Project Overview

“If you are born a Seto, you remain a Seto”– As this phrase from Setomaa suggests, being a Seto implies being a possessor of a cultural past which one can’t escape. “Läinud on Jäänud” is a story of three such individuals who in their own unique circumstances juggle between the exigencies of modernity and deep echoes of a cultural past. Stuck between these two competing worlds, the characters find a middle ground in their dreams through which they understand and express their innermost feelings and fears.

A 77 years old Seto woman has covered all the windows of her 300-year-old house in order to block the sight of a railway track which she had helped to build as a poverty-stricken 14-year-old girl in the Soviet Estonia. Her son was later killed on the very same track. Today her dead son often visits her in her dreams wearing traditional Seto clothes which they could not possess in real life. As these dreams unfold, will they ever infuse her with a strength to unleash her windows and confront the railway track outside her house to reclaim her losses from a time long gone by?

A 42 years old single mother chose to live a financially unstable life at her grandmother’s Seto house right at the border in a ghostly village with only one more living inhabitant. She holds a Seto belief that the village’s former dead inhabitants who are buried across the border in a lonely graveyard visit their old homes just before the winter engulfs the village in its chilling stronghold and give her a company by appearing in her dreams. With an upcoming border fence which will run around her village, she wonders if her grandmother would still want to visit her in her dreams with this fence in between.

A 50 years old Seto artist is haunted by an incomplete song by his grandfather which he had found sometime ago. Being a member of a Seto punk band, he often improvises on this narrative-based song to find an ending to it, but with repeated feelings of discontent. His dead grandfather has at times revealed to him realities lost to time and memories through dreams, like his christian name. He wonders if his grandfather will ever finish an unfinished past locked in his song through dreams?

It’s unquestionable that the Seto culture is dynamic in nature. Like a river, it might have lost some minerals while swiftly flowing through terrains of history but in its course of journeying through landscapes of time, it has also gained several new minerals. To barricade it would be to transform a free flowing eloquent river into a stagnant puddle. But a river must remember the banks it has flown through and the lives it manifested and nurtured and this is what the characters of this film are doing.

The stories of the three characters, whose diversity offers a rich spectrum to the film, will be interspersed as their journeys unfold with a common ambition of reconnecting to a past. The narration of dreams by the characters with the dynamic, fluid and mysterious components of those dreams will knit the stories of the three characters into the film’s narrative arc with intricacy and intimacy. The narrative will have a multi-layered visual language which, in powerful aesthetic ways, will express the multiple realities which the three characters inhabit.

Short trailer


My grandfather who died when I was very young used to write and recite to me poems in a language I could barely understand. But he always explained these Urdu poems to me in colloquial Hindi. I still vividly remember his acute observations about the human condition. I can almost touch his fears, his hopes and his desires which he thoroughly acquainted me with through the translations of his poems. But I feel perplexed when I realise that he never shared with me anything about India’s partition which he had witnessed with his own eyes. This partition also divided the two languages he knew. I’ll never know what he saw but I cannot forget that he saw something which he could not get himself to talk about. I never inherited the language he wrote his poetry in but I inherited the loss of it, just like how many Setos have inherited the loss of the Seto dialect. My grandfather’s poetry modulated the very way he thought and it concealed the ways in which he understood the world. Two years ago, I saw a dream of him singing a song to me. “Don’t look back…Please don’t look back”. With this deep sense of loss, I connect to the characters of my film, whom I have known since 2015 and who try to reconnect to their Seto identities through dreams. For me as a filmmaker, making a film in Setomaa is somewhat like building a bridge between its past and present. While memories lay a sturdy base for such a bridge, hope must grasp it firmly as its supporting columns. The purpose should not only be to connect two different points of time but also to stand in middle of them, in middle of this bridge, to behold where we were, where we are and where we are led.


Varun Trikha is a documentary filmmaker based out of New Delhi, India.
He was trained as an ethicist at King’s College London and as a nonfiction
filmmaker at SACAC, India. His films have been screened worldwide including
the prestigious Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Japan and
have won awards including a best director award from the Indian Ministry of
Information and broadcasting. His latest TV Documentary ‘The Wall’ was
recently shown at Eesti Rahva Muuseum in a special program.



I met Varun Trikha, a committed documentary film maker and auteur from India, through our respected Estonian film director Kersti Uibo in the beginning of  the current year. Subsequent to the initial surprising emotions after getting to know about Varun’s creative vision for one of Estonia’s little culturally distinct groups ‘Setos’ living in the South-East of Estonia, I instantly became eager to know more about his documentary film project “Peripheral”  in development.

After seeing director’s previous works and getting a bit more into the project, it was clear to me that I would like to devote my professional skills to help bring the project to completion and to distribute the film amongst the openminded and creative documentary loving people everywhere. What especially appealed to me was both the author’s perspective view and also the actual extent of it. There are several layers of our (as of all humanity’s) cultural existence that the director wants to explore and present through his upcoming film. And I personally anticipate discovering how all this could speak out to different audiences all over the world.

As we are presently at the very beginning of the production of our Estonian-Indian film “Peripheral”, we would be extremely grateful for your possible support and will be looking forward to fruitful co-operation in the nearest future. In case of your further interest, please feel free to contact me directly, so I could provide you with more detailed information about our production budget&financing plan, distribution strategy and other.



With an educational background in philosophy and cultural theory
from Tallinn University, Karin Reinberg-Shestakov began as a producer in television, where she produced several drama series and various programs for almost 10 years. In 2005 she started her own film production company Revolver Film, and has produced a number of documentaries, shorts and a feature “The Wish Tree” (2008, dir. L.Paakspuu). Among the latest works there was also a feature documentary about internationally acclaimed Russian film director Alexandr Sokurov “The Voice of Sokurov”, dir. L. Kilpeläinen, (world premiere at Locarno IFF 2014) and a feature length music documentary about the mysterious nordic folk metal phenomenon “Heart of The Wolf”, dir L.Paakspuu, which ran in domestic cinemas for a month and had it’s world premiere at the Helsinki International Film Festival 2016 .
Karin is also an EAVE Producers Network graduate from the year 2011 and the
board member of The Estonian National Film Producers Association. 

Revolver Film is an Estonian independent production company to produce features, documentaries and shorts, but also to provide the production service for the attractive film and tv- projects from elsewhere. We focus on innovative and playful films by young promising authors and international coproductions.