PÖFF : 2021 : BNFF
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival sets new attendance record with a boost from online industry events
Hannes Aava

The festival estimates that 101 833 physical and virtual attendances took place setting a record for the industry events which saw over 35 000 virtual attendances, resulting from a record of 1600 accredited professionals.

As anticipated by the festival’s team, the ticket sales saw a notable drop this year with over 34 000 physical attendances and an estimated 19 000 virtual film viewings*, compared to last year’s 70 000 physical cinema attendances. The festival’s professionals’ film-watching platform had 9779 viewings.

A major shift took place with the virtual event attendances as Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event had over 800 virtual accreditations – a new record – and made several events available online without accreditation as well, including it’s a most popular event – the European Film Forum.
This resulted in over 3000 virtual attendances on the Elisa Stage platform, while the overall virtual attendance, including the virtual opening and closing ceremony transmission and nearly a hundred Q&A’s and interviews made for the PÖFF TV, rose to 35 478.

With mentions in over 6000 articles in 71 languages detected by the Meltwater media monitoring service, the global potential media audience of the festival of 2020 stands at around 9.1 billion. The festival accredited 161 journalists (68 foreign) and over 26 bloggers, while only 15 foreign journalists were able to attend the events physically this year due to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements.

Black Nights director Tiina Lokk commented: „It was a most difficult year and edition that will be remembered for a long time! What we suffered in loss of revenue, we made up in terms of global visibility – reaching completely new people this year thanks to going virtual. I believe that online is here to stay, though it will not beat the experience of physical attendance which will still very much remain our focus in the future!“

Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event director Marge Liiske commented: “Having organised a record attendance numbers' virtual industry event over five consecutive days in three parallel broadcasting channels, project presentations and meetings, showed us the potential of online in the future. We also feel really grateful for the industry professionals having such a strong sense of community and a powerful will of collaboration. I hope to meet and thank you all in person in 2021!”

• 101 833 attendances
• Over 34 000 physical attendances
• Over 35 000 virtual industry attendances
• 646 physical screenings
• Number of films at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival: 172 feature-length, 15 short films, 13 series.
• Number of films at Youth and children’s film festival Just Film: 42 feature-length films
• Number of films at PÖFF Shorts: 171 short films and 132 animations
• Premieres at Tallinn Black Nights: 35 world, 30 international, 9 European
• Premieres at Just Film: 3 world, 2 international, 1 European
• 1600 accredited professionals, guests, press
• Over 160 accredited journalists, out of which 66 were foreign, 15 foreign journalists attended physically.
• Physically attending guests: foreign 85, Estonian 125
• Budget 1.7 million euros