The Little Comrade won the BNK Busan Bank Award at 2018 Busan International Film Festival
The opening film of the Estonian centenary programme, the debut feature film by Moonika Siimets, The Little Comrade won the audience award at one of the world’s most important film festivals in Busan, South-Korea.
„It truly took us by surprise that the story of our small country of Estonia touched the hearts of the audience at Asia’s biggest film festival so deeply, that they chose The Little Comrade to be their favorite. With all my heart, I thank everybody in Busan and Estonia. It is one of the most beautiful and biggest recognitions a director can receive, because where would we, film makers, be without our viewers,“ commented the film director Moonika Siimets just little after receiving the award.
The producer of The Little Comrade, Riina Sildos, commented from Busan that the film that won the hearts of Estonians also earned an exceptionally warm reception in South-Korea. „ All the filmmakers present in Busan said that the audience in Busan was exceptionally warm, attentive, active and knowledgeable. The viewers knew to ask very precise and detailed questions which were so numerous that we didn’t even manage to answer all of them. Everybody praised the young lead actress Helena Maria Reisner, the work of the art director and of course Moonika Siimets,“ said Sildos. „As Estonians and Koreans share a similar past, the audience was very emotional. You could see and feel that locals were touched by the theme of the film,“ added the producer of the film.
The audience prize, Busan Bank Award, is chosen from ten films that also belong to Flash Forward, the competition programme devoted to future filmmakers. All together, over thirty films competed in that programme. The winning film receives an award of 20 000 US dollars, out of which 10 000 are granted to the director and the other half is allocated for distributing the film in Korea.
In Estonia, The Little Comrade has reached 116 000 viewers. Considering that many more screenings at festivals all over the world are to come, The Little Comrade holds the most international grasp among the films of the Estonian centenary programme.
Another film co-produced by Amrion was also chosen for the Busan Film Festival - „Mihkel“ (dir. Ari Alexander Ergis Magnússon, main cast: Pääru Oja, Kaspar Velberg, Atli Rafn Sigurðsson, Tómas Lemarquis, Maiken Schmidt). The film is made as a co-production between Iceland, Estonia and Norway and premieres in Estonia on October 18th 2018.
More information on Busan FF awards: http://www.biff.kr/eng/addon/10000001/page.asp?page_num=297
More information on Estonian centenary film programme: https://www.ev100.ee/en/films