In Memoriam: Jaak Lõhmus

We are saddened to announce that film lecturer and critic Jaak Lõhmus has left us at the age of 69.

Jaak Lõhmus
Jaak Lõhmus

Jaak Lõhmus (25.04.1955 - 29.06.2024) was the curator of the film history program at the Baltic Film, Media and Arts Institute (BFM) which was screened at the Supernova cinema during the school year, he has given lectures on film history and worked as a film journalist for various cultural publications for a long time. Jaak Lõhmus has been awarded several awards for his work in the film industry. Film was his passion.

In terms of education, Lõhmus was not a film specialist, he first studied artistic wood processing at the Tartu Art School (1970-1973) and then graduated from the University of Tartu with a major in Estonian philology.  His philological background gave him a distinctive background and sharp pen for his film work. Colleague and former classmate Barbi Pilvre expresses her condolences to Jaagu's family on the occasion of the sad event and says to her fellow student: "Good coursemate from Estonian philology at the University of Tartu, I will always remember your impressive knowledge of the cultural life of Estonia, especially Tartu, as well as world cinema, even when it was a big taboo!"

Film played an important role in Jaak's life, he made a huge contribution to ensuring that film history was covered in books and that analytical articles about films appeared in cultural media. A generational colleague, associate professor of design at BFM, Krista Aren, says that as a fierce voice of opinion, a passionate film fanatic and a great reader, Jaak was definitely also an influence on my world." Likewise, a generational colleague and neighbor, associate professor of film direction at BFM, Peeter Simm describes him: "Jaak was wicked, but good." Lõhmus himself would comment on the fact that he is a very emotional person.

Elen Lotman, associate professor of cinematography at BFM: "Jaak was an invaluable bearer of the memory of Estonian cinema, and his passing leaves a gaping void both in our hearts and in the oral tradition of Estonian cinema. As with any really good teacher, he taught both what to think about and how to think - every good professor is both a bearer of knowledge and a role model. As a professor of film history, he passed on an invaluable gift to his students, and now they carry on his legacy - respect and undying interest in film history."

Jaak Lõhmus always told his film students that Estonian film has never had such good times as now, but everything is still unfinished. The students' task was to creatively decipher it for themselves. Jaak Lõhmus was a serious man full of quirks. Versatile, intelligent, a good conversationalist. Rest in peace, Jaak. 

We express our deepest condolences to the family, friends, colleagues and former students of Jaak Lõhmus.