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FESTHEART is the only annual LGBT+ film festival in the Baltics area, first held in October of 2017. 


The first three years of the festival it took place in Rakvere (a smalltown of 15k inhabitants in Estonia), 2020 the festival has also expanded to Tartu, the second-largest city in Estonia. 


This is the first recurring film festival in the Baltics focusing on sexual and gender minorities. 

FESTHEART's mission is to find a humanistic common ground between different groups of society. FESTHEART  believes intelligent debate contributes to the growth of tolerance and acceptance. The festival's chief executive is Keio Soomelt, author of the festival's idea and artist Teet Suur and program manager Tiina Teras


The 1st FESTHEART held in Rakvere on 6-8 October 2017, was in the listing of 100 events celebrating Estonia's 100th anniversary. 


At the opening of the festival, among others, Riigikogu chairman Eiki Nestor and minister of culture Indrek Saar spoke. Festheart's main guest was U.S. director and actor Gerald McCullouch, whose film “Daddy” was featured in the festival's main program.

The first year FESTHEART was nominated for The Deed of The Year in 2017 both by the Estonian People's Houses Association and for the Western Viru Municipalities Union and the Virumaa Teataja “Act of the Year of the Western Viru County”. 


Keio Soomelt received an award for the outstanding contribution to LGBT culture by Tupilak, an organisation that brings together Nordic LGBT cultural workers.



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