Ilmar Taska (born 21. V 1953) is a producer, film and theatre director and prose writer.
Taska was born in Kirov, Russia, in a family deported from Estonia. He studied in Tallinn, at the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow, at the Swedish Film Institute and in Hollywood. He has also worked at the Tallinnfilm studio. In 1978, he left for Sweden and from there to the US where he has been active in filmmaking. In the early 1990s, he founded Kanal 2, the first private television channel in Estonia. He has participated in the creation of several films as a producer, director or scriptwriter and has also worked as a theatre director.
Taska won his first literary award as early as at the age of 16 for a story published in the newspaper Rahva Hääl. He entered the literary world in the 2010s when he published Parem kui elu (‘Better than Life’, 2011), a prose collection with an autobiographical background which also reflects the years he spent in Hollywood and his work at 20th Century Fox. One of the stories published in the collection, Bannõi põiktänav (‘Banny Lane’, published in English translation as ‘Apartment for rent’) was selected into the prestigious collection Best European Fiction 2016 of Dalkey Archive Press. His first novel Pobeda 1946 (2016), which is based on the short story Pobeda published in Looming in 2013 (winner of the Looming annual prize), takes a look at the life in the second half of the 1940s and human fates in the iron grip of the Soviet system. The book is centred on the story of a boy and his family where the turning point is meeting a KGB agent who drives a Pobeda car.
A. K. (Translated by I. A.)
Books in Estonian
Pobeda 1946. Tallinn: Varrak, 2016, 306 lk.
Parem kui elu ja lühijutte. Tallinn: Hea Lugu, 2011, 228 lk.