This Sunday saw Estonian director Eeva Mägi's short film "The Weight of All the Beauty" (Estonian title: "Süda Sõrve sääres") win the best short documentary prize at the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). The prize gives the documentary the right to run for an Oscar without a national competition.
"It was a great surprise as "Süda Sõrve sääres" is in a sense a very local documentary – filmed in Sõrve säär, a single village and featuring a single character. However, it is more evidence that a very personal film from the heart is still universal and can touch people on the other side of the world. Eeva's films always come from a very personal place and she has incredible courage to look these things straight in the eye," the documentary's producer Liis Nimik told ERR.
Nimik added that running for an Oscar is an even bigger surprise for the film crew and that they plan to take part in the entire Oscar rally.
Only one Estonian film has been able to run for an Oscar in this manner before – Ksenija Ohhapkina's "Immortal" ("Surematu") from last year.
"The Weight of All the Beauty" is a poetic documentary about men whose souls were full of beauty, fire and vitality but also boundless loneliness. These men lived in Põdra village in Sõrve säär, Saaremaa where their only playmate was the clever demon of drink. The main character Villi tells the story of how the demon tricked his friends into going with him.
The best short documentary category comes up from 24:40: