animation. The selection includes Ugly (Dir. Nikita Diakur, Germany) a short about a Native American chief and an ugly cat trying to find peace in an evil neighborhood. The film recently won Best Animation at the Encounters Festival in the UK and is also a nominee for the European Film Awards. Also included is Wednesday With Goddard (Dir Nicholas Menard, UK),  a hilarious tale of romance and despair, which won Best Animation at this year’s South By Southwest Festival.

The jury for the Animated Dreams International Competition will consist of Mati Kütt (Estonia), the renowned Estonian animator who will also be the recipient of a retrospective during PÖFF Shorts, Yves Nougarède (France), a member of the selection committee at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and Uri Kranot (Denmark), a filmmaker and the main tutor and content supervisor of AniDox:Lab.

The Sleepwalkers International Competition – with an award sponsored by Canon – will highlight the best live action fiction and documentary films. Running through a wide range of issues, from immigration to treatment of women to the power of social networks, the competition displays the vitality of the short film form and promises to give audiences a glimpse of some truly astounding cinema. The collection of shorts will include A Gentle Night (Dir. Qiu Yang, China), a delicate story of a woman looking for her daughter that won the Palme D’or for Best Short at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Also screening is Small Town [Cidade Pequena] (Dir. Diogo Costa Amarante, Portugal), a delicate and surreal examination of childhood lost innocence that won the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

The Sleepwalkers Student Competition – with an award presented by Playstation – will once again attempt to show that student films should not be dismissed with the notion that they are ‘practise before a real film’. This selection of live action shorts will display talents who will be taking cinema into the future with their bold visions. Amongst the delights to uncover will be Watu Wote (Dir. Katja Benrath, Germany), a powerful tale of distrust and hope in an age of terrorism, that recently won a Gold Medal at the Student Academy Awards. Audiences will also have the chance to see the European Premiere of Angelfish (Dir. Dane McCusker, Australia), a taut examination of dating and mating rituals.

The jury for both the Sleepwalkers International and Student Competition will consist of Rain Tolk (Estonia), the actor and director most known for starring in Autumn Ball, which was awarded the Orizzonti prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2007, Liene Linde (Latvia), the Latvian director whose latest short Seven Awkward Sex Scenes. Part One was chosen to be part of Future Frames at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and Enrico Vanucci (Italy), short film advisor at the Venice Film Festival and a short film programmer at Torino Short Film Market.

The Animated Dreams Student Competition – with a prize sponsored by Sony – is a selection of films that are exceptionally mature but still carry a freshness that is so hard to maintain in later years. The student films on offer will include Foreign Body (Dir. Marta Magnuska,Poland) an intriguing exploration of female bodily autonomy and a winner of the Grand Prize from the Holland Animation Film Festival. The mysterious and apocalyptic Sog by Jonatan Schwenk, is a winner of the student competitions at both Annecy and Palm Springs.

The jury of the Animated Dreams Student Competition will be comprised by Märt-Matis Lill (Estonia), head of Estonian Composers’ Union whose compositions can be heard in numerous films, theatrical and dance productions, Clémence Bragard (France), a programmer and general coordinator of the Festival national du film d’animation for AFCA and a moderator of Annecy International Animation Festival, and Aleksey Savinsky (Russia) an animation curator, the founder of St.Petersburg Theater Laboratory “Like Theater” and Insomnia animation festival.

For the first time, the  – with a prize sponsored by Overall – will see both animations and live action films competing side by side with two programmes consisting of some of the best new works coming out of Estonia. Amongst the films will be the World Premiere of Early Spring (Dirs. Rain Tolk & Gustaf Boman Bränngård, Estonia), a delicate coming-of-age tale co-directed by actor Rain Tolk. The animation program includes the premiere of Letting Go, a tribute to an orphan girl from the renowned Estonian animator Ülo Pikkov, and Chintis Lundgren’s tragicomic love triangle Manivald a film that has already been popular at several festivals including Annecy.

The jury will be made up of Reet Aus (Estonia), the fashion and costume designer well known for her work in fashion, theatre and film, Anna Zača (Latvia), a curator, programmer and project manager for Short Riga and Clémence Bragard (France), who also serves on the Animated Dreams Student Competition Jury.

The 2017 edition of PÖFF Shorts will take place from 21st-25th November 2017 at various venues around Tallinn, Estonia. It is a sub-festival of the Black Nights Film Festival which takes place 17th November – 3rd December 2017

Full programme will be revealed online by November 3rd. Passes for PÖFF Shorts are available now!

