EstDocs Film Festival Toronto
Posted on October 31, 2016

Have you ever met an Estonian?

Think of the person you know with the most consecutive vowels in their name. You might be close.  Next to Helsinki, Toronto is home to the largest Estonian population outside of Estonia.  It’s also host to EstDocs Film Festival, November 4th-8th.

This year’s festival brings a wide range of multi-vowelled talent to the screen and kicks off with the opening Gala on November 4th at 7:30pm at Bloor HotDocs Cinema.  The Gala’s premiere will unravel the Kremlin’s sophisticated propaganda engine and the Baltic countries’ political defiance in the face of the new Russian imperialism in Juris Pakalniņš’ film, The Master Plan.  Chris Alexander, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration between 2013 and 2015 will co-moderate the evening.

Then, pay-what-you-can on November 5th at 3:00 PM for an afternoon with Priit Tender, a master animator who will give an artist’s talk on the animation traditions of Estonia and screen his films, The Maggot FeederThe House of Unconsciousness, and Bird Flu at Cinecyle, 129 Spadina Avenue.

On Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7 PM, experience a Pop-up Fashion Show with special guest Reet Aus, an Estonian fashion designer who has led a “Trash to Trend” fashion approach by “up-cycling” materials others throw away.  She will be featured in Jaak Kilmi’s film, Out of Fashion.

The festival continues with four more films on Sunday afternoon at Tartu College. Wolf’s Hour directed by Maria Avdjushko takes us to the ‘60s innovative literary and theatre world of the late Estonian director Mati Unt at 1 PM. Liina Paakspuu’s Heart of a Wolf follows Nordic folk metal band Metsatöll that famously infuses traditional music with modern rock at 3 PM.  Empty Space, an animation by Ülo Pikkov based on a true story of a father’s longing for his daughter and his creation of a dollhouse will be presented.  Following that, Kullar Viimne and Erik Norkroos’ Land of Soul, which features Tõnis Mägi, one of the most influential and remarkable names in Estonian rock music and of the Singing Revolution.  “Estonians have a deep love and respect for music, art and storytelling. You will see a common thread throughout many of our films – our profound respect for nature, the landscape of our country and the animals that inhabit our wilderness,” says former Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

Monday and Tuesday will feature three more films as the festival concludes with Mariann Kõrver and Jaan Tootsen’s Vigala Sass – Last Recordings, a film exploring shaman healer Vigala Sass and his profound knowledge of medicinal herbs.

scenetakeroll popcorn filmstrip
2016 Festival Scehdule Online Ticket Sales 2016 Film Guide

All EstDocs screenings will be in English or with English subtitles and are open to the public.