21. December 2023 | Von Robin Csodó 

Hard work and studying in Tallinn

After the first month’s adventures of getting to know Estonia, October and November were about hard work and studying. These two months have been intense and time was used effectively, from which we will benefit a lot in the future.

Hard work and studying in Tallinn

The courses

In October, we continued and finished our Estonian language course. I can order in Estonian, and say ’hi’ and ’thank you’ in one of the most difficult languages, but I miss the language classes, because I would love to learn more. Even though the Estonian people are very reserved, they are extremely happy when you try to talk to them in their language, and I wish I could communicate more with them in their mother tongue.

The main class in our semester is “Directing Fiction” of which we had the pitching session at the end of September, and then in October we started to work on our projects. In this class, we had to shoot two 8-minute short films with our Macromedia fellow students and some other people from BFM.

The Erasmus Experience

We spend our ‘Semester Abroad’ together with Erasmus students from all over Europe and international students from overseas. We take part in many ESN events. For example we had a Japanese cultural night, Karaoke, and dance workshops. We have made many international friends and learned a lot about other European countries.

We have an intercultural group of friends, with whom we are organizing cultural dinners, lunches, and brunches. Usually, they come to our place, and we cook together, play and share our experiences. Recently I was invited to a French and a Ukrainian dinner. We also had a Halloween party where we were carving pumpkins.

Short trips

Even though October and November were very busy, I could find a weekend when I travelled a bit and visited Stockholm which was another exciting experience. The Swedish capital city offers many cultural activities, there are lots of museums. The standard of living is high but – sadly – so are the prices.

We tried the traditional Swedish meatballs, and we were offered high-quality food in all the restaurants. One night, we went to a traditional Jazz bar, which was a great experience of the Swedish nightlife.

Coming from a central European country, for me it was strange that most shops closed after seven o’clock, and it was hard to find a program for the evening. During the day, we enjoyed the Museums, and I would highly recommend the Vasa Museum for everyone who visits the city.

In Sweden, you cannot buy alcohol over 3% in regular stores, as a result of which prices are high in the restaurants and the bars.

The Pöff

The Black Nights Film Festival took place at Tallinn in November. This is the largest film festival in the region and also one of the most respected in Europe. For four weeks, I was part of the festival’s TV team, interviewing directors and actors. I learned a lot from them, and the TV. I gained experience as a cameraman and worked together with a great team. I attended many film premieres, met the filmmakers, and gained insights into many cultures and different filming styles around the world. I experienced again how art connects everyone and allows us to express ourselves, tell stories, and understand the other cultures and views. These events provided an opportunity for dialogue between creators and audiences, which helped to get the message across. I am very grateful for the opportunity and in the future I hope to return again as part of the team, but it is my big dream to be able to represent the themes I am working on as a director.

Film Shooting – The most beautiful smile in the world

After making a choice between the ideas, we started the work on the films of our fellow students. We have chosen two very different ideas with different directing approaches, sets, and technical necessities. I operated as a DOP on the first project and as a gaffer on the second movie set.

The first film was directed by Sophia Albrecht, our fellow student from Macromedia Munich. From the very beginning she had a very clear vision about her movie and worked a lot on realizing it in every field of filmmaking. We built the set by ourselves, the costume department provided us with real costumes, and we had a very clear style in terms of camera and lighting.

The official synopsis of the movie:
“The most beautiful smile in the world” is a short film about Viktor, a boy who is on the verge of death in a train wagon and finds a new will to live through his young love for a strange girl.

Through the advice of an old man and against all odds, he finds ways to communicate with the girl. Being in love makes him forget about all the horror and deteriorating conditions in the wagon for the duration of the journey. It’s about how love can give you a sense of purpose in the darkest moments of life, providing hope and strength for what lies ahead, even if only for a brief time.

The fictional story does not refer to a single event, but alludes to several countries with different languages and combines stories about refugees and deportation from the worldwide past and present. We want to remember the innocent children who have been and are being deprived of their childhood and future through hatred and politics.”

I am grateful for the opportunity to work on this project because one of my main goals for this semester was to improve my technical skills. I had the opportunity to work with a director, focusing only on my role and realizing her ideas. It was also a new experience because I never worked on similar topics or a built set.

The Second Project – Danse Macabre

For the second project, we selected the idea of my classmate in Berlin, Ryszard Niewczas. This one is an experimental movie, focusing more on aesthetics and symmetric pictures. This shooting was done with a smaller crew, in outdoor guerrilla style. I was responsible for the lighting, but because it was outdoors we did not need special lighting effects and I helped with sound recording as well. I’m going to supervise the editing which is going to be another interesting experience because the film will be converted into a black and white picture. We will also record many foley sounds. I think the editing will be crucial in this project because we can take many different approaches based on the recorded material.

I am really thankful that I can see how my classmates with whom we started our studies in Berlin are improving and how we are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by BFM.

Christmas Market

The beautiful Christmas season is head of us, and we already had a chance to see the Christmas market in Tallinn, which is one of the most popular in Europe. We tried the Vana Tallinn Glögi and did ice skating. After such an intensive period, I feel that Christmas month is a real gift for us and Tallinn is more beautiful than ever before. We are joyful because we have great successes behind us and a happy, lovely season ahead to enjoy.


Our journey is coming to the final months and I feel that we are going to miss the Tallinn experience. The most important days are behind us, now our task is to finish the semester and our projects as best we can. Finally, we have some time to enjoy this beautiful country, spend time with our international friends, and collect as many memories as possible to bring with us to Germany and our home countries.

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