Finnish films captivate global festival audiences
Activist (Aktivisti) has been named the best documentary at CinemAmbiente in Turin, Italy. Finnish films will also be screened at Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea and at Palm Springs International ShortFest in the US.
Directed by Petteri Saario and produced by DocArt, Activist tells the story of a young woman in Sodankylä, Finnish Lapland, who takes on one of the largest mining conglomerates in the world in an attempt to protect her home town and its precious string bog.
“Activist gives clear proof of what each of us – no matter what age – can do to make a difference,” the award jury noted.
CinemAmbiente received a record-breaking 3 200 film submissions and drew an attendance of over 15 000 in 2018 to cement its status as one of the world’s most important environmental film festivals. Only 118 of the 3 200 submissions were accepted into the competitive categories of the festival, which is already in its 21st year.
Helsinki Mansplaining Massacre, meanwhile, is to vie for glory in the short film category of Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) outside Seoul, South Korea, between 12 and 22 July.
Directed and written by Ilja Rautsi, the short film combines elements of horror, humour and social commentary to depict the desperate struggle of a woman in the face of a group of men eager to explain everything to her.
“I think you can and should use genre films not only for pure entertainment but also for social commentary,” says Rautsi. “The film portrays mansplaining as a demon that is evoked by gender roles. The ‘logic’ of mansplaining works the same way as that of monsters in horror films through the ages: there is no stopping it.”
Finnish film-makers are well represented also at Palm Springs International ShortFest, with Juho Kuosmanen’s Moonshiners (Salaviinanpolttajat), Ulla Heikkilä’s #Barewithme (#Sovitus) and Jenni Toivoniemi’s The Door (Ovi) all part of the programme in Palm Springs, California, on 19–25 June.