In its fifth year of existence the ESTDOCS festival of Estonian made films has developed a professional veneer. There were no technical gliches, all films were well made even if we didn't necessarily click with the subject and it had an internationally renowned keynote speaker.
The small army of volunteers made it all happen and deserve mention first of all.
The Festival Director, Ellen Valter; Programming Director, Killi Mirka; Programming Group, Robert Hiis and Mart Pikov; Technical Director, Rein Ende; Technical Group, Allan Eistrat, Tauno Molder, Peeter Piil and Andre Vare; Communications, Kaili Lupp and Maimu Molder; Facilities/Front of House, Taimi Marley, Viive Tork and Liis Truuvert; Design, Tiina Aleman Ianotti and Marcus Kolga; Jury Consultants, Alan Teder and Tiina Soomet. There were over thirty others that contributed their time as well.
Moderators were Kristiina Davidjants (director of film Palusalu) and Ilmar Raag (director of film September).
Jury members were Toomas Mae, Marcus Kolga and Ingrid Randoja. .
The keynote speaker, John Ralston Saul came with lofty credentials and a way of articulating the signifance of languages. Besides being an author translated into 22 languages in 30 countries he is also President of International PEN, declared a prophet by TIME magazine and Utne Reader has named him one the worlds 100 top thinkers and visionaries.
The films that inspired me the most were September and Palusalu from strictly a subjective perspective. I could see how the others would be of interest to those who were fascinated with thier subjects, with the exception of "Jolly Old Farts". That film was a well made sadness.
September featured the reverend Vello Salo, an Estonian Roman Catholic Priest who taught a long time in Toronto, and who was known for his gentlness yet resolve. It was good to see what his history was and that there was another side of the Estonian conflict during the second world war that was of pure nationalism, of men, like Vello Salo who went to Finland to fight rather than don the German (or Russian) uniform.
Palusalu was of an Estonian wrestler who won two gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. This was to be be Adolph Hitler's showcase of German supriority.
One of that fathers of ESTDOCS, Aarne Vahtra, was not present this year suffering from an illness that kept him sidelined.
All in all this was a very enjoyable festival, CONGRATULATIONS.
ESTDOCS 10 COMES OF AGE