Content of Festival News 2004


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Tampere Film Festival 2004


Jewels of the competitions are found from the sea of boxes
* "Every year it is difficult to choose the films for the competitions. There is a lot more films to be shown than there is time to screen them," says Jukka-Pekka Laakso, the Festival Director of the Tampere Film Festival.

The volunteers get to know each other
* The volunteers are vital for the Film Festival. They are needed to work in the box-office, in the kitchen, as doormen... Without the volunteers, there would be no festival.

Finnish Animation in a Nutshell
* Finnish animation began in September of 1914 when a camera followed Eric Vasström's pen when he was drawing current pictures of the day. The animation programme of Arts academy at Turku Polytechnic has brought new life in to the Finnish animation. The future looks promising.

Introducing the Film Festival Jury
* The festival offers 600 films from 42 countries in five days. There are altogether 120 screenings, and the festival is expected to gather 25 000 visitors. Several juries were introduced to the press.

Caterina D’Amico Wonders About the Anguish in the Films
* Caterina D’Amico, member of the International Competition jury, is confused: the films in the Tampere Film Festival seem very sad and anguished. Where is the joy, where is the laughter?

Taken by the Rhythm of Salsa
* The Cuban documentary film Los Zafiros was a success, but the crowd on the dance floor afterwards was even more impressive than the film.

City reception cancelled due to renovation
* This year, the city of Tampere is not arranging the traditional City Hall reception for festival guests. The reason is that the building is under a complete renovation. The City Hall is being restored both inside and outside.

Do not get stiff!
* Does your head ache? Are your shoulder muscles tensed? Have you already been sitting in the cinema for a good few hours? It is now time to repair the damages: have an exercise break.


How is cinema?


A Film Does Not Exist
* For a moment, the film takes the viewer away from everyday life to an imaginary world. The experience is so powerful that when the film ends, it takes a while to recover. What is a cinematic experience made up of then? Several researchers have studied the subject of a cinematic experience, but its origins are still unclear.

Mind-enticing films
* Over and over again films succeed in enticing us. We follow a story line enthusiastically and when given more thought, it is actually almost the same as in the film we have seen the week before. What is it about films that entice our minds?

Who Would Write the History of the Finnish Cinema?
* This year the Finnish cinema is celebrating its hundredth birthday. During this long period of time, approximately 1100 feature films and 12 000 documentary and short films have been produced, counts Raimo Silius.

It All Started from the Street Nikolainkatu
*** On the 3rd of December in 1904 a film camera was used in Finland for the first time. The cameraman is unknown. Facts ot the history of Finnish cinema.

Where else you can see short films? TV and archives help between festivals
* If you want to see short films outside film festivals, you have to go to some trouble. But there is life outside the festivals, too. So where else can one watch short films? "Television is the most important distribution channel for short films at the moment", says archivist Mari Kiiski from the Finnish Film Archive.

Get your films from the Net
* When you are dying to see a short film, the Internet comes to the rescue. The Finnish Pixoff is an interactive meeting place for film enthusiasts. On its web pages it already has nearly 300 registered short films.

Professor of Child Psychiatry wonders if art is harmful
* As a professor of child psychiatry Tuula Tamminen has seen the damages that watching films can cause to children: "Studies have shown that violence in films causes reactions in all children. There are two major trends in the case of especially sensitive children: they either express anxiety and fear or they become aggressive and restless. The more stressed the child is, the more permanent the effects will be."

Mysterious Mader Enjoys Odd Music
* ”Companies want to make profit. If an artist doesn’t have an album that is selling well, it is difficult to get support. The bohemian spirit of the 60’s has completely vanished from the music scene”, composer Mader explains.As a consequence, many artists have turned to film music to make a living. Mader says that 15 years ago, when he started, there were far fewer composers than today.

Yle supports Finnish short films both financially and mentally
* Finland's national broadcasting company, Yle, has five national television channels of which the channel two, TV2, celebrates its 40th birthday this year. Along the years Yle has been significant as a benefactor and distributor of Finnish short film production.

