Archive of films I Was Here / Ma olin siin

Estonia / Finland
2008, 89 min

Section: East of the West - Competition
Year: 2008

Seventeen-year-old Rass is growing up in an Estonian suburb. He has his own dreams for his life, and suddenly he seems very close to attaining them. Rass becomes a drug dealer… This social criticism about growing up, based on the successful novel by Sass Henn, is a documentary-style testament of one generation.


An adaptation of a book by Sass Henno, I Was Here. First Arrest (Mina olin siin. 1. esimene arrest, 2005), one of the most important Estonian works of literature of recent years. Seventeen-year-old Rass is growing up in an Estonian suburb. In the absence of a solid home life his family becomes a group of youngsters who are verging on being thieves. Drugs are an inseparable part of their lives, and when Rass agrees to distribute them, he gets tangled up in the narcotics trade. Small amounts suddenly become two-kilo packages that the mafia, to the misfortune of all involved, has not been paid for, and is ready to collect on by force… This story of one boy’s adolescence unwinds retrospectively over a sheet of paper on which Rass records his memories while in prison. The camera intermediates these recollections in a nervous journalistic stylisation, often even duplicating the images, which increases the pace of the story, a true-to-life basis for which can be easily imagined.

About the director

René Vilbre (b. 1970, Rakvere, Estonia) has been making films and working as a screenwriter and producer since 1993. In 1995 he began working successfully with Estonian television, where he became one of the leading directors. After several short films (such as Family Event / Perekondlik sündmus, 1998) he made his feature film debut with Mat the Cat (Röövlirahnu Martin). The modern fairytale about an unassertive boy from Tallinn looking for new friends after moving to the countryside was intended primarily for children’s audiences.


Nurme 45, 11616, Tallinn
Tel: +372 677 6363
Fax: +372 677 6361
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm
World premiere

Section: East of the West - Competition
Director: René Vilbre
Screenplay: Ilmar Raag podle románu / based on the novel by Sass Henno
Dir. of Photography: Mait Mäekivi
Music: Jimi Tenor, Rainer Jancis
Editor: Joona Louhivuori
Producer: Riina Sildos
Production: Amrion
Cast: Rasmus Kaljujärv, Margus Prangel, Hele Kõre, Marilyn Jurman, Tambet Tuisk, Lembit Ulfsak
Contact: Amrion


René Vilbre

Film Director

Riina Sildos

Festival Organizer, Producer

Rasmus Kaljujärv


Tambet Tuisk


Tristan Priimägi


Dagmar Reinolt

Public Relations


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