Janno Põldma (b. 7. XI 1950) is a film director, children’s author and playwright.
Põldma was born in Tallinn. From 1958 to 1969 he attended number 36 secondary school in Tallinn. From 1973 Põldma worked in the animation department of the Tallinnfilm studio, initially as an assistant cameraman, later as a director of photography. In 1993 he started working in the Eesti Joonisfilm animation studio. He has been the director of photography of more than twenty animated films (tmost of Priit Pärn’s films, and Rein Raamat’s films Suur Tõll and Põrgu, among others).
Janno Põldma made his debut with stories in juvenile magazines in 1977. In 1985 he produced a collection of stories aimed at children, Džuudopoisid (‘The Judo Boys’), which depicts the life of boys in fifth grade. The stories are exciting and spicy, and the author deals humorously with school problems.
In the eighties and nineties Põldma wrote several puppet plays and plays for young people about problems of contemporary youth and questions about life: Poiss, kes ei tahtnud olla näitleja (‘The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Be an Actor’, staged at the Rakvere Theatre), Teekond punktist A punkti B (‘The Way From Point A to Point B’, staged at the Ugala theatre, Viljandi) as well as Koera pulm (‘Dog’s Wedding’) and Sõber kurk (‘Cucumber, the Friend’, staged at the Puppet Theatre). With the actor Lembit Ulfsak, Põldma wrote the screenplay for the family-oriented feature film Lammas all paremas nurgas (‘A Sheep Down in the Bottom Right’) in 1992. He has prepared screenplays for several puppet- and animated films, put on by himself.
Janno Põldma and Heiki Ernits are the directors of the animated films about Lotte the puppy, which have won international popularity (Lotte reis lõunamaale - ‘Lotte Goes South’ - 2000, Leiutajateküla Lotte - ‘Lotte from Gadgetville’ - 2006, Lotte ja kuukivi saladus - ‘Lotte and the Moonstone Secret’ - 2011, Lotte ja kadunud lohed - ‘Lotte and the Lost Dragons’ - 2019). Lotte also has a life outside the film world; she is a character in numerous books, and she has a place in school textbooks. With Heiki Ernits, Janno Põldma has written the books Lepatriinide jõulud (‘The Ladybirds’ Christmas’, 2002), Lotte olümpiaraamat (‘Lotte’s Olympic Book’, 2008), and Lotte ja kuukivi saladus, (‘Lotte and the Moonstone Secret’, 2013).
In 2007 Janno Põldma was awarded the Order of the White Star, Class IV.
L. P. (Translated by C. M.)
Books in Estonian
Džuudopoisid. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1985. 95 lk.
Lepatriinude jõulud. Tallinn: Sild, 2002. 119 lk.
Leiutajateküla tähtis päev. Tallinn: Eesti Joonisfilm, 2006. 14 lk.
Lotte olümpiaraamat. Tallinn: Eesti Päevaleht: Eesti Joonisfilm, 2008. 79 lk.
Lotte ja kuukivi saladus. Tallinn: Eesti Joonisfilm, 2013. 329 lk.