The 17th Black Nights Film Festival, which tied up on December 1, screened 585 films in Tallinn and Tartu, and broke its 2011 audience record, this time attracting 77,500 viewers.The program included one world premiere as well as three European and 10 international premieres.
"Each year it becomes easier to gain access to films because the festivals prestige is growing in the world," head organizer Tiina Lokk said in a press release.
"We should also be proud of the fact that tens of renowned film directors, producers and actors found the time to come to Estonia," Lokk said.
The most watched movies were "Enough Said" (USA), "Three Many Weddings" (Spain) and "Amazonia" (Brazil-France). The audience favorites were "The Broken Circle Breakdown" (Belgium), "Three Many Weddings" (Spain), "Frances Ha" (USA), "Like Father, Like Son" (Japan) and "A Thousand Times Good Night" (Norway).
The festival's international judging panel gave the EurAsia best film award to the Italian-French movie "The Great Beauty." The Tridens Herring award went to Iceland's "Of Horses and Men" and the best Estonian film award went to "Tangerines."
The internationally acclaimed Tallinn Christmas Market opens its six-week run today, filling Town Hall Square with the sights, sounds and fragrances of the Yuletide season.
The market will be open every day from 10:00-19:00, with hot drinks served until 23:00. There is an entertainment program on Fridays from 17:00-19:00, and on weekends from 12:00-14:00.
Another place to get an early visit in with Santa Claus in Tallinn is the one-day International Christmas Bazaar this Sunday from 11:00-16:00 at the Radisson Blu Hotel. More than 20 embassies will be selling specialty products from all over the world. Every euro goes to children's and women's charities in Estonia.
Last week, as per tradition, a Christmas tree, this time 16 meters high and coming from the small town of Vaela, was set up in the middle of the square. A lighting ceremony will take place on Advent Sunday.
EDEN awards: promoting sustainability for six years
EDEN is an accolade that the European Commission has been giving out for six years now, awarding emerging destinations that have successfully contributed to sustainability and opening up tourism to everybody.
The goal of this year's EDEN awards is to give accessible tourism more visibility and to encourage other destinations across Europe to start following their example. In return, they will reap great benefits, because barrier-free tourism opens many new, sometimes niche, markets and attracts new clients. This in turn has a positive effect on economic growth and the jobs that come with it.
6. Haapsalu City, Estonia
The small, romantic 700-year-old seaside town of Haapsalu is situated on the West Coast of Estonia and has been called the Venice of the north. The town is just 100 kilometres away from Tallinn and is reputed for its historic, maritime ambiance, warm sea water, curative mud baths and friendly residents.
Accessibility: As a spa town and a city with a specialised school and care centre, Haapsalu has a long history of hosting people with disabilities. The local government and businesses are dedicated to improving accessibility in town. The Läänemaa Chamber of Disabled People is a local umbrella organisation that brings together disabled peoples' groups from across the country and regularly discusses accessibility issues.