2018 was a good year in terms of film production as well as cinema attendance

Posted on 23 October 2019, 11:00

According to Statistics Estonia, 34 full-length films were produced in Estonia in 2018, of which 22 were distributed in cinemas in the same year. Cinema attendance set a new record – 3.6 million visits, i.e. 275 visits per 100 inhabitants.

15 full-length feature films were produced last year, of which 12 were distributed in cinemas within the year. Four full-length feature films were made and released in 2018 under the Estonia 100 film programme: “The Little Comrade”, “The Riddle of Jaan Niemand”, “Take It or Leave It” and “Phantom Owl Forest”. “The Little Comrade” won the Estonian Film and Television Award for the best feature film. “Truth and Justice”, which broke attendance records, was released in 2019 and is not yet reflected in the statistics. In 2018, 18 full-length documentaries (10 were in cinemas in the same year) and one full-length animation (“Captain Morten and the Spider Queen”) were produced. 

Unlike full-length films, fewer short films were made compared to 2017. 34 short feature films, 52 short documentaries and 6 short animations were produced in 2018. A large proportion of short films were student films produced in Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School.

In addition to feature films, animations and documentaries, a considerable number of corporate films are produced in Estonia. In 2018, approximately 7,100 corporate films were made, the majority of which were advertising films or advertising clips (6,600). Besides advertising films, 286 promotional films, 177 educational films and 21 music videos were produced. 

In addition to film production, Estonian enterprises offer film services to foreign film producers. In 2018, Estonian companies provided almost 6,000 film services to foreign companies. The cost of the services amounted to 7.8 million euros net of VAT, which is more than twice as much as in the previous year. This rise has been facilitated by the new Film Estonia audio-visual production incentive. 404 films (incl. films that were produced before 2018) were shown in Estonian cinemas in 2018. 39 of the films were made in Estonia, 138 in the USA, 199 in European countries and 28 in other countries. According to Estonian Film Institute, the highest-grossing film in Estonia in 2018 was “Bohemian Rhapsody”, produced in collaboration between the UK and the USA, which grossed 883,100 euros. The highest-grossing Estonian film was “Class Reunion 2: A Wedding and a Funeral”, with box office earnings of 859,000 euros. Other high-grossing Estonian films were “Phantom Owl Forest” (605,400 euros) and “The Little Comrade” (563,700 euros). The average film ticket cost 5.70 euros.

Statistics Estonia surveys all the enterprises in the field of film production. Film enterprises submit data once a year on films produced, film services provided to foreign enterprises and income and costs of film production. The data on film distribution are collected by the Estonian Film Institute.