World Film Festival 2018 March 12, 2018

Pille Runnel, festival director

Dear friends of the World Film Festival,
This year, we are bringing you the 15th World Film Festival.

In the last years, film audiences have become increasingly home-centred, as various online film platforms and television channels are just a click away. All you have to do is to make some tea, find a cosy seat and a journey to other people in some faraway corner of the world can begin.

It seems to me though that in this process, film festivals are becoming increasingly important. Why? Because they are becoming places, where one can meet with other film enthusiasts and step out of one’s daily life, where watching the film might be reduced to just a half an hour break between washing the dishes and doing some homework for school. A film festival enables to step out and stay for a while in this space created specifically for highlighting wonderful, thoughtful and sometimes slightly smirking film stories.

World Film Festival continues to be an festival which programming relies on visual anthropology and academic background of many of the filmmakers. In the program, artistic and academic knowledge and approach to the world meet in a fruitful way, thus creating a ground for public debates. Throughout the years, the festival has remained the place for watching these stories, which the mainstream media often does not screen, and
stories you are not able to find online by yourself. It is also a place where you can meet many filmmakers and a place, where many memorable conversations happen (and sometimes, life-changing ideas!). It depends mostly on you, the participants.

In collaboration with the Center for Applied Anthropology of Estonia we carried out a small study, asking how the World Film Festival is perceived by the audiences and what is expected of this event. The study confirmed that people who are already familiar with the event, do not see it as a regular documentary festival. One comes to the event to experience a diversity of cultures and close-to reality experiences, which one can digest and discuss with friend and acquaintances attending the event as well. There were visitors who had realised during the previous years that the films screened, particularly their anthropological approach to different ways of lives and world views sometimes enable to look into oneself and find solutions for one’s questions and dilemmas through that comparison. Probably the courage to do that is supported by the fact that besides and instead of the stories „based on real life“ and sometimes suggesting a strong message from the author of the film, one can find many films in the program, which consciously apply an open-ended approach. If done well, this leaves enough space for the audiences and their interpretations. Many such films are a also part of this year’s program.

The festival team and the organisers – The Estonian National Museum and the NGO Worldfilm Society – would like to thank the supporters of the festival. This involves our funders and partners the Estonian Film Institute and Tartu City. We also would like to thank our strategic cooperation partners – design studio Fraktal, Elektriteater, NGO Mondo and the festival volunteers.

Have a wonderful week at the festival!