We’ve been seen! The future of Finnish cinema on display at SuomiAreena in Pori

Welcome to a non-stop screening of Aalto University's award-winning student films at the Pori Art Museum on Tuesday 12 July 2022!
Meidät on nähty short films at SuomiAreena
Noora Dadu in the short film Mother's Wrath. Graphic design of the event by Fanni Perälä

Cannes, Sundance, Venice and Berlin Film Festivals, Oscars — Finnish cinema is being recognised in the world's most important arenas. The new filmmakers are diverse, personal and fresh. There is a generational change underway and with it a major cultural shift.

Aalto University's Department of Film ELO is a major player in the Finnish film and audiovisual industry, being the only one in Finland to offer university-level film studies. A large proportion of current and future film and TV drama makers are studying or have studied at ELO.

The works of future filmmakers can be seen at SuomiAreena democracy festival in Pori, in Aalto University's "We’ve been seen!" short film event. On Tuesday 12 July from 11-18, six ELO student films will be screened non-stop at the Pori Art Museum. You can just turn up and sit down to enjoy.

The same films will also be screened in September at Oodi Library in Helsinki.

Aalto University's short films in SuomiAreena 2022

    KESTOMERKITSIJÄT (Roadmarkers), 2008, a film by Juho Kuosmanen

    Roadmarkers, 2008, directed by Juho Kuosmanen, 19 min.
    Third place in the Cannes Film Festival Cinefondation Competition 2008

    Early student work by the celebrated and award-winning director. The film deals with the difficulty of forgiveness in Finnish culture, new beginnings and hope.

    Director: Juho Kuosmanen, Script: Paula Mononen, Producer: Toni Panula, Cinematographer: Mika Vartiainen, Sound: Pietu Korhonen, Editing: Maria Palavamäki, Set design: Iina-Maija Koskinen, Cast: Elina Hietala, Mikko Pörhölä, Jami Hyttinen

    HEI HEI TORNIO (Goodbye Tornio), 2021, a film by Emilia Hernesniemi

    Goodbye Tornio, 2021, directed by Emilia Hernesniemi 19 min.
    The film is the first Jussi Award-winning student work. Goodbye Tornio won the Jussi Award for Best Short Film of 2021.

    A sensitive documentary short film about what it's like to go out into the big world and try your own wings.

    Director & script: Emilia Hernesniemi, Producer: Eveliina Mauno, Cinematography: Iiris Heikka, Sound: Saku Anttila, Editing: Maija Karhula, Composer: Rolf Gustavson, Main cast: Vilma Tihinen

    KAIKKI ÄITINI PUHELUT (All My Mom's Phone Calls), 2021, a film by Iiti Yli-Harja

    All My Mom's Phone Calls, 2021, directed by Iiti Yli-Harja, 10 min.

    An animation about an everyday woman who is responsible for her own life. How chaotic can it feel during busy years to support your children, parents and relatives by phone in matters big and small?

    Director, script, producer, cinematography, set & costume design, animation: Iiti Yli-Harja, Sound: Ville-Matti Koskiniemi, Editing: Lyydia Mäkipää, Composer: Pietu Arvola & Ville-Matti Koskiniemi, Cast: Maija, Rai, Alli, Jukka, Iiti, Paula Roine, Sonja Järvisalo, Mari-Sohvi Miettinen, Jere Leinonen, Veera Tapper

    HAIKARA (Nesting), 2020, a film by Siiri Halko

    Nesting, 2020, directed by Siiri Halko 20 min.

    Veikka, who moves from a construction site in a small town to work in Helsinki, thinks that goodbyes will be a casual affair. But when a baby is found in a crane, the farewell turns into an absurd situation.

    Director: Siiri Halko, Script: Petra Koivula, Producer: Aino Niemi, Cinematography: Ari Virem, Sound: Ossi Oikari, Editing: Saara Välimäki, Set design: Aki Tarkka, Costume design: Aurora Frestadius, Composer: Emil Sana, Cast: Mikko Kauppila, Sami Lanki, Samuli Jaskio, Tuire Tuomisto

    PERINTÖ (Mother’s Wrath), 2021, a film by Tuuli Sirkeinen

    Mother's Wrath, 2021, directed by Tuuli Sirkeinen 16 min.

    A short film about a perpetually angry Tiina who hides her anger to be a good mother to her child. The family holiday mood tightens when teenager Amanda wants to take steps towards adulthood.

