Film and media blog

5 questions: Katrin Saks

16.10.2016 15:23:41

BFM blog’s  new column is called “5 questions” in which we will discover, what kind of people teach and work in BFM. Our first guest is Katrin Saks, who is the director of Baltic Film Media Arts and Communication School.

1. In what kind of world do you live in?

In a real one where my day starts by braiding my daughter Iiris’s hair and ends when my dog Sofi gets me out walking. A lovely routine. In between, lots of meetings, representing, solving problems, bureaucracy and complicated human relationships, but I like it. Sometimes also making things up – that I love even more.

Of course I enjoy reading books, watching films and listening to music which carries me into a different world and allows me to take care of my spirit. I am not running from anything – I like the life I am living and I enjoy the small things. When life gets difficult, I get some energy from my oak trees that grow next to my home. I also like to have a walk in the forests or sail the sea. A few times a year I go far away to do some diving –it is a different reality there and I am a different creature.

I have been to many countries, but believe I am very lucky to have been born here.

2.  Most interesting book/film/play that has inspired your life?

I have many books and films on my nightstand. One of the last books I really enjoyed was Tan Twan Eng’s “The Garden of Eveings Mist”. Different books have impacted me at different times, like Gabriel Gracia Marquez “One Hundred years of Solitude” ,12 years later Stefan Zweig “The World of Yesterday”. As a teenager, I started going to different film clubs where the program was different from mainstream thinking. I also went to the Moscow film festival. Big directors like Andrei Tarkovski, Andrzj Wajda and Ingmar Bergman and his “Wild Strawberries” created a whole new world. When I was in university, Estonian authors like Jaan Toomingas and Evald Hermaküla also had a huge impact on me.

I would say that my destiny certainly was most directly affected by the film “Spring”. As I wrote about it in admission to the Tartu University Department of Journalism. I had to submit a portfolio. I decided to go for long and comprehensive study film studies, and it worked very well for me, I was submitted to Tartu University. But I really think “Kevade” is one of the most influential film for the whole Estonian nation as it unites us Estonians very well.

3. If there was only one thing you could say to today’s students what would it be?

In reality, there is no such thing as one thing, one goal, one way or one truth… the truth is, of course, more complicated. When a science-based approach says that the Earth is round, then those who say it to be square, well those I would not believe.

4. Over time a lot of students have studied in BFM, and students change over time, what is the current face of a student?

As time passes I most often experience how students know something I do not know. At the same time I have seen things that young people don’t have a clue about. More generally, we all live under the growing flood of information and it becomes harder and harder to see things that matter to us. The ability to tell important things from less important things comes with time.

5. The specialty that you chose, how did you reach it?

Along a really interesting road, I would say. Having graduated from high school, I dreamed of going to Moscow’s film school. But as my Russian was poor at that time, I decided to postpone the dream. Then, in Tartu University, Department of Journalism was opened, and it seemed like an interesting opportunity. After obtaining the diploma, I worked for Estonian television for 18 years. In the beginning as a junior editor and at the end I was a journalistic program manager and a board member. I also got a diploma from the Estonian School of Diplomacy. Then I was in politics for 12 years and that really was an exciting time in my life as I had the chance to be where decisions were made. Then I decided to make a U-turn and combine these different experiences I had gathered. I started to work in a university. University is a very dynamic environment and BFM has grown very fast. You could even say turbulently, but I love storms.


Katrin Saks
BFM director


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