60 min

In production

In the Winds of the Icefields

Jääväljade tuules

Directing: Mihkel Oksmann


Ice sailing, also known as ice boating, has been enchanting and thrilling people since the 17th century. Before the invention of the internal combustion engine it was the fastest man-built vehicle.

85-year-old Vello Jürjo is a legendary ice sailor, engineer and coach who does not know how to stop. Throughout his career, he has built a few dozens of ice yachts. Today he is crafting his last, a rather particular one, and gives professional advice to anyone who asks. Unfortunately, the phone is ringing less often. Vello feels excluded from the game. The fact that he didn’t manage to raise any of his offspring into an ice sailor also disappoints him. Amid global warming, he encounters seasons without any suitable ice to sail. The golden age of ice sailing is over. And if there is ice, Vello no longer tends to go on it alone – his spirit allows, but his body forbids. Vello's world is slowly melting down. But he does not know how to stop. When his wife Urve occasionally suggests he should quit, Vello resolutely responds – Never!

Vello lives together with his wife on a small island in Estonia. He has adapted part of their home into a workshop. When the filmmaker comes to film his grandfather working on his last iceboat, grandfather forces a helmet on his head and tells him to jump on the boat. This is Vello's last chance to go on the ice. His grandson understands that it is not possible to say no. The final performance of the ice sailor now depends on him. Despite the underlying suspicion that it’s all a fight against the inevitable, the grandson moves in with his grandparents. Together they sail to the future and the past and ice sailing becomes their common language. A language that offers comical situations, vital humor entangled in stubbornness as well as deeper reflection on passion, time and environment. It is an ethereal environment threatened with disappearance.


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