Just Film is a children’s and youth film festival that forms part of the Black Nights Film Festival also known as PÖFF. It comprises a competition programme and special programmes of films aimed at children and young people. The Just Film festival is held every November, just like PÖFF. It showcases movies that even the biggest film fans might not otherwise get to see – some that will make you cry, some that will make you laugh, and some that could just change your life. The festival offers something for audiences of all ages. Around 50 films are screened each year. In terms of audience numbers the festival has become one of the most popular children’s and youth events in Estonia, with around 12,000 movie lovers attending screenings every year.


PÖFF, which was launched in 1996, has gone on to become one of the most important cultural events not only in Estonia, but anywhere in the Baltics. Just Film has grown in much the same way – it is now the biggest children’s and youth film festival in the region.

First held in 2001, the Just Film festival today is the equal of any of its peers. At first it was a modest undertaking, with the team behind PÖFF asking four enthusiastic youngsters to put together a festival of films for kids and young people.

The festival’s first director, Elen Lotman, fostered it for a further eight years. The programme of films it offered grew each year, as did audience numbers – drawing in viewers not just from Tallinn, but much further afield.


Just Film’s original home was the Puppet Theatre, and it was here that the festival’s films were first shown. The Sõprus cinema also showed films, hosting the street culture programme. However, by the time the 8th festival came around Just Film had outgrown both venues, so it had no choice but to relocate to the larger Kosmos cinema. But as fate would have it, the festival only spent one year at the cinema: the nearby Solaris shopping and entertainment centre and multiplex cinema (initially called Cinamon, but later simply renamed Solaris) was soon to open. After a successful first year at Solaris, the festival expanded again, also showing on screens at Coca-Cola Plaza – and these two cinemas remain the homes of Just Film today.


To date, Just Film has brought 436 full-length movies to Estonian screens, among them those of world-famous directors such as Gus van Sant, Vanessa Jopp and Tony Key. And it’s not only famous names that have graced the festival, but famous films, too: audiences have been thrilled by the adventures of Harry Potter and astounded by the battles between the werewolves and the vampires in the Twilight saga. Movie lovers young and old have also had the chance to enjoy new versions of such films as Finding Nemo and The Lion King.


Just Film has always had two main programmes: one for children’s films and one for young adults. But there have been quite a number of special programmes as well, the longest-standing of which is the street culture programme. More recent additions have includes the Vitamin programme and the special programme on the rights of children and youth, which made its debut in 2011.




Best youth film: SNACK BAR (Germany 2012) – Director: Meral Uslu

Best children’s film: ALFIE, THE LITTLE WEREWOLF (The Netherlands 2011) – Director: Joram Lürsen


Best youth film: KILLING BONO (United Kingdom 2010) – Director: Nick Hamm

Best children’s film: RED DOG (Australia 2011) – Director: Kriv Stenders


Best youth film: HOLD ME TIGHT (Denmark 2010) – Director: Kaspar Munk

Best children’s film: HOW TO LIVE FOREVER (United Kingdom 2010) – Director: Gustavo Ron


Best youth film: VEGAS (Norway 2009) – Director: Gunnar Vikene

Best children’s film: A SHINE OF RAINBOWS (Ireland/Canada 2009) – Director: Vic Sarin


Best youth film: THE MAN WHO LOVED YNGVE (Norway 2008) – Director: Stian Krisiansen

Best children’s film: MAX MINSKY AND ME (Germany 2007) – Director: Anna Justice


Best youth film: THIS IS ENGLAND (United Kingdom 2006) – Director: Shane Meadows

Best children’s film: ARCTIC TALE (United States 2007) – Directors: Adam Ravetch & Sarah Robertson


Best youth film: THE CLOUD (Germany 2006) – Director: Gregor Schnitzler

Best children’s film: WE SHALL OVERCOME (Denmark 2006) – Director: Niels Arden Oplev


Best youth film: POPULAR MUSIC (Sweden/Finland 2004) – Director: Reza Bagher

Best children’s film: THE COLOUR OF MILK (Norway 2004) – Director: Torun Liani


Best youth film: ELEPHANT (United States 2003) – Director: Gus van Sant

Best children’s film: IN ORANGE (The Netherlands 2004) – Director: Joram Lürsen


Best youth film: EVIL (Sweden 2003) – Director: Mikael Håfström

Best children’s film: THE FLYING CLASSROOM (Germany 2003) – Director: Tomy Wigand


Best youth film: ONE-WAY TICKET TO MOMBASA (Finland 2002) – Director: Hannu Tuomainen

Best children’s film: MY SISTER’S KIDS (Denmark 2002) – Director: Tomas Villum Jensen


Best children’s and youth film: ENGEL & JOE (Germany 2001) – Director: Vanessa Jopp