Come See My Film at the SF Dance Film Festival!


I’m very excited to have a film showing in the SF Dance Film Festival, which opens on September 12! The idea for the film was to create awareness about the Estonian flag and the Estonian culture since it’s my home country and I feel very passionate about it.


The film project team


I first created this film as part of a series that was showcased at the de Young Museum last year. The original film is in three parts, and the festival chose the third installment as the film they will feature. It includes SF Ballet Principal Dancer Sarah Van Patten who, with paint on her pointe shoes, tracks the choreography she’s dancing onto a white canvas. I choreographed the movement very deliberately to create certain patterns. To me, the white canvas represents the white at the bottom of the Estonian flag and this translates to hope and something very pure. The black paint on Sarah’s pointe shoes represents the various occupations of Estonia over the years, which are dark moments in my country’s history. But they never completely take over the white—the hope always shines through.

I directed and conceived the film and Austin Forbord of Rapt Productions, co-directed. He was invaluable in helping me figure out camera angles—he had a great team who worked at all hours to piece it together because we had one shot at doing it right. Our producer was Elizabeth Fullerton and I feel so lucky to have worked with such great collaborators on this project.


Sarah getting her makeup done for the shoot


Sarah did a great job of dancing the choreography full-out while looking relaxed, even with slippery paint on her shoes! In addition to the idea of Estonia, there is also something interesting about physically documenting choreography which is basically ephemeral — it just proves that there’s art in everything. After the film was shown at the de Young, I had the canvas specially treated and signed by Sarah — it can either be hung up on the wall or used as a rug, I haven’t decided which yet!

You won’t want to miss this international dance festival and conference — it’s going to be great. See you there!


CONTEST: SF Ballet has teamed up with the SF Dance Film Festival to challenge you to make a six-second film for the chance to see it screened at the Festival and win Nutcracker tickets! Find out more here.


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One Comment

  1. avatar Anja Miller
    Posted August 27, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Tiit, from one of your faithful fans.

    As another person with two citizenships and love of both countries, I’m proud of you, “velimies,” for this patriotic use of your talent and public exposure.

    Keep up the good work!
    Looking forward to seeing you dance again during the next season,


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