Interview with Ott Rõngas

Why you chose to participate with this particular video in our contest?
Throughout this summer I participated on a project with Valga county Leader coordinator Aili Keldo and young director Kerli Adov with who we filmed over 15 villages in Valga county and called the movie "Stories of Valga county villages". We met many agricultural farms and these people, who were so close to the land, that it changed my entire perspective. I realized how ideal it is to live in a community like a village, and especially if it's earth-friendly, with all these agricultural and national traditions. During that project I was a camera operator, but I also did the soundtrack, for I've done music since childhood, due my father's musical history (he used to be a musician in a band). We had over 80 hours of material and for the film only 45 minutes was chosen. So, many things felt unsaid, and among one was why I wrote the song "Home": to defy myself what is a home for me. And then our coordinator sent the reference to this competition and the director of the summer project thought I could do a video, collecting our material, that stayed out of the project itself, and my song "Home", since it featured in the film and was many people's favourite. I listened them all. And I did well, didn't I.

How did you hear about our competition?
Well I seem to answer that question earlier.

Do you think this competition contributes to the promotion of agriculture and rural areas among people who are not farmers?
During the process of filming these villages and later after the premiere of it I heard one fellow saying that in the end as people go from cities to villages or vice versa it's just matter of changing of competences. People with particular interests gather to places where they can do what they want to do. But - how do they know about these competences that rural areas offer when there is no either visual or audiovisual references to it - so of course competitions like these promote it. Not everyone has to move to rural areas after it, but these, who have had it in their mind may get one small impact towards the step to make it. Also, my song, as the title says is about defying what is home. I have that common pattern: guy from rural area, who moved to city to get an university degree, but will always yearn to home - to a place where "you can be free." And that for me is not the city.

Would you participate in future contests on this theme?
Oh yes, absolutely. Why I encourage this competition is for 3 aspects:

  1. One word (or therefore sequences of pictures like with video) does say a thousand words: this year of 2012 Estonia had a project "Come back to country", where many publications were written about agriculture and rural areas, but we often seem to forget emotional thinking that after all is part of people's psychology, too. Therefore any image or video can give that feeling of what rural areas tend to have.
  2. Your competition is international: which helps to share different meanings to rural areas and agriculture (for example the winner of category "Quality, diversity, health - the European agricultural policy and production" fabulous photo had a strong national symbol: a wine, which on the other hand in Estonia is not very common.)
  3. With an example of my case - it got publicity in local papers and therefore manifested the other possible message of the competition: honouring the work of these who are from rural areas and/or practicing agriculture.