SAT—November 9—11:00 AM
$14 ($10 ASF Members)
Festival Pass $110 ($80 ASF Members)
100 minutes. In Estonian and Russian with English subtitles.
Q&A with Moonika Siimet
The Little Comrade makes its NYC Premiere at the New York Baltic Film Festival, followed by a Q&A with director Moonika Siimets. In the midst of the worst years of Stalin’s reign of terror, six-year-old Leelo’s mother is sent to a prison camp. Haunted by her mother’s last words telling her to be a good girl, Leelo vows to always be on her best behavior. But this is not easy to do in the confusing grown-up world, particularly as her list of difficult questions just keeps growing: Why is the Estonian flag suddenly forbidden? Who is an enemy of the people? And what are the ladies in the salon laughing at? As Leelo searches for answers in the hope that it will bring her mother back, she soon learns that being a good citizen and being a good daughter are not always the same thing. Directed by Moonika Siimets (Estonia, 2018)
About the Director
Moonika Siimets is a talented Estonian director and scriptwriter. She graduated from the Baltic Film and Media School of Tallinn University and has attended Judith Weston’s scriptwriting and directing master classes in Los Angeles. She has directed award-winning documentaries, TV series, and short films, including Is It You? (2013) which screened at the Stockholm Film Festival, The Last Romeo (2013), and Pink Cardigan (2014). Her documentary credits include Report: Green Estonia (2007), Another Dimension (2012), Trendy Dog (2010), and World Champion (2009). In 2018 she was one of six women to direct a short film included in the omnibus documentary Roots. The Little Comrade (2018) is Siimets’ first narrative feature. It premiered at Busan IFF and received the BNK Busan Bank Award (Audience Award).
Festivals and Awards:
Busan IFF (Audience Award),
Waterloo Historical Film Festival (Grand Prix, Film Critics Award, Young Actress Award to Helena Maria Reisner)
Riga International Film Festival,
Nordic Film Days Lübeck (Best Feature Debut)
Minsk International Film Festival Listapad (Best Cinematography)
2019 New York Baltic Film Festival
ASF is pleased to co-present the second New York Baltic Film Festival at Scandinavia House with motion pictures from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. This year’s programming encompasses the theme of togetherness: on a personal level as well as in relationships and family history, and through the cooperation of various Baltic co-productions. It also shines through in films attempting to incorporate difficult or previously untold stories into contemporary national consciousness.
Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way — when over 2 million people stood together in human chain linking the 3 capitals of Talllinn, Riga and Vilnius to peacefully call for their independence from the Soviet Union — this year’s festival aims to highlight the diversity of stories that make up the Baltic States. As a chain is made up of links, so a nation is made up of stories.
The 2019 New York Baltic Film Festival is presented by Scandinavia House and organized by the Consulate General of Estonia, Consulate General of Lithuania and Consulate of Latvia in New York. Programming is supported by the Estonian Film Institute, National Film Center of Latvia, and Lithuanian Film Center. Funding for the festival is courtesy of the governments of the Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and by the generous donations of members of the Baltic community in New York. Additional support to the festival is provided by the Lithuanian Culture Institute, and the American Scandinavian Foundation.