The short film "What's Up With Numbats?" competes at the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards

Elina Reinold Viivises
Tudengifilm "Viivis"

The short film "What's Up With Numbats?" by Elis Rumma, who is studying to become a director at the Institute of Baltic Film, Media and Arts (BFM) of Tallinn University, has been nominated for the Sony Future Filmmaker award. The SFF Awards is a competition program organized by Creo and Sony, where short films are awarded in six categories. "Late" is nominated in the category of feature films.

Short film "What's up with Numbats?" (12:37 min, 2023) tells the story of two librarians, Eve (Elina Reinold) and Leida (Luule Komissarov), who solve crosswords while at work and argue about anteaters. To resolve the dispute, help is sought from the book, but it is not there. Now you have to find who has the book? The film is a compact short film with inventive and comedic elements that cleverly conveys various characters and settings.

On behalf of BFM, the film team includes director Elis Rumma, screenwriter Paula Üleoja, cameraman Joosep Ivask, artist Kätleen Noormägi, editing director Karl-Olaf Olmann, sound director Karel Lagle and producer Margareth Villers. The youth's instructors are producer Anneli Ahven, director Peeter Simm, cameraman Mait Mäekivi, editing master Madli Lääne-Metsalu and sound director Tiina Andreas. Among the students, the artist Kätleen Noormägi has already graduated, the other students are graduating this summer.

The director of the film, Elis Rumma, says that he is blown away by the success of the film and still doesn't quite understand what is going on. "It feels incredible!" she is happy that a student film can stand out among others. "We've been to a few festivals now and every time it's been genuinely happy and also a bit embarrassing when someone finds you after the cinema screening and dares to say that they liked the film. Embarrassing, I guess, because we never dreamed of it," says Rumma, who also praises his team. Producer Margareth Villers adds that none of the team could have dreamed of such success and this experience is invaluable. "I am extremely happy that the Estonian film is being noticed worldwide, and it will certainly create a good springboard and give more motivation to the entire team, where everyone is at the end of their schooling and just taking their first steps in the real film industry. And of course, it is also a good example that it is worth dreaming always big, no matter how impossible something seems at the moment," says Villers.

At the SFF Awards, 8,400 films from 158 countries applied, of which only 30 were selected for the final selection. The short film "What's Up With Numbats?" competes in the category of narrative films and is also the only film from the Baltic countries participating in the competition. In addition to Estonia, short films from Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Thailand, England, Uruguay and America made it to the 30.

The judging panel includes award-winning British theatre, television and film director Justin Chadwick, Sony Pictures Classics co-founders and presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, award-winning British cinematographer Rob Hardy, director Unjoo Moon, director-cinematographer Robert Primes and cinematographer Kate Reid.

The event will take place on the 28th - 31st. May in USA, Los Angeles. Joosep Ivask, the film's operator, and Margareth Villers, the producer, will travel there from the BFM team. They will take part in both the award ceremony and the four-day workshop programme.