Autumn Ball
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    Autumn Ball

    Sügisball

    Directed by

    Estonia

    2007

    123 min

    • Estonian

    Drama

    AUTUMN BALL talks about six inhabitants of Soviet-era tower blocks whose lives touch together, and who are all united by a feeling of loneliness. The young writer, Mati, lurks outside the window of his ex-wife and unsuccessfully approaches other women. August Kask is a bachelor-barber living a drab life who takes to a little girl, but his approaches are misconstrued as pedophilia. The single mom, Laura, watches a sappy soap opera on TV and pushes away men’s advances because she cannot trust them. Maurer, the architect, thinks about the wellbeing of humanity, but has forgotten his own wife, who, in turn, looks for solace in the coatroom attendant Theo. Women like Theo, but due to his low social status, they don’t take him seriously.

    Awards

    Show All Awards Show Less Awards
    • Best Director - Bratislava IFF
    • Grand Prize - Brussels IFF
    • Golden Moon of Valencia - Cinema Jove - Valencia IFF
    • Special Critics Award - Lisbon & Estoril FF
    • Golden Star - Marrakech IFF
    • Don Quixote Award, Estonian Film Award, Estonian Film Critics Award, Jury Prize, Best Actress (Maarja Jakobson), Prize of the Postimees Jury, Special Jury Prize - Tallinn Black Nights FF
    • Best Director - Thessaloniki IFF
    • Best Cinematography - Transilvania IFF
    • Orizzonti Award - Venice IFF

    Festivals

    Credits

    Cast
    Rain Tolk
    Taavi Eelmaa
    Tiina Tauraite
    Maarja Jakobson
    Mirtel Pohla as Jaana
    Sulevi Peltola
    Iris Persson
    Juhan Ulfsak
    Ivo Uukkivi
    Katariina Lauk
    Paul Laasik
    Screenplay
    Veiko Õunpuu
    Cinematography
    Mart Taniel
    Editing
    Veiko Õunpuu
    Music
    Ülo Krigul

    Director's Statement

    "When you are up to your neck in shit, the only thing to do is to sing." (Samuel Beckett)

    What I wanted to do is to find a somewhat loose dramatic structure, almost like a flow of events. So that the outcome would be simple yet not boring, seemingly almost random yet making sense in the end. As to the subject of the film, which simply put is the existential solitude of man, I have not much to say. It is hard to make a film about such a thing without drowning oneself in tears and therefore I found it necessary to sustain an ironic attitude towards the subject matter. In the end, I think it is a simple film but not outright stupid, empathical but not overtly sentimental. An ice pick through the heart of self-pity but inserted with a gentle thrust and with all the best intentions in mind.

    Production
    HOMELESS BOB PRODUCTION
    Production
    KUUKULGUR FILM
    Production
    TUGEV TUUL FILMS
    Sales
    LEVELK

    Press

    A mildly piquant experience.

    Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant Magazine

    Emboldened by alcohol and steeped in despair, the characters in Sugisball lunge for love but would settle for understanding.

    Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

    Veiko Õunpuu

    Veiko Õunpuu

    Estonia

    To me, a good film is essentially something “Wagnerian”: both wurst and schnitzel on the same plate. There must be excesses, reconciled extremes, naiveté and disillusionment combined, and executed almost in bad taste.

    Veiko’s debut AUTUMN BALL (2007) was awarded in Venice Orizzonti in 2007. For his second film THE TEMPTATION OF ST. TONY (2008) he received the European Talent Award in 2008. The film premiered at Sundance and Rotterdam. In 2008, he was chosen as one of the 100 most intriguing contemporary film directors in the book 10-10 in Film by Phaidon Publishing. Veiko’s feature FREE RANGE - BALLAD ON APPROVING OF THE WORLD (2014) premiered in Berlinale in 2014. His latest film, THE LAST ONES (2020), was selected at Les Arcs’ Works in Progress, then awarded at Tallinn Black Nights FF as the Best Baltic Feature, and is Estonia’s official submission to the 93rd Academy Awards.

    Selected Filmography