For more than a decade the EstDocs Film Festival has introduced Estonia and Estonians to Canadian audiences, on the big screen. This year’s six days of documentary film showcase outstanding cinematic works on dance and music and provocative perspectives of global and local politics through the lenses of filmmakers from Estonia, Germany, Iceland, Finland, the Netherlands and the United States.
Arvo Pärt | Robert Wilson: The Lost Paradise features avant-garde dance
choreography by New York’s Wilson created to Pärt’s beautifully serene music, performed in an old submarine factory in Estonia.
Those Who Dare, directed by Icelandic documentarian Ólafur Rögnvaldsson, follows the chain of events and challenges leading to re-independence in the Baltic States, and how the Icelandic foreign affairs minister single-handedly persuaded Western Europe to endorse a “new security order.”
Those are but two. Other documentaries explore the making of the animated film The Maggot Feeder, based on an aboriginal Arctic fairy tale; miracles in war-torn Germany in The Story of the Baltic University; and a child’s deep dive into the fantasy world of theatre in Elizabeth’s Playground.
This year’s program’s intent is to challenge our own preconceptions and focus on Estonia’s rich culture and relentless desire to question all aspects of life.
My thanks go to all the many volunteers for their contributions in making EstDocs an annual cinematic experience for audiences. Thank you also goes to the jurors for sharing their expertise; and to the filmmakers, sponsors and funders, as Estonians say: “respekt!”
To all festival guests I wish great enjoyment and a heartwarming and memorable experience. Cue the lights!
Host, Estonian National Broadcasting Company
Joonas Hellerma studied film and video and holds a Master of Philosophy degree from Tallinn University. He also studied philosophy at Humboldt University in Berlin. For the past ten years Joonas has been a host and editor of the Estonian National Broadcasting Company, having edited five seasons of ETV’s culture magazine OP! He is the creator, host and editor of Tähelaev (Starship). Currently, Joonas hosts ETV’s weekly music program MI and for this past year the cultural talk show, Plekktrumm (Tin Drum). He has edited Ööülikool (Night University) lectures for radio, as well.