The Festival's Reception at the Town Hall
Tampere Film Festival's reception was held on Wednesday, the sixth of March, at the old Town Hall of Tampere. The springlike weather favoured the celebration, even though the slush wet the footwear of the partygoers thoroughly. The crystal chandeliers of the stylish Town Hall sparkled as the halls were filled with conversation in various languages. For many of the guests, the two-hour reception was over far too quickly.
Kari Uusitalo takes part in the international short film festival for the thirty-third time this year, although this is only the thirty-second Tampere Film Festival.
– The first short film event held here was in 1969, and I was already involved in the organizing back then, too. The film guru shakes his head when he is asked if he has already seen some of the mobile phone and palmtop films.
Uusitalo, a renowned connoisseur of Finnish cinema who retired from the post of the secretary general of the Finnish Film Foundation four years ago, has strong opinions about how and where films are viewed best. He thinks that the movie theatre's big screen is the most suitable platform for movies. Videos have their upsides too, as they can be watched repeatedly and wound back and forth.
In Uusitalo's opinion, the nature of the Tampere Film Festival has changed considerably as time has passed, and become more international.
– In the early years of the festival, the emphasis was on films from the East and Eastern Europe, but these days the festival features films from all over the world.
Jonathan Wells and Janson Wishinow
US Jonathan Walles was engaged in a lively conversation about the interaction between the cinema, music, art and design with Janson Wishinow. He is visiting Tampere for the second time, this year as a member of the Micromovies competition's jury, and says that he has enjoyed the experience.
Adi and Ambarini Hartomo
The diverse Indonesian cinema culture is on display during the festival week. The Indonesian embassy's Head of Political Affairs, Minister Counsellor Adi Hartomo, said that he prefers watching family movies in his free time. His spouse Ambarin also enjoys also edge-of-the-seat thrillers.
Päivi Kärkkäinen, Channel Two's new Program Director, complimented the co- operation with the festival.
– We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the children's programme Pikku Kakkonen; the actual day of the celebration is Friday March 8th. Both children and adults have shown great interest in Pikku Kakkonen. The children's programmes have a new interesting character, Nepponen the bunny, Kärkkäinen tells. ne of the first people to arrive at the Town Hall is the busy festival director Antti Vuorio. He says that everything has worked well, and already on Tuesday some of the Finnish screenings had sold out. However, Vuorio makes no definite statements yet: the final numbers on, for instance, ticket sales are not available until toward the end of the week.
The City of Tampere's Director of International Affairs, Pertti Paltila, welcomed the guests to the Town Hall.
– I'm feeling relieved, and am starting to enjoy the festival now that I have time to actually visit the screenings. The work load has already lightened considerably. Paltila was a member of the festival board for twenty-nine years, and chaired the board often. He retired from the post around a year ago.
The present chair of the festival board, Jukka-Pekka Laakso, director of the Pirkanmaa Movie Centre, was getting used to his new role as Paltila's successor.
– Apart from the normal hassle involved in all large events, everything would seem to have worked out fine. I've been too busy to make it to the screenings yet, but I have already seen a number of films during the previewing. Laakso says that the co-operation with the sponsors of the festival, the co-operation partners, has worked smoothly. The number of co-operation partners seems to have grown nicely lately. This year the festival's budget is pretty much the same as last year, 500, 000 euros, says Laakso.
Kirsi Kinnunen is selecting films for the Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival.
– I have always been a movie buff, but my history with the festival begun in 1983. I worked at the festival until 2000, and now here I am, choosing and just watching films, in addition to my daywork.
Gary Graver and Jillian Kesner
Perhaps the most famous guests of the festival, Gary Graver and his wife Jillian Kesner, travelled to the festival from Los Angeles. Graver, the cameraman and good friend of Welles, runs the Orson Welles Film Archive. His wife Jillian visits Finland for the first time, and was particularly impressed by the beautiful scenery and the number of lakes she saw during the flight. As a long-time resident of Colorado, Jillian is already familiar with snow and skiing. The flight to Finland went well, apart from the strict shoe-check.
– Well, I guess my shoes do have rather bit suspicious heels, she laughs.
And, naturally, the somewhat puzzling but tasty regional specialty "mustamakkara" (black blood sausage) was also present at the reception.
TEXT: Eeva-Liisa Vallin
TRANSLATION: Antti Pasanen
PHOTOS: Inkeri Salonharju