In 2022, with the support of the Viru Film Fund, the Integration Foundation’s Estonian Language House in Narva implemented a bold and ambitious language learning project – its own film academy, which was followed by the birth and big screen premiere of a real feature film, Valik (Choice). This is the first professional feature-length film created in Narva and by its residents.
Additional information and movie trailer: integratsioon.ee/en/valik-choice
On 12 November, Valik will premiere in Kohtla-Järve as part of KinoFF, a side festival of PÖFF, and from 27 November, the film will be screened in Apollo cinemas in Ida-Viru County.
The film is the result of the language learning and integration project of the Film Academy of the Estonian Language House in Narva. Participants in the project passed a practical exam, after which the top ten were selected to be cast in the feature film.
Thanks to the film project, more than 40 people from Narva and ohter parts of Estonia got Estonian language practice, self-confidence, new skills, and friends.
The authors and screenwriters of the idea are Julia Viirsalu, a teacher at the Estonian Language House in Narva, and advisor at the Ministry of Culture Krismar Rosin. The film was shot with the help of local filmmakers: director Jelena Pazilina, composer and sound director Dmitri Piibe, cinematographer and editor Sofia Kostenkova, artist Tatjana Sonina, lighting designer Aleksei Zemskov, make-up artist Signe Viilop, producer Julia Viirsalu, and head of the Estonian language house in Narva Anna Farafonova as administrative director.
The protagonist is played by Anastasiia Pylaeva. Other cast members include Tanel Saar, Aleksandr Zhilenko, Gerhard Saks, and Marina Malova, as well as graduates of the Film Academy of the Estonian Language House in Narva.
Inspired by a true story that took place in Narva in the late 90s, Valik (Choice) tells the story of a young border guard who must choose between love and the law.