PÖFF Shorts is the short film section of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, which takes place around mid-November each year, kickstarting all the major FIAPF A-List accredited film festival events.
Set in Tallinn, Estonia’s capital, the festival features several competitions assessed by different juries — international live action, international animation, national and PÖFF Rebel Without a Cause — featuring a broad selection. The programming team, coordinated by film critic Laurence Boyce, aims to discover new films that have never premiered in the festival circuit and, at the same time, show some circuit favorites from the previous year to its local audience.
What is peculiar about PÖFF Shorts is how it is entangled inside the bigger Black Nights’ festival offer. Attendees can also benefit from a different “bubble” other than the one of the short film circuit, meaning that meetings with other kinds of professionals — for future projects, for instance — are possible during your stay. Moreover, since the outside temperature is usually decisively freezing, with lots of snow on the sidewalks and falling from the sky, the chances of bumping into someone interesting at the numerous industry events and parties are pretty high.
Pretty infamous is the so-called Tram Party. The guests are gathered and invited to join a private tram ride, where alcohol is served without remorse and music is played throughout the journey. Despite being straight-edge (no alcohol, smoke, or drugs), I can assure you I felt sick when leaving the tram as if I had finished an entire bottle of spirits myself. Some people call this fun; if you are one of those, this is an unmissable event, one of the defining and peculiar experiences that PÖFF Shorts has to offer.