The winners of the Annual Awards of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia were announced

On 1 February at 19.00 the Annual awards of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia were presented to the most preeminent experts in the fields of culture and sports at a gala at the Baltic Station Pavilion. 

In total 38 awards, including Grand Prizes and Lifetime Achievement Awards in all eight categories of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and the annual awards for the visual and applied arts, folk culture and audio-visual art endowments were presented. Each of the annual awards of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia amount to 7,000 euros, the lifetime achievement awards 10,000 euros and the annual awards of the individual endowments to 1,500–5,500 euros. 

“The grounding principles of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia have remained unchanged for more than two decades, which is why it has been possible to realise many big but also smaller dreams in Estonian culture. Today we are recognising those who have dared to chase their dreams,” said the chairman of the Supervisory board of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and the Minister of Culture, Indrek Saar. “Developments in culture have an impact on society as a whole and in the past year the Cultural Endowment has really set an example. For instance, the new classic fiction translation programme Hieronymus involved private capital. Another new addition is the Baltic Culture Fund that gives our well managed Cultural Endowment an international perspective,” added Saar.

Kertu Saks, the chairwoman of the Cultural Endowment said that the awards are greatly valued among creators of culture and sportspeople. “Since 1995, the laureates have been chosen by cultural professionals and sportspeople – it is a privilege to be honoured by your colleagues,” stated Saks.

Grand Prize Laureates


  • Märt Väljataga – for the compilation “Väikene inglise luule antoloogia” (Little anthology of English poetry) and a collection of poetry “Gladioolid” (Gladioli)

Physical fitness and sport  

  • Arvet Tetsmann – long time yachtsman, sailing engineer and sports figure, keeper of tradition and Grand Old Man of Estonian sailing


Film Museum and the outdoor area of the Maarjamäe complex

  • Anto Savi
  • Jürgen Lepper
  • Margus Soonets
  • Lootusprojekt OÜ
  • VL Sisearhitektuur OÜ

Visual and applied arts

  • Laura Põld – for producing high quality and multifaceted work in 2018 both locally and internationally

Audio-visual art

  • Film of the year 2018 – “Seltsimees laps” (The Little Comrade)         
  • Moonika Siimets
  • Riina Sildos
  • Rein Kotov    


  • Erkki-Sven Tüür – for prolific creative work: IX Symphony “Mythos”, Violin Concerto No 2 and “Solastalgia” for piccolo and symphony orchestra

Folk culture

Creative team of the exhibition “Ajatus” (Timelessness), a tradition conscious and innovative project by the Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union

  • Mae Kivilo
  • Kaarel Kuusk
  • Kristina Rajando
  • Sandra Urvak

Dramatic art

  • NO99 Theatre collective – Thank you for having the courage

Lifetime Achievement Award Laureates


  • Piret Saluri – accomplished translator, keeper of Finnish-Estonian cultural ties and mediator of Estonian literature to our Nordic neighbours

Physical fitness and sport

  • Uno Kajak – pioneer of Nordic combined in Estonia


  • Fredi-Armand Tomps – architect and conservationist with a mission

Audio-visual art

  • Priit Pärn – for decades of internationally highly esteemed work and teaching in animation

Visual and applied arts

  • Kaarel Kurismaa – a unique phenomenon in Estonian art, his playful kinetic objects and sound installations have opened up visual art and created synergy between different fields of art


  • Anne Erm – for establishing and developing the jazz scene in Estonia

Folk art

  • Olev Oja – for educating a whole generation of conductors, music educators, choir singers

Dramatic art  

  • Tiiu Randviir – dazzling prima ballerina and keeper of continuity in Estonian ballet

Annual Award Laureates

Endowment for visual and applied art

  • Marge Monko – for her creative work focused on exploration and experiment, and many notable exhibitions in 2018
  • Dénes Farkas – for his concise solo exhibition “Kui ma sulen oma silmad” (When I close my eyes) at Tartu Art House that presented the working mechanisms of the senses and memory as an artistic whole
  • Anu Rank-Soans – a unique artist in Estonia, whose decades of work as a designer and artist is expressed in an extensive legacy of industrial ceramics and multifaceted array of unique objects that, as a whole, reveal the differences and similarities of these two worlds
  • Margit Säde – Margit Säde curated the main exhibition of the Tallinn XVII Graphic Art Triennial titled “Pilvepurustajad. Intensiivsus vs kavatsus” (Cloudbusters: Intensity vs Intention) at the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia. This sensitive and unique show highlighted the interaction of the human psyche and technology and brought new life to the triennial.
  • Maarin Ektermann and Mary-Ann Talvistu – for the project “Kunstnikud kogudes” (Artists in Collections). An exceptional, regionally inclusive art project that made it possible to create new perspectives on the collections of small museums, created opportunities for art residencies within the country and built up new collaborations

Endowment of audio-visual art

  • Mart Taniel – camera operator of the year – for the films “Põrgu Jaan” (The Riddle of Jaan Niemand) and “Mees, kes üllatas kõiki” (The Man Who Surprised Everyone)
  • Erik Norkroos and Jaanis Valk – documentary of the year – “Ahto. Unistuste jaht” (Ahto. Chasing a Dream)
  • Sergei Kibus and Pärtel Tall – animation of the year – “Teofrastus”
  • Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo – film debut of the year – “Võta või jäta” (Take It or Leave It)
  • Anu Aun – special prize in film – for the warm and heartfelt film “Eia jõulud Tondikakul” (Eia’s Christmas at Phantom Owl Farm)
  • Paula Rits – best actress – for the role of Eia in “Eia jõulud Tondikakul” (Eia’s Christmas at Phantom Owl Farm)
  • Helena Maria Reisner – best actress – for the role of Leelo in “Seltsimees laps” (The Little Comrade)
  • Reimo Sagor – best actor –for the role of Erik in “Võta või jäta” (Take It or Leave It)
  • Sten Šeripov – film composer of the year – for “Võta või jäta” (Take It or Leave It) and “Eia jõulud Tondikakul” (Eia’s Christmas at Phantom Owl Farm)
  • Marianne Kõrver – portrait film of the year – “Tõnu Kõrvits. Lageda laulud” (Tõnu Kõrvits. Moorland Elegies)
  • Kullar Viimne – portrait film of the year – “Jagatud valgus” (Shards of Light)

Endowment of folk art

  • Eesti Rahvamajade Ühing – annual award for amateur theatres – for bringing together cultural workers and for the play “Mälutempel” (Temple of Memory)
  • Reet Piiri – annual award of cultural heritage – for the exhibition “Rahvarõivas on norm. Igal aastaajal” (Regarded as a norm, perennially worn)
  • Kaie Tanner – annual award for choir music – for the long term development of choir music and organising the festival Europa Cantat
  • Cätlin Mägi – annual award of folk culture – for promoting mouth harp culture and compiling folk music books
  • Erika Kõllo – annual award for advancing folk culture – for her creative approach to developing folk culture