"In Search of Our Fathers" (ISOOF)

Short Stories Project Goal: $100K

Thank you to our early Donors!

We are Tom Mae and Reet Mae, (brother and sister) and have collected Estonian/Baltic diaspora stories for the past decade.

As producers/directors our first feature length documentary was about the women’s stories (Vabaduse mustrid/Patterns of Freedom), followed by the one of the men’s stories (Lipu heiskamine/Raising the Flag).

Given the war in Ukraine, we need to reimagine the way we present Estonian/Baltic men’s stories. Current events in Ukraine are parallel to the experiences of the Baltic Nations in the 1940s.

Your support will help us to preserve powerful stories of the Estonian Diaspora men and film relevent current stories.

To see our digital triptych paintings “Raising the Flag 1941 / Raising the Flag 2022, Please visit our EKKT virtual exhibit page on display till December 1st, 2022.

The community is invited to support the next phase of, “In Search of Our Fathers” digital art/film project telling the Estonian/Baltic men’s stories.

Double your impact: all donations up to $10, 000 will be matched by an anonymous donor until December 31st, 2022.

Our fundraising will continue to December 31st, 2022. By cheque (make cheque out to "Estonian Studies Centre" with a memo that this is "in support of the In Search of Our Fathers Project").

Cheques can be mailed to 310 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON M5S 1W4. To donate by bank deposit or to donate securities, (including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds), or any other questions, please contact Indrek Lõo at (416) 925-9405 or accounting [at] tartucollege.ac
Click on Donate button to make an online donation.
(Canadian Tax Receipt issued for donations above $20).

We continue our work through the collaborative film venture previously established between Mae Productions Inc and The Estonian Studies Centre (Toronto) with the help of donors like you.

Our father, whom some Estonians in Toronto know as Dr. August Mae, was a pilot in the Estonian air force before he decided to train as a doctor. He started 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.

As with the women's stories (Vabaduse mustrid/Patterns of Freedom), the aim of the men's stories project (Meie isade otsingul/In Search of Our Fathers) project was to bring understanding of the Estonian/Baltic Diaspora to a wider audience.

Over the years, we have recorded a number of powerful stories from men who shared their lives in Estonia, as soldiers during the war years, their flight to freedom, and the building of Estonian communities in exile around the globe. They were the creators of our community resources, that are being reimagined as with the new Estonian centre Keskus in Toronto - institutions that held our culture alive over the years. Your funding support will enable us to weave their stories together into this new project.

The first in this series of men’s stories completed was Lipu Heiskamine/Raising the Flag. It is an individual story told by Fred lse who was 16 years old at the time, about the early morning hours of August 28th, 1941, the day that the Russian army was retreating, and the German army was marching into Tallinn.

Please feel free to contact us if you wish to screen either of our earlier films. Trailers can be seen at https://www.balticstories2018.com/

This image for Image Layouts addon

Raising the Flag 1941

The image is based on an unreleased, remastered digital art file from the first of our short men’s
films, “Lipu Heiskamine/Raising the Flag”. The film is based on Fred Ise’s story when he, along
with a small group of schoolboys raised the Estonian Flag on Pikk Herman tower on August 28,
1941, in that brief moment of hope as the Soviet armies were retreating and the Omakaitse
(”home guard”) and German army was reaching Tallinn, Estonia.
This image for Image Layouts addon


White doves have been a symbol of peace across many cultures. This dove expresses our
hope for peace in Ukraine with continuing peace for the Baltics and the right of all nations to live
in freedom under their own flag on their own soil.
This image for Image Layouts addon

Raising the Flag 2022

The image is based on an artist depiction of an event in Ukraine similar to raising the flag in
1941in Estonia. On September 4th, 2022, the Ukrainian Army raised the Ukrainian Flag when
they reached a hospital in Vysokopillya, liberating Ukrainian territories that had been occupied
by the Russian army.
Please support our fundraising for this project by donating, or if you can, help us to solicit
funds or help us seek grants that would finance this important work.
(Please contact us if you have a story to share.)
Pikk jalg
Raising the Flag 1941, interactive 3D animation test
Vysokopillya, Kherson Oblast
Raising the Flag 2022, 3D model animation documentary scene test
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