The 2018 festival will take place Nov. 1-11, 2018. Below is information regarding the 2017 festival.

The Fencer



Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:15pm
Sunday, Nov. 6 at 6:30pm

Endel is on the run as his past affiliations begin catching up to him. Eluding the secret police in Leningrad, Endel finds himself in hapless Haapsalu, Estonia. It is the early 1950s and, in the wake of World War II, Estonia squirms in the iron fist of Stalin’s Soviet empire, with many of the fathers lost to the war or shipped off to prison camps. Endel finds a job running the sports club at a secondary school, where he shares his expertise in fencing with eager young students. But Endel is undermined at every turn by his weasel of a principal, a communist functionary who is suspicious of the instructor’s past and deems fencing non-proletarian. Endel must ultimately choose between guiding his team or running for his life. Nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and featuring a wonderful lead performance by Estonian actor Märt Avandi, “The Fencer” is a touching drama about a coach who gives children something to believe in. The film is based in part on the real life of expert fencer Endel Nelis.

99 min.
Estonian, Russian & Armenian

Directed by

Klaus Härö


Estonia Finland Germany

Film Category

Eastern European Focus International Spotlight Oscar® Submissions


Sports War Youth


Historical Drama Thriller

Sponsored by

Drs. Diane Carson & Willis Loy