Success Story

BFM's Recent Graduate Mihkel Oksmann Brought Life Artists from Hiiumaa Victoriously into the Limelight

BFM's Documentary Film alumnus Mihkel Oksmann's graduate film "A Well-Kept Secret" was awarded first prize in the prestigious Ji.hlava Documentary Film Festival's Between the Seas Student Film Competition category. The winners of the seven competition categories of the 22nd Ji.hlava festival were announced at the ceremony last night.

Mihkel Oksmann with the award
Mihkel Oksmann at the Ji.hlava Festival ceremony

The film tells the story of three colorful personalities who haven't forgotten the art of life despite their age, living in Soonlepa, Hiiumaa. One day the village loses it's third leg when the 79-year-old Aino is sent to the hospital for an unknown period of time leaving the men by themselves. The jury valued "A Well-Kept Secret" as a highly original, precise and dignified portrait film.

"The award was a great surprise to me and gives confidence to move the film forward to the up and coming festivals," says Mihkel Oksmann. "I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the film."

"I'm so pleased that the international jury saw the warm personality of Mihkel's film as well as the graduation committee did," comments the curator of the Documentary Film Masters program, Riho Västrik. "Mihkel made four short films in the course of the two-year program, three of them were shot in Hiiumaa. I hear that the young man's notebook is full of themes from Hiiumaa. I'm interested to see what's to come because Estonia doesn't only consist of Tallinn."

Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival has grown out of an idea students had in 1997. Through the years it has grown into one of the biggest Documentary Film Festivals in Central and Eastern Europe.