What happened to the micromovies?
* Micromovies, which have raised a lot of hype in the last couple of years, have quietly disappeared from the festival. When it comes to the next year's programme, the micromovie or mobie (mobile image) is still a question mark.

What are the micromovies?
* Should we forget the word micromovie and use the term 'mobie', a word derived from the words 'mobile' and 'image'. The new term refers not only to the moving image, but to the moving screen and viewer as well.

Going to the cinema abroad
* The cinema in the village of Manang in Middle Nepal, at an altitude of 3600 metres, is located in such a high place that it feels like it is on top of the world. An enjoyable Italian film experience is interrupted with a break, which is usually in the middle of the film, despite the film's story line. A film experience in Thailand always begins with paying homage to the royal family. And many other stories from different countries.

In Indonesia and Thailand Watching Films is a Social Event
* A film screen is spread out of doors, and the whole neighbourhood comes together to watch films. A small boy finds an excellent viewpoint and climbs onto the roof of his friend's house. All of a sudden the film is stopped and the following announcement is made: a mother is looking for her son.


Special screenings


A New Perspective on Holiday Memories
* Thai director Chalida Uabumrungjit doubts whether the Film Festival screenings on Thailand will make a fundamental difference on the Finns' views on the country, but she hopes, however, that the films will provide a wider perspective on the Thai culture.

Forgotten Incident Found in Film Archives
* Thai director Manutsak Dokmai wanted to bring up the events of Bangkok University in 1976 with his documentary Don’t Forget Me. The incident led to an open confrontation between the army and the demonstrating students.

In Thailand, the King is Respected Even in the Tabloids
* Even though the Thai filmmakers are nowadays making films even about the shameful prostitution, there is still one institution in Thailand that cannot be critisized.

Thailand on the big screen
* Thai films have not won favour with the general public, but many of us have, consciously or unconsciously, seen Thailand on the big screen. Did you know, that hundreds of thousands of tourists come from all over the world, wanting to cross the rebuilt Bridge on the River Kwai, whistling the familiar tune from the film.

Shooting Stars Fill Pakkahuone
* Shooting Stars, an event featuring films by mentally disabled persons, filled the Pakkahuone Hall of the Old Customs House on Wednesday. There were about 700-800 viewers in the event. This was even more than the organisers had hoped for.

”As a journalist I can serve my country the best”
* Mary Ayubi works as a journalist and documentarist, which are both her dream jobs. Her way to fulfil her dreams has not been self-evident, since around twenty years this 26-year-old Afghan woman grew up in the middle of war and oppression.

”Kabul Cinema tells the story of my generation”
* ”This film is symbolic. It is about life between war and love. It is the story of one generation”, says Abdali Muhammad, an Afghan living in Tampere.

I Hope I'm the Sickest!
* "What? Medical records? I did not even know that," says Michael Noer, when asked how he feels when his film is screened in a category whose Finnish name could be translated as "medical records" or "sick stories". In the programme, the category is called Case Records from Denmark.

Activists Must Be Seen and Heard
* It is vitally important for civil movements and activists to get publicity. However, the problem is that in general the media prefer only the most dramatic issues, such as riots and clashes with police.

Gay Culture Has to Stand out
* ”The gay culture has to beware of getting too close to the mainstream. Otherwise, it will lose its potential for social criticism”, says Michael Brynntrup, a German director of experimental films.

Méliès’ Descendants Still Hunting For the Lost Films
* Georges Méliès is regarded as the father of fiction film, probably had no idea what kind of workload his descendants would later face, when he destroyed all his own films in his possession after the first world war. Over half of the 520 films are still missing.


Documentary film


Documentary films are also interpreted information
* "Fiction can truly depict the present reality, but documentary films can go beyond this and view facts as evidence for actions. In this sense documentary films are a very strong tool for narration," says documentary film researcher Bill Nichols from the University of San Francisco.

