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HÕFF will take place online

In the light of the on-going emergency situation in Estonia caused by COVID-19, the Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival (HÕFF) organisers have announced that the 15th edition of the festival will take place online, running from the 8th until the 10th of May. 
 
The virtual edition of HÕFF will be screening around 20 films, roughly around two-thirds of the initially planned programme. The platform will be provided by the telecommunication company Elisa – the principal partner of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival that also organises the Haapsalu festival. As HÕFF is part of the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation, the short horror and fantasy film competition will also move online,  the winner of which will be nominated for the Méliès d’Or or Golden Méliès Award for Best European Fantasy Film. 
 
HÕFF will also include virtual Q&A’s with filmmakers, a virtual festival opening ceremony that is also a theme-costume competition and online panels designated for both fans and genre industry professionals.
 
Helmut Jänes, the head of HÕFF commented: ‘We’ve been closely monitoring the events unfolding in the world and have devised a formula that we believe will work best for us! We are very grateful for other events like CPH: DOX and Vilnius IFF for sharing their experiences of organising a digital event – it’s been extremely valuable for us! Nothing will replace a physical film festival, however, we’ve received a positive signal from the filmmakers and have decided to move forward.’’
 
“We will do our best to ensure that this year’s festival will not become an ordinary virtual video rental but retains as much of its uniquely cool atmosphere as possible. We’ll put a lot of effort into conveying as much as possible the emotion that comes with the film festival, hoping that next year we will be able to show the films again on the big cinema screen,” he added.
 
According to the Head of the TV in Elisa Silver Soomre, it is important to provide better opportunities for entertainment and culture in the current situation. “Until now, people have needed to find a way to visit Haapsalu in order to see the films, then this year, they can follow the high-quality movies from home all around Estonia. Thanks to the platform, people who are not living in the capital city or in main cities,” he said.
 
HÕFF will announce the updated programme on 30th of April. Although the festival is publicly geographically limited, we encourage all journalist to contact the press department to mediate communication with the film’s representatives for screener links for potential reviews.

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