Film production is in full swing in Estonia, but admissions have decreased by a half (corrected on 25.10.2021)

Posted on 25 October 2021, 8:00

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2020, there were 25 full-length films produced in Estonia, including 12 feature films, 12 documentaries and one animation.

The sentence marked in red has been corrected.

The number of short films (less than 60 minutes in length) produced last year was 117, of which 47 were feature films, 50 were documentaries and 20 were animations. Student films accounted for a majority of film production.

According to Kaire Raasik, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, film production in 2020 was in the same range as in previous years, while admissions dropped by a half compared to 2019.

Film production, 2017–2020

“The corona pandemic and shutting down of cultural facilities have hit hard both cinemas and film producers. While admissions set a record in 2019, reaching 3.7 million, cinema visits dropped by a half last year, totalling 1.8 million, which is 135 visits per 100 hundred people,” said Raasik.

Cinema admissions, 2000–2020

The most popular film last year was “Tenet”

In 2020, there were 368 films screened in Estonia, of which 34 were produced in Estonia and 334 were foreign-produced. The most-watched film in cinemas last year was “Tenet”, with an attendance of 160,927. The Estonian film “Talve” ranked second, with 151,137 admissions, and the third was animation “Sipsik” with 107,496 viewers.

Compared to 2019, there were 60 less films screened in cinemas. The average ticket price went up slightly in a year: last year a ticket cost on average 6 euros, compared to 5.9 euros in 2019.

According to last year’s cultural participation survey, every second person aged 15 and older went to the cinema at least once. “The most eager cinemagoers were 1524-year-olds. 80% of them watched a film in cinema,” added Raasik.

Comedies, documentaries and dramas are the most preferred

According to Kaire Raasik, more than a half of cinemagoers were satisfied with the current choice of films in Estonia. ”One in ten cinemagoers would like to see more films by Estonian authors, but there were as many who would prefer to see even more foreign production. A quarter of cinemagoers would like to have a larger selection of films regardless of their origin,” explained Raasik.

In terms of genre, mainly comedies are preferred (60%), followed by documentaries (53%) and dramas (50%). Interest in art films is the lowest (16%). Differences in film preferences appear also by age and gender. “Both men and women like to see comedies and documentaries, but women’s top three also includes dramas and men’s top three includes thrillers. Older people are less likely to watch comedies, thrillers, science fiction and horror films and prefer more serious genres such as dramas and documentaries,” said Raasik.

Statistics Estonia surveys all the enterprises in the field of film production. Film enterprises submit data once a year on films produced as well as on the income and costs of film production. The year shown in the end credits is considered the year of production. The data on film distribution are collected by the Estonian Film Institute. The cultural participation survey is conducted by Statistics Estonia every three years. The most recent data are for 2020.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.

See also the section on cinema and film production.


For further information:

Kadri Kütt
Media Relations Manager

Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181

Photo: Shutterstock