    Director: Tuuli Sirkeinen, Script: Mikko Peltotupa, Producer: Janne Lähteenmäki, Cinematography: Mikael Nieminen, Sound: Saku Anttila, Editing: Maija Karhula, Set design: Ruut Mantila, Matti Maalismaa, Costume design: Meri Craig, Suvi Kajas, Composer: Karin Mäkiranta, Cast: Noora Dadu, Elea Susipolku, Miiko Toiviainen, Sonja Kuittinen

    vanhempi mieshenkilö istuu kotisohvalla ja katsoo kameraan, sohvan selkänojan päällä on kasa pehmonalleja ja pöydällä palaa kynttilöitä

    On Hold, 2020, directed by Laura Rantanen 20 min.
    Winner of the Visions du Réel documentary film festival in Switzerland

    Boys' Phone is a documentary short film with themes of over-generationalisation and socially constructed masculinity. The documentary is based on discussions held on the Boys' Phone service of the Population Union. It is an anonymous chat service for boys and young men under the age of 20.

    Director, script: Laura Rantanen, Producer: Anna Mellin, Cinematography: Tomi Rislakki, Sound: Iivo Korhonen, Editing: Menni Renvall, Cast: Seppo Kotkanen, Hannu Luutonen, Topi Virtanen, Jukka Ukkonen, Vesku Santala, Rauno Koivunen, Risto Hartikainen, Anneli Koivunen, Kari Skogberg, Tuija von Konow, Markku Laine

    Aalto University participates in SuomiAreena

    SuomiAreena is Finland's largest democracy festival and social discussion event, which annually highlights themes and actions that move Finnish society towards a better future. At this year's SuomiAreena, Aalto University wants to spark discussion about the future of the audiovisual sector. Film and TV productions have the potential to become a driving force of Finland's creative economy, as long as the conditions for the sector are secured. Higher education in the audiovisual sector plays a key role in this development.

    The audiovisual sector builds cultural capital

    Film and other audiovisual works build and comment on national identity. They capture, transmit and present local cultural features, condensing issues relevant to a particular time and community. In addition, films and series carry cultural memory forward and contribute to safeguarding the status of the Finnish language.

    This is valuable cultural work that is reflected not only on us Finns but also on the external brand image of Finland. It matters what kind of stories we tell. In recent years, Finnish cinema has broadened its scope of themes and narrayives. Alongside action films and humour, a new kind of storytelling has emerged: we’re seeing a more personal touch that is rooted in everyday experiences. The diversity of authors enriches and brings fresh perspectives to filmmaking.

    Aalto University's film department ELO offers space and tools to find your own voice and artistic vision. Indeed, autonomy is the guiding star of ELO’s education, and in fact the core strength of university-level education. Successful filmmaking is ultimately the result of auteurism and passion.

    Excellence in audiovisual content production

    Audiovisual content production is a team effort requiring high levels of artistic, technological and business skills.

    Productions require expensive equipment and studio spaces as well as a large working team. The work requires leadership skills, entrepreneurship, an understanding of well-being at work and team dynamics. Copyright issues need to be supported by legal expertise.

    In recent years, Finland has seen a comprehensive professionalisation of the sector, with major qualitative leaps in different areas of expertise. Aalto University has reformed its film education so that the skills needed to make successful film productions include artistic, production and management skills.

    AV productions are therefore neither easy nor cheap, and the same is true for AV education: it ties up resources — equipment and facilities — in a very different way compared to other higher education. Therefore, the specific nature of film education should also be taken into account in its funding.

    The audiovisual sector is now a growth area

    The film, television and audiovisual sector in Finland has grown and internationalised rapidly over the last five years. Streaming services have opened up new distribution channels and international funding is increasingly available.

    According to a study by VTT and Business Finland 2021, the turnover of Finnish production companies increased by more than 40% between 2016 and 2019. In addition, EU export revenues almost doubled between 2016 and 2019, from €21.6 million to €43 million. This growth has had a positive impact on employment opportunities for companies in the sector.

    The audiovisual sector is therefore one of Finland's great creative economic opportunities. The sector is now in the process of building an audiovisual growth deal, where the public sector and audiovisual operators together define the sector's future growth and development objectives as well as future business opportunities.

    But growth does not happen on its own and cannot be sustained without continuous effort. Preserving, strengthening and internationalising national cinema and TV drama requires a strong commitment from all stakeholders. One of the most important investment is in education, research and the infrastructure needed to support them.

    For more information:
    Laura Pekkarinen, Specialist, Societal Impact at Aalto University
    [email protected]
    Tel. +358 50 4767565

    Outi Turpeinen, Senior specialist at Aalto University (art & exhibitions)
    [email protected]
    Tel. 0504314194

    Lue lisää:

    Nainen vihreässä takissa puhuu puhelinkioskissa ulkona

    A new boom in Finnish cinema (external link)

    Finland’s film industry is thriving and attracting new audiences at home and overseas. Where does the success come from?

    Kolme nuorta naista nauraa sylikkäin sohvalla

    Action! - Women's turn (external link)

    Gender equality project in the film and TV sector has identified barriers to equality and women's employment in the sector.


    More than 60 years of Finnish film education (external link)

    Film education in Finland began among the first in Europe.

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