Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Estonian film “November” to be released in cinemas in North America later this year

Great news! The Estonian film 'November' which had its world premier at the Tribeca Film Festival recently has now been picked up by distributor Oscilloscope Laboratories for cinema release. 'November' is due to screen in cinemas in the US and Canada later this year.

The film 'November' is based on the Estonian bestselling novel Rehepapp by Andrus Kivirähk. The story is a mixture of magic, black humour and romantic love. In a pagan village where werewolves, the plague, and our ancestral spirits roam, lives a young farm girl named Liina. She is hopelessly in love with village boy Hans and lives out her desperate longing as a werewolf, running after her beloved, ready to die in the name of love. The main problem for the villagers is how to survive the cold, hard winter and, for that, neither stealing nor cheating nor losing one’s soul is taboo. Where does love fit into this world of pragmatism where anything goes?

Estonian pagan and European Christian mythologies come together in this film. Both mythologies look for a miracle, for an ancient force that gives one a soul.

Film details and credits:
Original title: November
Genre: fantasy, romance
Language: Estonian
Director: Rainer Sarnet
Screenwriter: Rainer Sarnet
Based on: Rehepapp by Andrus Kivirähk
Cinematographer: Mart Taniel E.S.C
Art Directors: Jaagup Roomet, Matis Mäesalu
Editor: Jaroslaw Kaminski
Music by: Jacaszek
Sound design: Marco Vermaas
Main cast: Rea Lest, Jörgen Liik, Dieter Laser, Arvo Kukumägi, Katariina Unt, Heino Kalm Producer: Katrin Kissa
Co-producers: Ellen Havenith, Lukasz Dzieciol
Produced by: Homeless Bob Production (Estonia), PRPL (The Netherlands), Opus Film (Poland)

Monday, 24 April 2017

Tõnis Mägi song "KOIT" (Dawn) with English translation

Last year I was contacted by a reader asking if I had an English translation for the popular Estonian song 'Koit'. At the time of enquiry I had never seen an English translation of the lyrics and was unable to assist. A few days ago I came across this video online.

For those unaware, 'Koit' is a moving and powerful song, dear to the hearts of many Estonians. It was the main song during the Estonian Singing Revolution when Estonians fought to regain their independence from the Soviet Union between 1988 and 1991.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Tartu University develops new online translating tool

Greta news! Language technologists from the Institute of Computer Science at the University of Tartu have developed a new translation tool making it even easier to understand the Estonian language!

Estonia from Above - Aerial Drone 4K Film

Monday, 17 April 2017

Estonia 100 kicks off with national hike - ERR News

The Estonia 100 centennial program began Sunday with a national day of hiking in springtime snow along the former border which once divided modern-day Estonia into the Governorate of Estonia and the Governorate of Livonia.

"One hundred years ago, North Estonia and South Estonia were separated by a governorate border which we will symbolically erase from the map with this hike," said Margus Kasterpalu, Estonia 100's director of major events, according to a Government Office press release. "In this way, we will celebrate the emergence of our country, which was an important milestone on the road to independence."

Groups of hikers headed out along the over 400 kilometer long former border which ran from the northwestern shore of Lake Peipus to Tõstamaa in Pärnu County. Hikers carried GPS devices which allowed others to follow their paths on a virtual map as the border line was erased by hikers on the move.

To read the full ERR news story, please click here: Estonia 100 kicks off with national hike

Estonian government endorses bill to disband county governments - ERR News

The Estonian government on Thursday gave its nod to a bill that will disband Estonia's 15 county governments and divide up their current functions between municipalities and state institutions; the bill was thereafter forwarded to the Riigikogu.

The government has decided to terminate county governments as of Jan. 1, 2018. The reorganization of county governments will not eliminate counties as administrative units, however.

In accordance with the bill, the function of organization of public transport via public transport centers will be handed over to the National Road Administration, while supervision over educational institutions will be taken over by the Ministry of Education and Research, the coordination of the organization of educatin to Foundation Innove, the issuance of activity permits in the social sphere and supervision thereof to the Social Insurance Board, land reform and procedures with land to the Land Board and the analysis of youth work, programs and subsidies to the Ministry of Education and Research and the Estonian Youth Work Centre.

To read the full ERR News article, please click here: 

Friday, 14 April 2017

Happy Easter! Häid lihavõtteid!

In Estonia, Easter marks the beginning of spring- it's a time of celebration and tradition. Some of these 19th century traditions are still practised today! 

Easter is referred to by many different names in Estonian: Ületõusmispüha (Resurrection), Lihavõtted (literally meaning meat-taking holiday, marking the end of Lent), Munadepüha (egg holiday), and Kiigepühad (swing holiday, referring to the tradition of swinging on the large wooden village swing on Easter Sunday).

Easter Sunday in Estonia is usually celebrated with a long lunch, egg painting, and an old fashioned Easter egg hunt. It's common to decorate your own eggs, typically the eggs are painted with natural colourings like onion skins or beetroot juice, then put in a basket as a centerpiece for the table. Having real eggs on the table is crucial for the after meal egg-knocking competition, where each year a new champion emerges. It's simple, you tap the end of your egg against your opponent's and the shell that doesn't crack is the winner!

Many of the Easter customs, like egg-knocking, that are still practised today come from old folk traditions. Egg rolling, though not widely practised, has the same principle as egg knocking, trying to crack your opponent's egg. An egg is rolled down a pile of sand to try and hit other eggs- how intricate the ramp is, is completely up to you. The person whose egg remains intact, wins!