Award-winning director Emilia Hernesniemi at the helm of documentary on radical creativity for Aalto University

Brain researchers, satellite developers, seaweed artists, students, startup entrepreneurs, fashion designers and ice researchers will be among those featured in the film
Elokuvaaja Iiris Sjöblad ja ohjaaja Emilia Hernesniemi radikaalista luovuudesta kertovan dokumenttielokuvan kuvauksissa. Kuva: Hayley Le
Cinematographer Iiris Sjöblad and director Emilia Hernesniemi filming the radical creativity documentary. Photo: Hayley Le

In an uncertain and rapidly changing world, radically creative thinking, visions, solutions and actions are needed more than ever. Still, it remains an underutilised resource for most organisations, individuals and societies, because creativity requires a lot of experimentation and exploring the unknown. 

Award-winning director Emilia Hernesniemi is now making a long documentary film for Aalto University on radical creativity, which is also of the university’s strategic, crosscutting themes. For Hernesniemi, the creative process demands passion, funding and tremendous belief in the community, work and one's own potential. 

‘In creative work — regardless of whether it is research, art or business — the outcome we desire is never guaranteed. The core message of the film is clear: we need radical creativity when we want to change the world. Creativity involves both courage and action. It belongs to everyone and resides inside all of us,” Hernesniemi says. 

The documentary will be shot by Iiris Sjöblad, who, like Hernesniemi, has studied at Aalto University's Department of Film. The documentary Hei hei Tornio, which won the Jussi Award for Best Short Film — a prestigious distinction in the Finnish film industry — was also the result of collaboration between Hernesniemi and Sjöblad. 

President Ilkka Niemelä: Radical creativity touches all of society 

The film’s creators see radical creativity as a bold renewal strategy that fundamentally changes the ways in which people, organisations and societies function. It can be used in problem-solving and innovation. It can help promote a society that is both more vibrant and more compassionate — a society that encourages people to think and act beyond current limits and structures.  

‘Radically creative thinking and ways of doing can be seen in how Aalto University was founded: an atypical combination of expertise in different fields. For us, creativity — or radical creativity — is a very broad subject that touches all of society, which should be explored also artistically to inspire new thinking in as many people as possible,’ says Aalto University President Ilkka Niemelä

The documentary film’s executive producers are Milla Kokko from Aalto University and Kimmo Syväri from the Koski Syväri production company. Kokko points out that radical creativity cannot exist without the ability and willingness to tolerate risks; it sometimes requires accepting even a little chaos. 

‘Initially, many radically creative solutions seem impossible or even ridiculous. Radical creativity can disrupt or threaten existing structures, which is why it feels so challenging. The production model of this film, which involves collaboration between the university, individual film professionals and a production company, is also exceptional in many ways. The whole team has adopted an entirely new approach,’ Kokko says.  

 The film will be shot in the Spring 2023 and will premiere in Spring 2024.  

Additional information: 
Milla Kokko, Aalto-yliopisto 
Radical Creativity, Senior Specialist / Executive Producer 
[email protected] / +358 40 8600277 

Riikka Mäkikoskela, Aalto-yliopisto 
Head of Radical Creativity 
[email protected] / +358 45 131 3562 

Radical creativity illustration: Anna Muchenikova

Radical creativity

We build an outstanding creative community for new thinking.

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