Exit’s ''Taarka'' makes international entrance at Hamburg

Article published on Sept. 23, 2008
Article published on Sept. 23, 2008
Taarka, the directorial debut of Estonian theatre director Ain Mäeots will have its international premiere at the Hamburg International Film Festival (September 25-October 2). Produced by Anneli Ahven for Exit Film and based on true events, the film is a portrait of a strong personality, the singer Hilana Taarka (1856-1933).
A rebellious single mother of four children who spoke and sang in ‘Seto’, a dialect of Finnic South Estonian found on the border with Russia, while she earned international acclaim in her lifetime, Taarka was not honoured in her homeland until long after her death.

“For me, Taarka is not so much a story about a singer of one small nation, but a story about a conflict between an individual and a community, and choices that derive from that,” said Mäets. The first film in the Seto language was released in Estonia mid-July and has sold some 8,000 admissions in four weeks from three screens.

One of Estonia’s most established production houses, Exit Film is run by producer/director Peeter Urbla (Shop of Dreams [trailer]) and Ahven. The company was minority co-producer on Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää’s dark thriller The Visitor. The Venice Days 2008 title (see news) was produced by Helsinki Filmi (Finland) in co-production with Propeller Film (Germany) and Blue Light (UK).

Other films in development or production include a musical documentary about well-known contemporary music composer Erkki-Sven Tüür and a new romantic comedy by Rainer Sarnet (Where Souls Go).

Annika Pham