Text: Riina Perttula
Translation: Hanna Tarvainen, Leena Rajamäki
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 designed by Tapio Junno.
In addition to the statuettes, the festival also gives out checks. What would be a better way of awarding the experts of film branch? Hopefully the Euros will make sure that new ideas have the chance to reach the big screen.
But although films receive awards in breathtaking amount of competitions and galas all around the world, is it even possible to make films compete with each other? Can you compare different films, despite the fact that short films and feature films are separated from each other, and fact and fiction are categorised in different genres?
Kanerva Cederström, Professor in Documentary Film at the University of Art and Design Helsinki, says, "documentary film doesn't fit into any prescribed framework. There is no right kind of documentary."
Cederström's idea can be extended to include the whole genre of film. It is difficult to categorize films in an absolute ranking order: first, second, third. It just cannot be done.
Festival Director Jukka-Pekka Laakso made a felicitous remark during the process of pre-selection. He said that there are no absolute, objective criteria for a good film. A good film is always a matter of taste.
On the other hand, what can you argue over if you cannot discuss matters of opinion? One likes it sweet and smooth and the other searingly spicy. Tastes cannot objectively compete for the title of the most wonderful flavour.
Therefore it is not a surprise when a friend of the experimental films is not particularly fond of traditional documentary films and vice versa. Still, there are also those omnivorous film fanatics.
The juries must have some tools to support their selection process. The best kind of support must be the strong knowledge of film branch, but every judge still sees the films from their own perspective.
Caterina D'Amico, member of the International Competition jury and the President of CILECT, the co-operative organisation of film and television schools, says she herself looks for films that appeal to her emotions. "I am looking for something that touches and moves me." It is easy to agree with D'Amico. A good film always leaves a mark on the watcher.
The winners of the 34th Tampere Film Festival week are announced tomorrow. The nominees include dozens of brilliant films, and in one way or the other, the judges select the most outstanding films, naturally according to their own taste.
It is a fine achievement for any film to participate in the festival. From the hundreds of films screened in the festival, only the chosen few receive the "Kiss" to put on their mantelpieces. Although there is a limited amount of the statuettes, the amount of kisses is not limited. Every one from the cheerful child directors of Videotivoli event to the makers of the experimental films deserves a big kiss on their cheek.
The competition winners are announced tomorrow Sunday in Plevna at 14.00.
Festival News, Saturday 6 March 2004