Finnish film shot on an old Nokia phone gets its world premiere at the Rotterdam Film Festival
Ten years ago, Jesse Jalonen bought a Nokia camera phone, and the jagged quality of the pictures he took with it stuck in his mind. "Back then, I would hardly have thought that I would still be shooting a long film with it," Jalonen laughs.
According to the Finnish Film Foundation, the Rotterdam Film Festival is one of the most important film events in Europe. This year, the only Finnish film in the programme is Jesse Jalonen's debut feature, Nobody Meets Your Eyes. The 65-minute film is about the invisible people living among us, who can only be seen through the camera.
The film follows Tuomas, a single father who gets into trouble with child protection services because of his invisibility. The other main character, Ninni, meets her internet lover for the first time in real life, but even then there is a camera between them.
Jalonen decided to shoot the film on an old Nokia for its ray-film-like look and convenient size. "The mobile phone went everywhere in my pocket. I shot the film footage slowly over a period of four years," Jalonen says.
The film combines documentary and fiction. The Rotterdam Film Festival describes it as "a sensitive story about fundamental loneliness and the comfort of connection".
The film was produced by Ella Ruohonen at Aalto University's Department of Film and Stage Design in collaboration with Fossi Films. It is Jalonen's final project in his film directing major at Aalto University.
The Rotterdam International Film Festival is being held for the 51st time from 26 January to 6 February. The event is one of the most important in the industry and is particularly known for its programme of independent and experimental films. Nobody Meets Your Eyes is featured in the festival's short and medium-length film section. The Finnish premiere of the film is not yet known.