Postimees editor-in-chief Merit Kopli said the staff found 2015 to have been most positively charged and surprising by Estonian movies. Not only producer of «Tangerines» and co-producer of «The Fencer», Mr Kopli said Mr Felt is a tireless promoter and spokesman. «It was largely due to his daring that «Tangerines» really got going across the ocean, and thanks to him helping along, «The Fencer» now walks down the same path,» said Ms Kopli.
«We have been delighted and surprised, as well as intrigued by Estonian movie and the fact that «Tangerines» and «The Fencer», both half-Estonian, have met with such high international recognition. Estonian men walking the red carpet at Oscar Gala was a moment of beauty and dignity, uniting Estonians and making us to proudly breathe with them. Timid, we Estonians have been inclined to think that we small Estonia and our poor movie industry cannot compete with Hollywood but the feeling that we just might was mighty,» said Ms Kopli.
She went on to say that the high honours have served to make Estonia and our history better known in the world. «There’s an individual who has been especially fervent and dedicated to the presentation of these movies,» said Ms Kopli.
Ivo Felt admitted the award took him by surprise. He added that it belonged to lots of other people, as well as the Allfilm movie studio and the Estonian movie arts as such. «Estonian movies are now beginning to be talked about, not as the underdog as before,» observed Mr Felt.
«Tangerines» (2013), an Estonia-Georgia co-production, was the first feature film of Estonian origin to be nominated for Golden Globe and Oscar. «The Fencer», premiered in 2015 and produced by Finland, Estonia and Germany, was set up as Golden Globe nominee on December 10th while also making it into the list from where the Oscar nominees will be picked.
Picking the Person of the Year is a tradition at Postimees from 1997, and excellent opportunity to recognise outstanding individuals and enforce progressive values in society with long-term effect.
Last year, the person of the year was Hirvo Surva, artistic director for 26th Song and Dance Celebration. In 2013, it was student satellite EstCube-1 project manager Mart Noorma, presiding over Estonia’s first satellite launched into space. For 2012, the award went to Estonian Maritime Museum head Urmas Dresen and in 2011 to pollution quota traders Anne Sulling and Hannu Lamp.
Earlier, the laureates have included pulmonologist Tanel Laisaar, writer Sofi Oksanen, Olympic winner Gerd Kanter, ambassador Marina Kaljurand, maritime physicist Tarmo Soomere, mountaineer Alar Sikk and Olympic champion Andrus Veerpalu, as well as Estonian soldiers in Iraq and makers of cartoon «Lotte from Gadgetville».