Full list of films in competition:

Sleepwalkers International Competition

A Gentle Night. Dir: Qiu Yang, China
Technical Break. Dir: Philip Sotnychenko, Ukraine
March 12th. Dir: Joe Morris, UK
No Man’s Land. Dir: Marius Olteanu, Romania
Wave. Dir: Benjamin Cleary, TJ O’Grady-Peyton, Ireland
A Story About My Eyes. Dir: Guido Hendrikx, Netherlands
The Cardboard Man. Dir: Michael Labarca, Venezuela
For Real Tho. Dir: Baptist Penetticobra, France
Boxing Girl. Dir: Iman Djionne, Senegal
Small Town. Dir: Diogo Costa Amarante, Portugal
Nightshade. Dir: Shady El-Hamus, Netherlands
Preparation. Dir: Sofia Georgovassili, Greece
Milk. Dir: Daria Vlasova, Russia
Ice. Dir: Anna Hints, Estonia
Stay Ups. Dir: Joanna Rytel, Sweden
Blueberry Spirits. Dir: Astra Zoldnere, Latvia
For A Good Time. Dir: Aaemilla Scott, USA
Retouch. Dir: Kaveh Mazaheri, Iran
Watchkeeping. Dir: Karolis Kaupinis, Lithuania
I Have Nothing To Say. Dir: Ling Yiang, Taiwan
Robot and Scarecrow. Dir: Kibwe Tavares, UK
Welcome Home Allen. Dir: Andrew Kavanagh, Australia
Calamity. Dir: Maxime Feyers, Séverine De Streyker, Belgium

Animated Dreams International Competition

Grandpa Walrus. Dir: Lucrèce Andreae, France
Among The Black Waves. Dir: Anna Budanova, Russia
On The Horizon. Dir: Izabela Bartosik, France, Switzerland
Tap Water. Dir: Lilli Carré, United States
Ugly. Dir: Nikita Diakur, Germany
I Want Pluto To Be A Planet Again. Dir: Marie Amachoukeli, Vladimir Mavounia Kouka. France
Aenigma. Dir: Antonis Ntoussias, Aris Fatouros, Greece
Hedgehog’s Home. Dir: Eva Cvijanovic, Canada, Croatia
Cupcake. Dir: Gina Kamentsky, United States
Life Cycles. Dir: Ross Hogg, United Kingdom
9 Ways to Draw a Person. Dir: Sasha Svirsky, Russia
Estate. Dir: Ronny Trocker, France, Belgium
Elegy. Dir: Paul Bush, United Kingdom, Switzerland
Dolls Don’t Cry. Dir: Frédérick Tremblay, Canada
Little Girl. Dir: Steven Subotnick, United States
And The Moon Stands Still. Dir: Yulia Ruditskaya, Belarus, Germany, United States
Negative Space. Dir: Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata, France
(Fool Time) JOB. Dir: Gilles Cuvelier, France
Persistence of Vision IV. Dir: Ismael Sanz-Pena, Norway
Drop By Drop. Dir: Laura Gonçalves, Alexandra (Xá) Ramires, Portugal
Airport. Dir: Michaela Müller, Switzerland, Croatia
Jungle Taxi. Dir: Hakhyun Kim, Japan, South Korea
Maned & Macho Shiva. Dir: Sadegh Asadi, Iran
Impossible Figures and Other Stories II. Dir: Marta Pajek, Poland
Wednesday with Goddard. Dir: Nicolas Menard, United Kingdom
Manivald. Dir: Chintis Lundgren, Estonia, Croatia, Canada
Rabbit’s Blood. Dir: Sarina Nihei, United Kingdom, Japan
The Empty. Dir: Dahee Jeong. France, South Korea
Orogenesis. Dir: Boris Labbé, Spain, France
Sleepy, Dir: Marta Monteiro, Portugal
My Father’s Room. Dir: Nari Jang, South Korea
Folly. Dir: Thomas Corriveau, Canada
The Tesla World Light. Dir: Matthew Rankin, Canada
Mark Lotterman – Happy. Dir: Alice Saey, France, Netherlands
The Full Story. Dir: Daisy Jacobs, United Kingdom
Deer Flower. Dir: Kangmin Kim, South Korea, United States
Lupus. Dir: Carlos Gomez Salamanca, Colombia
Stretch. Dir: Cagil Harmandar, Turkey, United States
Superbia. Dir: Luca Tóth, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia
The Blissfull Accidental Death. Dir: Negulici Sergiu, Romania
Setting West. Dir: Judith Poirier, Canada
The Gap. Dir: Patrick Vandebroeck, Belgium, Netherlands

