A film by two sisters was chosen to participate in the Videotivoli
Text and Photo: Liisa Kuittinen
Translation: Leena Rajamäki
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.
”It was our father's idea to send the film to the competition. We ourselves thought that it would not be chosen”, says Virva Junttila.
The sisters put their heads together in the making of Kadonnut kannu and it is based on a game they used to play. It was made couple of years ago when Virva was 11 years old and Päivi was ten. Neither of the girls were a part of any video club and they had no experience on making films.
Kadonnut kannu was made at home by the two of them and solely because of their own enthusiasm.
”The film was made just for the fun of it, not because of any competition,” the girls point out.
Still, the movie was chosen in Videotivoli out of nearly 400 films made by children under 13 years of age.
Maikki Kantola, the media educator for Pirkanmaa Film Centre, compiled this screening of about 100 films, and was charmed by the originality and freshness of the Kadonnut kannu. ”It is clear that the film is made by the children themselves and that there is no institution behind it,” Kantola says.
Videotivoli week started in Pakkahuone of the Old Customs House on Monday. The screening of the children's films continues until Friday afternoon, and it has participants from all over the world.
”You can travel around the world by watching these films. For example, it is extremely funny to sit a moment in an Armenian living room,” Kantola remarks.
Child chooses fiction
Tampere Film Festival has not had films made by children before. To celebrate the Children's and Youth Film Theme Year, Tampere Film Festival, together with Pirkanmaa Film Centre, decided to organize this event that portrays children as film-makers and storytellers.
Maikki Kantola does not want to compare these children's films to those made by adults.
”It is difficult and silly to compare children to adults, because as a child the imagination is so different and lively,” says Kantola.
The media educator, who has worked on several occasions with young film-makers, knows which kind of films children want to make.
”They want to do fiction, either on small and pretty things in our everyday lives or on strange and freaky things,” she says.
At least this is how it is in Finland. While travelling abroad, and by watching the movies sent to Videotivoli, Maikki Kantola has discovered that other countries produce social films that handle issues like tolerance and violence.
”For example Kenya, India and Armenia produce very social films.”
In Finland children deal less with social things than in other countries.
”It is rare that a Finnish child will make a documentary film. Making a film is an extension of playing and short and funny animations are now popular.”
This may be partly due to the fact that in Finland we seldom give ready topics to children. This differs from other countries, where usually a teacher or some organisation is involved in the making of the film.
From the small screen to the big screen
Over half of the films in the screening are animations. They include the four minutes long Kadonnut kannu, which tells the story of two dogs called Uppo and Eppu and their hunt for the jug they have seen in the market place.
Virva and Päivi Junttila wrote the script of their film themselves and it was filmed by using the technique of taking pictures one by one.
-”Dad bought a digital camera. We also had a computer with an image-editing program at home,” the girls say.
Their parents did not really meddle in their work but gave them free hands. They got to act as the voices for couple of the film's characters.
The fact that Kadonnut kannu was chosen to participate in the film festival was a happy surprise for the whole family, because before that it had only been seen by the relatives. Now it is shown on the big screen for the big audience.
What do Virva and Päivi think about their movie couple years after it has been made?
-”Well, it is quite funny. It is clear that it is made by children,” say the sisters that are now in junior high school.
Anyhow, making of the film was a rewarding process. Päivi thinks that recording the sounds and the actual filming were fun. In Virva's opinion the best thing was seeing the finished animation.
Both recommend that every child and teenager should try film-making.
”You learn a load of things and become smarter,” Virva sums up the benefits of doing a film.
Kadonnut kannu by Virva and Päivi Junttila was seen for the first time yesterday in the Videotivoli. The film can be seen for the second time in Pakkahuone of the Old Customs House 12 o'clock on Friday in a screening for school children.
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Festival News, Wednesday 3 March 2004