The Department of Art

ELO wipes the board at Tampere’s National Competition

12.03.2012

The National Competition at Tampere’s film festival was a celebration for the Department of Motion Picture, Television and Production Design’s films. The films “Burden of My Heart”, “Hypermarket Nation”, “Korsoteoria” (So It Goes), “Äidit” (Mothers) and “Pyramidi” (Pyramid) enjoyed great success at the film festival that finished at the last weekend.

The main prize in the Over 30 Minutes series was won by Burden of My Heart (2011). The documentary, which tells about people who survived the Ruanda civil war, was directed by Iris Olsson and Yves Niyongabo.

- This film takes us into the heart of darkness and shows a side of us that we would not want to see. It is a powerful documentary about survival, hate and forgiveness, said the jury when announcing their selection.

The Under 30 Minutes section of the National competition was won by Hypermarket Nation (2011), a documentary about a shopkeeper in a Vantaa village shop directed by Paula Korva. According to the jury, “the documentary describes friendship, family values and old-style business traditions touchingly and warmly”. The documentary Äidit (2011), directed by Elina Hyvärinen was awarded a Diploma of Merit and Mikko Myllylahti’s Pyramidi (2012) took the Student Prize.

Korsoteoria attracted the attention of the public and the jury 

Antti Heikki Pesonen’s fiction film Korsoteoria (2012) won a special prize in the Under 30 Minutes section of the National competition.  The film is about Elli and her dreams of a better life. Elli is played by Armi Toivanen, known for her part in the television sketch series “Putous”. Screenings of Korsoteoria were sold out, and it was also awarded the Youth Jury's Diploma of Merit.

Pesonen’s film also took the Risto Jarva prize. The members of the jury were Jan Ijäs, Maria Leskinen and Liisa Penttilä.

- This film makes you laugh, but it also hurts. As the old saying goes: ‘You have to laugh even while your heart is breaking.’ Or to borrow freely from the film: The prize-winning film hits like a train hitting a cow, as the judges put it.

Finnish film is enjoying a period of strength

The success of the cinema students is the result of long-term developments in teaching, which all teachers in the Department have been committed to and motivated by.

- The fiction section, for its part, gives testament to the firm commitment of Professor Jarmo Lampela to teaching and the development of teaching. The success of the documentary films is also the product of long-term, persistent and determined efforts which are now being continued by Professor Susanna Helke, commented Mika Ritalahti, Head of the Department of Motion Picture, Television and Production Design.

The success of the Department’s students gives hope for the future of Finnish film. The films attracted excellent audience figures in Finnish cinemas as well as critical acclaim. However, concern about the position of documentary and short films is a major part of the everyday life of film-makers

- As the result of the state of the market, the Department has had to finance the students’ work itself, whereas commercial markets have provided funding in the past. The actions of an important source of funding, YLE, the public service broadcasting company, will be extremely significant if we want to safeguard the vitality of documentary and short fiction films, said the Head of the Department, Mika Ritalahti.

The winner of the main prize in the Under 30 Minutes series in the National competition of the Tampere Film Festival  will also compete for the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oscar® Short Fiction award.

The prize-winning films from the Tampere Film Festival will be shown in Helsinki in the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art on 17th March at 14.00.

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