Kersti Uibo

Documentary Film-maker

Biography

Kersti Uibo

Kersti Uibo’s work experience ranges from being a music producer with Estonian Television to cleaning streets in Tallinn when blacklisted by the Soviet regime; from setting up the post-war Estonian Embassy in the UK as director of the Estonian Information Bureau to being a “one-woman-band” filmmaker. Kersti Uibo’s documentary films have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at Cinema de Reel in Paris, at festivals in Mumbai, Tehran, Sydney, Montreal, Delhi, Boston, St Petersburg, Parnu etc and won several awards. She lives in Estonia.

Awards & Festivals

Evald's Acre

  • Grand Prix 1995 Pärnu International Documentary Film Festival

  • Museum of Modern Art, New York, New Directors, 1995

  • Baltic Retrospective in Paris (Cinema du Réel)

  • Baltic Art Festival in London

  • Montreal Documentary Film Festival

  • Baltic Cinema Retrospective

Narrow is the Gate

  • Alexander Sidelnikov award for Best Direction at the Golden Knight festival in Russia, 2003

  • Estonian Peoples’ Award 2002, Pärnu International Documentary Film Festival

  • The Excellence and Creativity Award in USA, “2003 the Best Documentary”

  • The FAJR International Film festival in Teheran

  • Mumbai International Documentary Film Festival

  • Belgrade Documentary Film Festival

  • Munich International Documentary Film Festival

Still Life with Wife

  • 2006, nominated for the Estonian Documentary of the Year

  • Lisbon Temps’d Images art films, special mention

  • Message to Man, St Petersburg

This is the Day

  • Cottbus Film Festival, 2012

  • Persistence Resistence, Delhi ,2012

  • Vilnius International Documentary Film Festival, 2012

Awards and Festivals

Heartsong

It is 1990. The USSR is in the process of collapse. Estonians who fled their homes as refugees during the Soviet invasion of 1945 are about to return for the first time. Albert Kerson, a Cornwall man, who was an Estonian farmer, is among them. Now he is going back to his home farm after almost half a century.
Heartsong tells the story of Albert´s country through the songs of his countrypeople at the national Song Festival. These songs of love for the soil and the forests of their native land unite and give strength to young and old alike

Diva in the Bath

1993, NFTS, UK, 31 min in Estonian (no subtitles)
Director, camera, sound (together with Janine Prins), editor, producer Kersti Uibo

Diva in the Bath features two sisters from Estonia. Pille is a young soprano travelling to Brussels for an operatic competition. Kersti is a filmmaker who has decided to shoot the story as her first assignment. Each sister is as nervous as the other and what the film lacks in polish, it makes up for in raw-edged authenticity. As emotions well up and overflow, incidental details enrich the narrative. On the day of the competition, Pille calms herself by mending her bra and cleaning the shoes she bought from a flea market. (Evening Standard)

Evaldimaa

1994, NFTS, UK, 45 min, Estonian (no subtitles)
Director Kersti Uibo, camera Pentti Keskimäki, sound Kersti Uibo, editor Soren Ebbe, producer Kersti Uibo

Evaldimaa is a loving portrait of the Estonian pastor and teacher Evald Saag and his wife Emmi. Occupying armies have come from East and West, but Evald’s acre remains a clearing of peace in the Estonian forest. Yet this peace is not the inactivity of old age; there is always work to be done; the hard tasks of daily survival and the teacher’s vocation of giving wisdom to the young. Evald and Emmi have never been silenced and will never retire. Their life’s sport has been to playfully resist every attempt to stop them from working.

Evald's Acre

1994, NFTS, UK, 45 min, Estonian (English subtitles)
Director Kersti Uibo, camera Pentti Keskimäki, sound Kersti Uibo, editor Soren Ebbe, producer Kersti Uibo

Evald's Acre is a loving portrait of the Estonian pastor and teacher Evald Saag and his wife Emmi. Occupying armies have come from East and West, but Evald’s acre remains a clearing of peace in the Estonian forest. Yet this peace is not the inactivity of old age; there is always work to be done; the hard tasks of daily survival and the teacher’s vocation of giving wisdom to the young. Evald and Emmi have never been silenced and will never retire. Their life’s sport has been to playfully resist every attempt to stop them from working.

Narrow is the Gate

2002, TRINITY FILMS, 65 min, Serbian (English subtitles)
Director, camera, sound, producer Kersti Uibo, editor Trevor Williamson

For the few Serbs who remain in Kosovo, Gracanica Convent is an island of peace, guarded not only by the prayers of the nuns inside, but also by the NATO tanks guarding the convent walls. At the gateway between these two worlds is Sister Teodora, who with a joke and a tear, tries to balance her hostility to Albaninas with her religious calling to love them.

Still Life with Wife

2006, EXITFILM, 56 min, Russian (English subtitles)
Director, camera, sound Kersti Uibo, editor Kersti Miilen, sound editor Tiina Andreas, producer Peeter Urbla

An unusual couple lives in an urban backwater. Married now for over a quarter of a century, their endless sniping never intensifies into the major quarrel that would resolve everything. The constant tension helps Vladimir to paint and gives to Natalia a reason for living.

This is the Day

2011, EXITFILM, 65 min, Film-meditation
Director, camera, sound Kersti Uibo, editor Jaan Kolberg, sound design Seppo Vanhatalo, producer Peeter Urbla

This is the Day captures the flow and simple beauty of daily life in a monastery standing on a hill above the Serbian village of Velika Hoca in Kosovo. The director asks the viewer to set aside any expectations of hearing a “story” and instead to observe quietly as in life. The serenity of the film provides a poetic space in which the imagination may drift freely, meditating and reflecting. The camera is still, landscapes unfold, seasons change and the words give way to silence.

The Director's Voice

2013, New Moon Films, 33 min, English
Directed, filmed and edited by Stephen Macmillan, sound by Tom Lowe

Masterclass

L'Europe autour de l'Europe — 2011

Memorial Society

ERR Ajalik ja Ajatu

Interview in Estonian 11.09.2011

View from a Window

Films

Interviews

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