"People mix up documentaries and journalism"
* ”People often demand that documentary films should be as truthful as journalism. However, the film is just a tool that always requires an interpretation. No picture means anything by itself”, says Kanerva Cederström, film director and Professor in Documentary Film at the University of Art and Design Helsinki.

Härö sees statists as stars
* "According to a popular Finnish song, every person is worth a song. Now it is the statists' turn to open their garderobes," director Klaus Härö says.

The Extra shows only one side of Christoffer Slotte
* The Extra, a documentary film by Klaus Härö, depicts the everyday life of statist Christoffer Slotte.

The rootless director and his extreme characters
* ”I am rootless myself, a Polish immigrant in America. I feel connected to the people I depict”, Lech Kowalski says.


Children and cinema


Primary school children turned the Ukranian folk tale into an animated film
* The class 4C of Ahvenisjärvi primary school has spent the last month preparing their short film. They have put up a puppet show, drawn the animation characters and the backgrounds. Their teacher was enthused by the ”Stories from around the world” -project since she has many immigrant children in her class.

Irish folktales an inspiration for Kantola
* The ”Stories from around the world” -pilot project, in which children make their own animations based on folktales from different countries, was launched last year. The idea was born a couple of years earlier, when media educator Maikki Kantola was charmed by folktales while working in Ireland.

A film by two sisters was chosen to participate in the Videotivoli
* Two sisters from Tampere, Virva and Päivi Junttila (aged 14 and 13), were very surprised to hear that their movie Kadonnut kannu (The Lost Jug) was chosen to be screened in the Videotivoli event.

Children Say That Theme Year's Name Filmjam Tastes Like a VCR
* Finland is currently celebrating the Children's and Youth Film Theme Year which has been named as Filmjam. The name is certainly original, it also makes us wonder what on earth is this Filmjam.

Children’s Films Are Reborn
* "21st century children's film is at its turning point. In the future children's films will be completely different", says Outi Freese, Executive Director of Koulukino, a cinema for school, which promotes the idea of children having the opportunity to go to a real cinema during the school day and see a film of which they could discuss afterwards.


Columns


Happy Birthday to You All
* To catch the festival spirit, you need a big birthday cake, lots of icing and - to compromise - one big candle in the middle of the cake. This year, the Tampere Film Festival offers many reasons to light birthday candles.

Kiss Goodbye
* Oscars, Bears, Palms, or Jussis? No. When the jury declares the winners of the 2004 competitions in Tampere, the awarded films receive the Kiss statuette.

My History of Weeping at Cinema
* ET started my personal history of weeping at the cinema. I was sitting on the first row of a small theatre in a small town with a girl I had just got to know.

National Spirit
* I was working in Belgium and presumably my longing for Finland had become so strong that I definitely wanted to see Aki Kaurismäki's Drifting Clouds.

Popcorn drama and much more
* Once I spent an entire movie watching the man next to me, fearing that he would choke on his popcorn. Having listened to his coughing long enough, I was starting to get ready to jump off my seat and run for help.

Forman laughed at socialism
* Czech comedy is often based on absurd coincides and embarrassing situations, which everyone else around seems to consider to be completely normal. Milos Forman´s The Loves of a Blond is one of those comedies.

For Adults Only
* I cannot tell whether the film Kill Bill was meant to be a comedy, but I think it was supposed to entertain the audience in any case. However, I was not entertained.

Slaves of habits
* When I and my best friend Sanna were on the fourth grade, we went to the movies just the two of us for the first time. For the movies! Just the two of us!

A Night at the Movies
* Probably the very first official date is arranged to take place at a movie theatre, the classic setting for a date. I don't remember much of the film, but everything else about that evening is still clear in my memory.

Boys and Bond
* However, part of the charm of going to the movies was lost forever when I reached the magical age of sixteen, the highest age limit for age-rated films. And as everybody knows, nothing tastes as sweet as the forbidden fruit, that is, going to bars, movies and the like when you are underage.

 

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