The Fencer

Miekkailiija

A young man, Endel Nelis, arrives in Haapsalu, Estonia, in the early 1950s. Having left Leningrad to escape the secret police, he finds work as a teacher and founds a sports club for his students. Fencer is a film by Klaus Härö and it was nominated in Golden Globes and shortlisted for Oscars.

Endel becomes a father figure to his students and starts teaching them his great passion – fencing, which causes a conflict with the school’s principal. Envious, the principal starts investigating Endel’s backgrounD.

Endel learns to love the children and looks after them; most are orphans as a result of the Russian occupation. Fencing becomes a form of self-expression for the children and Endel becomes a role model. The children want to participate in a national fencing tournament in Leningrad, and Endel must make a choice: risk everything to take the children to Leningrad or put his safety first and disappoint them.

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INFO

Movie title

The Fencer

Original title

Miekkailija

Production year

2015

Genre

Drama

Length

99 min

Languages

Estonian, Russian, Armenian

Director

Klaus Härö

Screenplay

Anna Heinämaa

Cast

Endel

Märt Avandi

Kadri

Ursula Ratasepp

Marta

Liisa Koppel

Jaan's grandfather

Lembit Ulfsak

Awards

FINNISH ENTRY FOR THE OSCARS, SHORTLISTED FOR A BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OSCAR
2016

NOMINATED FOR A GOLDEN GLOBE IN BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM CATEGORY
2016

BERNHARD WICKI PEACE PRIZE
MUNICH GERMANY 2015

Festivals

Cambridge Film Festival, UK 2015

International Film Festival by the Sea, The Netherlands 2015

Cinefest Sudbury’s 27th Edition, Canada 2015

Beirut International Film Festival, Lebanon 2015
Festival du Film Historique Asbl, Belgium 2015
Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Nordic Focus, Brazil 2015
Kyoto Historica International Film Festival, Japan 2015
Arras Film Festival, France 2015
Northern Film Festival, The Netherlands 2015
Cairo International Film Festival, Egypt 2015
India International Film Festival, Goa, India 2015
Chennai International Film Festival, India 2015
AFI EU Showcase, Maryland/Washington D.C Area 2015
Una Finestra Sul Nord, Finnish Film Festival, part of the 50 days of International Cinema in Florence, Italy 2015
Palm Springs International Film Festival, California USA 2016
Nordic Lights Film Festival, Washington D.C. USA 2016
Santa Barbara Film Festival, USA 2016
Mill Valley Film Festival, California, USA 2016
Chennai International Film Festival, India 2016
Göteborg Film Festival, Sweden 2016
Portland International Film Festival, Oregon, USA 2016
San Diego Film Festival, VIP Series Year Round Events, California USA 2016
Glasgow Film Festival, Scotland, UK 2016
Sedona International Film Festival, Arizona USA 2016
Estonia Film Days, Moscow, Russia 2016
Boulder International Film Festival, Colorado, USA 2016
Chicago European Union Film Festival, Illinois, USA 2016
The 12th Kosmorama Trondheim International Film Festival, Norway 2016
Cleveland International Film Festival, Ohio, USA 2016
Titanic Budapest International Film Festival, Hungary 2016
European Representation in Finland 2016
Washington D.C. Film Festival, USA 2016
Nordic Film Days / The Nordic House, Reykjavik, Iceland 2016
Belgrad Finnish Film Week, Serbia 2016
Consulate General of Estonia, Saint Petersburg, Russia 2016
Nordic Film Series, Luxembourg 2016
DGA Global Cinema Series, Los Angeles USA 2016
EU Film Festival, Bangkok, Thailand 2016
Olympic Day, Fencing Club Screening, New York USA 2016
Ischia Film Festival, Italy 2016
South Bay Film Society, USA 2016
Stony Brook Film Festival, New York, USA 2016
European Union Film Festival, Myanmar 2016
Nordic Film Week in Saint Petersburg, Russia 2016
Cox’s Beach International Film Festival, Bangladesh 2016
Ghent Film Festival, Nordic Focus, Belgium 2016
New Scandinavian Cinema Series, Portland, Oregon, USA 2016
St. Louis International Film Festival, Missouri, USA 2016
Embassy of Finland / EU Film Festival, Argentina 2016
Shadows of the Mind Film Festival, Ontario, Canada 2017
Cinemateket, Klaus Härö Retrospective, Oslo, Norway 2017
San Ramon Friday Foreign Film Series, California, USA 2017
Tønsberg Filmklubb, Norway 2017

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