Arts of Survival Documentaries invites Estonian and European documentary filmmakers to capture the uniqueness of the people and places of Tartu and South Estonia. Eight short documentaries are produced by independent filmmakers under the collective title Arts of Survival. Eight filmmakers will capture life in Southern Estonia, released spring of 2024. Stories in these films will reveal the people, both extraordinary and ordinary, and the places that are important for the existence of an area.

Arts of Survival Documentaries

Arts of Survival Documentaries is eight short documentaries that are the result of collaborations between Estonian directors and their international peers. Expressing the uniqueness and diversity of South Estonia, the films will be screened in cinemas, on television, and in small villages throughout Estonia—and viewers who are more comfortable in evening gowns and suits will be able to enjoy these films at some of Europe’s most prestigious film festivals.

International film competition

In 2022 the jury chose eight filmmakers (four Estonian and four international) to produce films in Tartu and South Estonia.

International filmmakers residency

The Arts of Survival International Filmmakers Residency invited up to a dozen acclaimed international film directors to Tartu and South Estonia in 2022–2023. Their exploration of small communities and vibrant cityscapes throughout South Estonia are a result in artistic ideas for the Arts of Survival collection of short films.

Meet The Auteurs at Elektriteater

In 2022-2023, film evenings showcased the professional works of the Arts of Survival filmmakers-in-residence at Tartu’s art-house cinema, the Tartu Elektriteater.


In 2022-2023, the renowned filmmakers-in-residence conducted creative masterclasses for the Estonian film industry. These masterclasses opened a window onto these filmmakers’ creative principles, working methods and styles of storytelling.

Media Study Day DocDJ

The Media Study Day DocDJ is for high school students who are interested in cinema. The Arts of Survival filmmakers-in-residence introduced the different stages of filmmaking, from screenwriting, production and camerawork to editing and sound production. With DocDJ, we aimed to help young people understand and analyse media and get an overview of the filmmaking process.