The film Valik (Choice), produced at the initiative of the Integration Foundation’s Estonian Language House in Narva, had its gala premiere at the opening ceremony of KinoFF, a side festival of PÖFF, in Kohtla-Järve. The film is the result of the language learning and integration project of the film academy of the Estonian Language House in Narva and is the first professional feature film created in Narva and by its residents. After the premiere, the film will be screened in Apollo cinemas in various Estonian cities.
In spring 2022, the Estonian Language House in Narva launched a film academy project, in which 38 Estonian language learners were able to hone their language skills in a new way, gaining new knowledge in the field of film and learning acting. They were guided by professionals who have proven themselves in the Estonian theatre and film world. Following the final exam of the film academy, the top 10 got a part in the feature film Valik.
‘The purpose of the Estonian Language Houses is to offer language learners an Estonian-language environment where they can learn and practice communicative language not only in traditional courses, but also through non-formal learning – learning the language and getting to know Estonian culture by various joint activities,’ said Anna Farafonova, the Head of the Integration Foundation’s Estonian Language House in Narva.
The creative team of the film featured professionals as well as Estonian language teachers and learners. The creation of the film was supported by the Viru Film Fund.
The authors of the idea and screenwriters are Julia Viirsalu, a teacher at the Estonian Language House in Narva, and Krismar Rosin, an adviser at the Ministry of Culture. The film was shot by local filmmakers: director Jelena Pazilina, composer and sound director Dmitri Piibe, cameraman and editing director Sofja Kostenkova, designer Tatjana Sonina, lighting technician Aleksei Zemskov, make-up artist Signe Viilop, producer Julia Viirsalu, and Anna Farafonova, Head of the Estonian Language House in Narva as administrative director.
Anastasiia Pylaeva plays the protagonist. In addition to her, the film also stars Tanel Saar, Aleksandr Zhilenko, Gerhard Saks, Marina Malova, and people who graduated from the film academy of the Estonian Language House in Narva.
The plot of the feature film Valik is based on actual events from the late 90s and tells the story of a young border guard who must choose between love and the law.
The film will be on the big screens from 27 November. Film sessions will take place in Narva, Jõhvi, Pärnu, and Tallinn.
Additional information, the trailer, and other visual materials can be found at integratsioon.ee/valik.