Directed by: Ove Musting
Ove Musting’s rousing sports drama, Estonia’s 2022 Best Picture winner and submission to the 95th Oscars, relates a fascinating chapter of the country’s Soviet past, in which a basketball team drew the ire, then admiration, of a nation poised for liberation. Set during the leadup to Soviet dissolution, Kalev concerns Estonia’s titular basketball team and its controversial decision, in the summer of 1990, to compete in the USSR championship despite the country’s recent inroads toward regaining independence. When Estonia unexpectedly wins its way to the finals, the team becomes a rallying point for resistance to Soviet oppression. “A classic underdog tale based on a true story, Kalev celebrates the achievements of a national basketball team who, despite the political turmoil surrounding them, and their unpopularity, went on to defy the odds and find glory” (Europa! Europa Film Festival).

“Effortlessly zero[es] in on the interplay between political tensions, love for sports, and the importance of national unity during difficult times … [Musting’s] audiovisual love letter to Kalev is a carefully executed but impactful slamdunk.”

Jovana Gjorgjiovska, IONCINEMA

In Estonian and Russian with English subtitles
91 min

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  • Bulgarian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards 2018
  • Golden Rose Festival of Bulgarian film: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Critics Gild Award and Audience Award
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