About Us

Collecting Baltic Diaspora stories for over a decade.

Tom Mae and Reet Mae, Producers/directors of Vabaduse Mustrid, Patterns of Freedom, an award winning feature documentary on the stories of the Estonian women of the 1944 Baltic Diaspora are now collecting stories for their new project "In Search of Our Fathers". This new project developed from our desire to understand the stories of the Estonian men of the 1944 Baltic Diaspora, and to gather the experiences of those who still remain with us. Our father, whom some Estonians know as Dr. August Mae, was a pilot in the Estonian air force, before he decided to train as a doctor. He started his medical training during the difficult years 1938-44, and like many young men of his generation was impacted by the war, but rarely spoke of it. Now we wish we had asked more about those war years and what impact the war and the subsequent escape to Sweden had on the person he became. To date, through a generous anonymous donation, a new collaborative film venture has been established between Mae Productions Inc and The Estonian Studies Centre (Toronto). A number of interviews have been conducted with men who were born in Estonia and left during the war years. The filming trips have also been supported by local Estonian communities, who found hosts for us and scheduled many interviews in varied locations; Montreal, Ottawa, Baltimore, Lakewood, and Willimantic Connecticut, resulting in new and renewed friendships for us. If you have a Baltic Diaspora story you would be willing to share, please contact us.

Projects

Our Film Projects: Patterns of Freedom and In Search of Our Fathers

“Patterns of Freedom” /”Vabaduse mustrid” – A feature length documentary film in English and Estonian(subtitled).   Leaving with nothing more than a fierce love of their culture and the skills in their hands,  generations of indigenous Estonians fled their homeland in 1944 fleeing the brutality of the advancing Soviet soldiers.  This multi-award winning film focuses on stories of the women who kept that spirit alive through work of their hands and the woven patterns of their ancestors.   We are creating 60-minute and 44-minute versions of Patterns of Freedom for broadcast.

In Search of Our Fathers (ISOOF) is a project with multiple films.  The first film “Raising the Flag”/’Lipu heiskamine” (12 min) tells the story of a small group of youth, who in the midst of war and chaos, decided their task was to raise the Estonian flag on Pikk Hermann Tower and succeeded.  The story is told in delightful animation.  This film was given as a joint gift between Mae Productions Inc and the Estonian Studies Centre to celebrate (EV100) the 100th Anniversary of Estonian independence in 2018.  Free screenings are still available in 2019, so please contact us if you would like to book one for your organization.

We continue collecting stories as time and funding permits.  We have collected some Latvian men’s stories and are working on a docudrama that would tell the stories of the men who fled the Baltics in WWII.  Some of these stories are harrowing, but all demonstrate the resilience and love of home and country that carried their culture forward in exile.  We are also working on a unique creative approach to films about Armas Maiste, our beloved Jazz pianist and Arne Roosman, our well known artist. 

Current Projects

Films we are working on

Support Us

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These films are a collaboration between the Estonian Studies Centre and Mae Productions Inc. If you would like to support these projects, Canadian tax deductible donations can be made. Please contact us if you would like to support telling our Baltic Diaspora Stories.

These films are a collaboration between the Estonian Studies Centre and Mae Productions Inc. If you would like to support these projects, Canadian tax deductible donations can be made. Please contact us if you would like to support telling our Baltic Diaspora Stories.

 

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Estonian/English Language Documentary Films

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56 Hambly Ave
Toronto, Ontario M4E 2R6
Canada