FRI—October 30—8 PM (EDT)



In coordination with the second weekend of the New York Baltic Film Festival (NYBFF) as a virtual event, ASF & NYBFF present a Virtual Film Panel with the three Baltic directors featured in the STRESS & RELEASE Baltic Thrillers Showcase: Vallo Toomla from Pretenders /Teesklejad; Jānis Nords from Foam at the Mouth /Ar putām uz lūpām; and Ignas Jonynas from Invisible /Nematoma, moderated by Maria Reinup. The panelists will discuss the making of their films, as well as contemporary Baltic cinema today.

Session passes to NYBFF: STRESS & RELEASE are available here.

This film panel will take place as a YouTube Premiere video; watch it here in the link below then, or follow the link to watch and chat with us during the event on YouTube.


About the Panelists

Vallo Toomla, born in 1983, is a young promising talent in Estonian cinema. He has studied theology in Tartu University and film directing at Baltic Film and Media School. He has been in versatile roles in front and behind the camera but is best known as a director. Vallo has directed five short films and a puppet animated film in one of the most recognized puppet animation companies in Europe –Nnukufilm. His student films have all been aired by Estonian Public Broadcasting and his short film “Devil’s Vaudeville” was in domestic cinema distribution. Already his first student work “Morbius “ was selected to international Student Festival “Sleepwalkers” at bnFF and won the Best Estonian Short Film award.
Jānis Nords – After extensively working as 1AD on various Latvian features and TV commercials, Janis Nords shot his feature debut Amateur in 2008. The film won Best Debut at the Latvian National Film Festival. The following year he co-wrote Return of Sergeant Lapins (directed by Gatis Smits), which premiered at Busan International Film Festival. He then studied film directing at National Film and Television School in Britain. In 2013 his second feature Mother, I Love You had the world premiere in Berlinale section Generation K Pluss where it received Grand Prix for Best Feature. The following two years Mother, I Love You received more than 15 national and international prizes, and was screened in more than 120 film festivals all over the world.
Ignas Jonynas studied Theatre and TV directing studies at Lithuania Academy of Music and Theatre (LMTA) . Has been working in film & theatre since 1993. In 2003wrote and directed SUNDAY AS IT IS -40 minutes feature which was screened at a number of film festivals. His short THE DANCING WORM won the Audience Award at the Circuitto of Venice International Short Film Festival in 2007 and the Best Photography Award at Luciana Film Festival. The first feature full-length film of Ignas as a writer and director THE GAMBLER had its World premiere at 61st San Sebastian Film Festival (New Directors) and was screened at more than 40 festivals and countries around the world. The film won the Special Jury Award at the 29th Warsaw Film Festival, 6 Silver Crane Awards in Lithuania (including Best Film Award), as well was awarded at 9th L’Europe Autour de l’Europe – Arthouse Film Festival of Paris, France (Prix Sauvage Competition, Special Jury Award and Prix Luna for Best Film) and 30th Festroia International Film Festival of Setúbal (Silver Dolphins for Best Script and Best Actor). Ignas Jonynas has also directed numerous plays at the theatres.

About the Moderator

Maria Reinup is a veteran film programmer who has been working in the film industry for the past decade. Reinup began with festival event management and shorts programming during her time in film school. She served as Director of the Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, the only genre film festival in the Baltics, for seven years. She programmed Black Nights Film Festival, the only A-list art house festival in Northern Europe and helmed What The Fest!? in New York as a Creative Director.

Over the years, she worked for notable film festivals like Fantasia and SXSW and has produced and directed short films and music videos. Having also worked on Hollywood films, she has now hidden away into the depth of mystical Estonia, writing her first feature film.