Keio Soomelt

At some point I realised that I spend too much time speaking about problems when actually it would be much more efficient to try to do something about them. At around the same time they opened new cinema in our town and then there was a match.

Our main event is the LGBTQ Film Festival Festheart in Rakvere in northern Estonia. The first one was in October last year. Festheart is not only a film festival but an LGBTQ culture festival with exhibitions, talks and so on. Between festivals we organise smaller screenings; this year we will try to do this in other Estonian towns. Our main issue is to raise LGBTQ themes in smaller towns outside the capital, where homophobia is a much bigger problem.

There are three people in our team and so much time goes into explanations, across different media: just to talk, to explain why we are doing it, sometimes to get into verbal fights with homophobes. We have some issues in our town - our city council decided that they wont support us because they think that LGBTQ issues are not a good look for our town. But regardless of these fights, there is fun and pleasure. It is a great option to organise something good for your community.

We’re inspired by all our friends and supporters; sometimes with donations but mostly with good words. Every time you get a letter or message on Facebook telling you that you are doing the right thing, you want to keep going. We want people to see that an LGBTQ festival doesn’t destroy their cinema or their town — it provides a lot of good emotions for the audience. It is very important to fight against homophobia in smaller towns. If we can help somebody here, it is truly worth it!