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Evelin Ilves at the premier of the “Viimsi Islands” documentary in theatre Artis on 20 December 2011


Dear film friends, friends of Viimsi, friends of Pangli,


Estonian Film will be one hundred years old next year and a major increase of interest in films is expected. This is why I am so pleased to be here today on the eve of this big anniversary, at a premier of an Estonian documentary. And, of course, I have contributed to the making of this film myself – just a tad!

I was lucky enough to accompany the film crew to Prangli Island. What a wonderful atmosphere I experienced there: peace, understanding, caring!

Who could imagine, without having been there, that time has taken a completely different pace and course in a place that is only one hour by ferry from the capital of the Republic of Estonia? I can’t wait to see how life goes on the islands of Naissaar, Keri and Aksi. The fact that Viimsi Rural Municipality decided to mark its 21st anniversary by making a documentary about Viimsi islands is really remarkable. It’s important to document local cultural history, although roads without potholes and brand new schools often seem even more important.

When visiting Prangli, it transpired that we can’t and don’t always have to turn to the government for assistance. The development of islands can only be bilateral, but the initiative must come from the place itself, as the film shows. Only the local people themselves can say whether and what needs to be done, as well as how it ought to be done. We can’t just hope that the rural municipality or state will come and suggest ready-made solutions that will match everyone’s needs. But as the film shows – life is busy on the island, bubbling with vitality and a zest for getting things done.

It’s a happy day today. And as my husband said in one of his speeches this year: “Let us not be ashamed to show our happiness! Then maybe – one day – we can be satisfied with each other (quite uncharacteristically for Estonians), admit that something has been done well and that there’s nothing to be complaining about!“

Background information: 

The documentary Viimsi Islands was produced for the 21st anniversary of Viimsi rural municipality by Estfilm, with director Elo Selirand, operator Silver Riibak and screenplay by Janek Mäggi. The music for the 58-minute film was taken from a new record by Sofia Joons. The film, which was commissioned by Viimsi rural municipality, details 11 islands of Viimsi rural municipality, focusing on Naissaar, Prangli, Keri and Aksi.