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Documentary-based animation about a dream that eventually comes true in a film.
A 10-uear old girl longed for a puppy as a birthday present. Her dissappointment was very big when instead puppy she got father she had no idea he was still alive. This documentary based film tells a story about a very long-standing dream that kept him alive through many years and actually will come true only now, through this film.

Empty Space invokes a past memory, an apartment that once existed, and a small girl dwelling and playing there. It presents a story forged in the dreams of the father hiding from Soviet terror. Empty Space is a reconstruction of a vision on the backdrop of the anxieties of the 1950s in Soviet Union.
In 1944, Leonhard Lina (1914–1994), a former officer of Estonian Defence Forces, went into hiding to avoid capture and imprisonment. Trapped in a small hollow in the double ceiling of a potato storage and longing for his home, he built a miniature replica of it. He crafted altogether 217 tiny pieces of furniture and household items. The doll furniture was meant as a present for his daughter, Merike, whom he’d been forced to leave only a few months after her birth. Using whatever materials he could get, Leonhard made for her a perfect copy of their former apartment. Merike was already 10 years old when she finally got her present, after Leonhard received a message that he is not being accused of anything and can come out of hiding. By that time, Leonhard had been underground for 10 years.
Empty Space invokes a past memory, an apartment that once existed, and a small girl dwelling and playing there. It presents a story forged in the dreams of the father hiding in the potato storage. Empty Space is a reconstruction of a vision on the backdrop of the anxieties of the 1950s – the aftermath of the war, the mass deportations, the forced collectivization, the ambushing of the Forest Brothers.
The sets of the film use Leonhard Lina’s original doll furniture and a puppet fashioned after Merike’s childhood photos. Empty Space draws on interviews with Leonhard Lina’s daughter Merike.

Special thanks to...:
Täname Tartu Mänguasjamuuseumi


2017/ 19th Ismailia International Film Festival Egypt 19.-25.04.

2017/ 41th Annecy International Animation Film Festival France 12.-17.06.

2017/ Estonian programe Anilogue Hungary

2017/ FILMFEST Badalona Film Festival Spain 20.-29.10.

2017/ International New Animation Films& Cartoon Film Festival USA

2017/ 6th Be there! Corfu Animation Festival Greece 29.03.-02.04.

2017/ Animac- 21th International Animation Film Exhibition Lleida Catalonia Spain 02.-05.03.

2017/ 6th Animation Short Film Festival ANIMACAM Coruna Spain 10.-27.01.

2017/ Animation and Video Games Festival BLON Klaipeda Lithuania 02.-07.02.

2017/ MONSTRA – Lisbon Animated Film Festival Portugal 16.-26.03.

2017/ Los Angeles Skandinavian film Festival USA 14.-22.01.

2016/ 13th International Animated Film Festival ANIMATEKA Ljubljana Slovenia 05.-11.12

2016/ Piccolo festival of Animazione Pordenone,Trieste Italy Dec.

2016/ 18th International Animation Film festival ANIMATED DREAMS Tallinn Estonia 16.-20.11.

2016/ 15th Reggio Film Festival Italy 10.- 13.10.

2016/ Fredrikstad Animation Festival Norway 10.-13.11.

2016/ 2nd Manchester Animation Festival UK 15.-17.11.

2016/ 40th International Animated Film Festival CINANIMA Espinho Portugal 07.-13.11.
Grand Panorama – International Non-Competitive Programme- Animated Mermaid

2016/ London International Animation Festival (LIAF) UK 02.-11.12.
Animated Documentaries programme

2016/ The Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival Quebeck Canada 16.-18.09.

2016/ 12th World Festival of Animated Film Varna Bulgaria 7. –11.09.

2016/ 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF ) UK 15.-26.06.

Articles about the film:

1.Merike met her father for the first time when she was ten years old.

2 While he was hiding from the Soviet terror during the years 1944 - 1954,
Merike’s father constructed a miniature copy of his former home,
hoping to one day give it to his daughter as a present.

3. “All I knew was that my father was dead. And then I got
this surprise - my father suddenly appeared and gave me
the doll furniture as a present! But I was also a little disappointed.
The furniture was beautiful, but I was already a big girl
and didn’t play with dolls any more...”

Creation techniques: ümarnukk/classical puppet
Year of production: 2016
Duration: 10'
Original format: 2K
Colours: colour  
Sound format: dolby stereo  
Genre: Author film  
Target audience: adults  
Script: Ülo Pikkov
Direction: Ülo Pikkov
Camera: Raivo Möllits
Design: Anu-Laura Tuttelberg
Animation: Marili Sokk
Music: Pärt Uusberg
Sound: Horret Kuus
Decoration prepatarion: Ene Mellov, Anne Kabel, Katariina Aule, Heigo Eeriksoo
CGI composer: Mait Erik, Roman Kuznetsov
Digital postproduction: Raivo Möllits
Make up: Anu-Laura Tuttelberg
Editing: Ülo Pikkov, Raivo Möllits
Light: Volli Voronov
Producer: Kerdi Oengo
Production assistant: Maret Reismann
Produced by: Nukufilm OÜ/Andrus Raudsalu

  Film Workshop
In Nukufilm Studios there has been filmed the first digital stereocpical stop-animation puppet-film ever, together with Moscow Film and Photo Technology Reseach Institute NIKFI. NIKFI has come up with a special technology for making stereoscopical films and they have been awarded with Oscar in 1991...
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