Estonian film fund Tallifornia launches with three international investments

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Tallifornia Film Fund, Estonia’s first private film investment fund, has launched at the country’s Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, with three initial investments including Estonia-Germany-UK co-production Sentinel.

The fund has been established by Estonian production company Tallifornia, and was announced at the European Film Forum industry event this week.

It will make a minimum of 15 equity investments in both Estonian and international film projects across four years.

The fund, which is financed entirely through private capital with participation from several Estonian investors, is managed by Tallifornia’s Rain Rannu and Tonu Hiielaid. It has £500,000 available for its first year, and will be making individual investments between £50,000 and £200,000. The three initial investments are all between £100,000 and £200,000.

According to the Tallifornia Fund, it “will add an equity investment component… to existing [Estonian] public funding, tax credit and local film funding schemes.”

Heading the investments is Sentinel, a sci-fi thriller from Estonian director Tanel Toom, in which four soldiers in a war-ravaged future man a remote ocean military base that separates two warring continents. It is produced by the UK’s Ben Pullen, Ivo Felt, Pippa Cross and Matt Wilkinson and written by the UK’s Malachi Smyth. All have been at the festival this week to encourage further UK-Estonian collaborations. 

Also receiving backing from the fund is Invisible Fight, a kung-fu comedy set in an Orthodox 1970s Soviet monastery. Written and directed by Rainer Sarnet, it is a co-production between Estonia, Latvia, Germany, Finland and Greece. Katrin Kissa is producing for Estonia’s Homeless Bob Productions.

The third investment is in Spanish-Estonian director Miguel Lanso’s Infinite Summer, a genre-bender that starts with the story of three young women’s week at the beach. It is produced by Tallifornia and US firm Savage Rose.

All three films are in post-production, having shot this autumn.

“It is a big step ahead for the Estonian film industry,” said Felt. “It is truly great to see that the fund is open for both young and more seasoned filmmakers.”

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