Animated Dreams Student Competition

Apple Slices. Dir: Moe Koyano, Denmark
My Second Eye. Dir: Ahmad Saleh, Germany, Jordan, Palestine
Night Witches. Julie Baltzer, Denmark
Fall. Dir: Ollie Magee, United Kingdom
Barbeque. Dir: Jenny Jokela, United Kingdom
678. Dir: EunJin Park, Germany
Hunters. Dir: Cohen Amit, Israel
Freedom. Dir: Kathrin Steinbacher, Austria, United Kingdom
Moulinet. Dir: Sander Joon, Estonia
He so khero. Dir: Aline Höchli, Switzerland
Foreign body. Dir: Marta Magnuska, Poland
Muteum. Dir: Äggie Pak Yee Lee, Estonia, Hong Kong SAR China
Oh Mother! Dir: Paulina Ziółkowska, Poland
Remember How We Used To Play? Dir: Matthias Cuciniello, United Kingdom
Race. Dir: Yan Dan Wong, United Kingdom
Ooze. Dir: Kilian Vilim, Switzerland
Tendrils. Dir: Helen Woolston, Estonia
Sog. Dir: Jonatan Schwenk, Germany
Microdistrict. Dir: Ivelina Ivanova, Bulgaria, United Kingdom
Tête à Tête. Dir: Natasha Tonkin, United Kingdom
“The Stranger” In My Head. Dir: Petra Balekić, Croatia
Summer’s Puke is Winter’s Delight. Dir: Sawako Kabuki , Japan

Sleepwalkers Student Competition

Present. Dir: Meg Campbell, United Kingdom
Corteza. Dir: Paloma Rincon, Colombia
The Law of Averages. Dir: Elizabeth Rose, Canada
The Gravedigger’s Daughter. Dir: Shira Gabay, Israel
After The Ispeguy Pass. Dir: Patrick Vuittenez, France
Faith. Dir: Tatiana Fedorovskaya, Russia
How To Become A Pope? Dir: Justyna Mytnik, Poland
Not Yet. Dir: Arian Vazirdaftari, Iran
Strangers. Dir: Jonathan Behr, Germany
Leftovers. Dir: Yael Zafrir, Israel
State of Emergency. Dir: Tarek Roehlinger, Germany
Molotov Man. Dir: Joris Weerts, Netherlands
Watu Wote. Dir: Katja Benrath, Germany
280KM. Dir: Zaher Jureidini, Lebanon
The Sun of The Sleepless. Dir: Akaki Popkhadze, France
Elegy. Dir: Alba Tejero, Spain
I Am Free. Dir: Edvard Karijord, Bendik Mondal, Norway
Dobermann. Dir: Felix Schroeder, Germany
Close Relations. Dir: Anna Simakova, Russia
About the Birds and the Bees. Dir: J.J. Vanhanen, Finland
Angelfish. Dir: Dane McCusker, Australia
Approaching. Dir: Tereza Pospíšilová, Czech Republic
Nowness. Dir: Kristiina Tang, Estonia
Waltzing Tilda. Dir: Jonathan Wilhelmsson, Australia

PÖFF Shorts National Competition

Letting go. Dir: Ülo Pikkov, Estonia
Manivald. Dir: Chintis Lundgren, Estonia, Croatia, Canada
Pearfall. Dir: Leonid Shmelkov, Estonia
5th Round. Dir: Leander Meresaar, Estonia
A Table Game. Dir: Nicolás Petelski, Spain, Estonia
Moulinet. Dir: Sander Joon, Estonia
Tendrils. Dir: Helen Woolston, Estonia
Once in the Fields of Boredom. Dir: Teele Strauss, Estonia
Corner. Dir: Lucija Mrzljak, Estonia
Muteum. Dir: Äggie Pak Yee Lee, Estonia, Hong Kong SAR China
An Old Man And An Old Woman. An Erzya Story. Dir: Ülo Pikkov, Estonia
A Husband And A Wife. A Voitan Story. Dir: Mait Laas, Estonia
The Eyeless Hunter. A Khanty Story. Dir: Priit Pärn, Olga Pärn, Estonia
Attack of the Cyber Octopuses. Dir: Nicola Piovesan, Estonia
Early Spring. Dir: Rain Tolk, Gustaf Boman Bränngård, Estonia
Lembri Uudu. Dir: Eeva Mägi, Estonia
A Car Called Victory. Dir: Vladislav Mukovnin, Estonia
Recover Connection. Dir: Tõnis Pill, Estonia
Man To Man. Dir: Mihail Lustin, Estonia