Kihnu: The Isle of Women
Have you ever wanted to visit a real-life version of Wonder Woman‘s all-female island home of Themyscira?
Believe it or not, there’s a very real island where the women run the show: the Estonian island of Kihnu.
With an area of 6.3 square miles and a population of about 700, Kihnu isn’t exactly crowded, but the majority of its inhabitants are female. While the idea of an Isle of Women is certainly appealing, there are tons of other reasons for movie directors or cinematographers to explore this fascinating place in deeper detail.
“Visitors to this peaceful isle in the Baltic Sea are struck by its windswept beaches surrounding pristine forests and the occasional brightly colored farmhouse,“ writes Hillary Richard in a recent New York Times article, who goes on to comment that, in contrast to the other islands which are mostly untouched, “Kihnu stands out precisely because of its inhabitants.”
Anyone with an eye for film will want to take this island into account: not only does it come with an array of stunning nature scenes and bright buildings, it’s home to some pretty colorful characters. Take Virve Koster for instance: At 91 years young, this woman is not only one of the islands longest-living inhabitants, but is also an actively touring, successful folk singer.
Surely someone like this will have some stories to inspire your next script, or add a pinch of personality to one of your scenes?
So: Where are all the men?
Traditionally, men would have been out hunting and fishing, presumably either at sea or on other islands, for extended periods of time. So, the women took over all the tasks, including building, farming, riding motorbikes and…well, yes, pretty much everything else.
“Of course, women are capable. Of course, women are competent. But no, men and women aren’t equal — women have proven they can do everything men can, but men can’t do everything women can,” notes Ms. Richard.
And in case this wasn’t enough to tempt you to explore this extraordinary place, you should know that filming on Kihnu (or anywhere else in Estonia, for that matter) comes with some serious perks. Film Estonia’s production incentive supports the production of feature films, feature documentaries, animation films, animation series, high-end TV-drama and the post-production of all beforementioned works.
Kihnu’s clothing, language, music, dances, games and handicrafts are part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, and you’ll see why once you take a look at one of the beautifully-crafted homespun striped körts (skirts). Many music and cultural festivals are also held on the island, including Kihnu Mere Pidu (Kihnu Sea Party) and Kihnu Violin Festival that invites top Estonian violin players to compete.
Apply today for an opportunity to receive a cash rebate of up to 30% on eligible production costs!