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.
EstDocs Film Festival kicks off with the opening Gala Reception at 6:30pm on November 4th, followed by the presentation of Short Film Competition awards and screening of Juris Pakalniņš’ film, The Master Plan at 7:30pm at the HotDocs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West. The Gala's main documentary unravels the Kremlin’s sophisticated propaganda engine and the Baltic countries’ political defiance in the face of the new Russian imperialism. Chris Alexander, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration between 2013 and 2015 will 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 Feeder, The House of Unconsciousness, and Bird Flu at Cinecyle, 129 Spadina Avenue.
On Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7 PM at the HotDocs a reception will be followed by a Pop-up Fashion Show with special guest Reet Aus, an Estonian fashion designer who has led a “Trash to Trend” fashion approach to “up-cycling” materials others throw away and is featured in the film, Out of Fashion, made by Jaak Kilmi and Lennart Laberenz at 8 PM.
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.
On Monday, Nov. 7 at 2 PM at Ehatare, 40 Old Kingston Road in Scarborough, Remek Meel’s Life on the Mother River features a boy and his filmmaker father discovering a powerful water world of ancient life in Alam-Pedja nature reserve in Estonia. The festival concludes on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at the Estonian House at 958 Broadview Avenue with Aleksandr Heifets’s Canvas City at 7 PM followed by Mariann Kõrver and Jaan Tootsen’s Vigala Sass - Last Recordings, exploring shaman healer Vigala Sass and his profound knowledge of medicinal herbs.
All EstDocs screenings will be in English or with English subtitles and open to the public. Buy your tickets today at estdocs.eventbrite.ca or visit EstDocs.com for more information.
FRI NOV 4
GALA PRESENTATION & SHORT FILM AWARDS
¤ THE MASTER PLAN/SUUR PLAAN
Chris Alexander, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration between 2013 and 2015 will moderate the evening
Reception 6:30pm | Screening 7:30pm Bloor Hot Docs Cinema | $15
SAT NOV 5
¤ OUT OF FASHION/MOEST VÄLJAS
Pop-up Fashion Show with special guest Reet Aus Reception 7pm | Screening 8pm Bloor Hot Docs Cinema | $15
SUN NOV 6
¤ WOLF'S HOUR/UNDI TUND 1pm
¤ HEART OF A WOLF/HUNDI SÜDA SEES 3pm
¤ EMPTY SPACE | LAND OF SOUL TÜHI RUUM | HINGEMAA 5pm
Tartu College | $10 PER SCREENING | $20 ALL FOUR Doors open at 12pm
MON NOV 7
¤ LIFE ON THE MOTHER RIVER/EMAJÕE VEEMAAILM
Screening 2pm | Ehatare | PAY WHAT YOU CAN
TUE NOV 8
¤ CANVAS CITY/LÕUENDILINN
¤ VIGALA SASS - LAST RECORDINGS VIGALA SASS - VIIMASED LINDID
Screening 7pm | Eesti Maja / Estonian House | $10 Doors open at 6pm
EstDocs starts this Friday - what films to watch?