The Helsinki-based DocPoint festival will kick off this Saturday with a screening of Dreamland by Iceland's Thorfinnur Gudnason and Andri Snaer Magnason at the beautiful Maxim. (Photo: a nighttime game at the ice rink in my neighborhood of Kallio just north of the city center.)
The 9th iteration of the fest will take over the
cinemas of Helsinki from the 26th to the 31st. This year, DocPoint will be celebrating the pioneers of Finnish documentary film, producers Aho & Soldan. This year marks the 85th anniversary of this company and in honoring the occasion, the festival will feature a major Aho & Soldan retrospective, curated in association with the National Audiovisual Archive. At the opening ceremonies Tuesday night, documentary film director Kiti Luostarinen will receive the Aho & Soldan Lifetime Achievement Award which comes with a 5,000€ prize sponsored by the Finnish Broadcasting Company. A pioneer in Finnish color photography, Claire Aho, will be on hand to bestow the honor. Also as part of the A&S festivities, the festival’s traditional silent film concert presents films by Aho & Soldan accompanied by the renowned Finnish jazz group, The Five Corners Quintet. The celebrations will take place at the BioRex. Can't wait!
DocPoint 2010 will world-premiere Auf Wiedersehen Finnland by Virpi Suutari and Steam of Life by Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen. Both films will have national theatrical distribution following their festival premieres. The fest will also feature films that have garnered notice at other international festivals and several directors from this year’s theme countries, the US and Poland, will attend, among them, the renowned Polish father-son team of Marcel and Pawel Lozinski, American director and actress Samantha Buck (21 Below), Mike Palmieri and Donal Mosher (October Country), Kimberly Reed (Prodigal Sons) and Darius Marder (Loot). There will also be a program of American short films presented, hosted by me, with special guests Palmieri and Mosher at the Kiasma Museum. To see the full program, click here. (Photo: one of several sex shops on my street--tervetuloa! Love my 'hood.)
Other filmmaker guests include French director and DocPoint Masterclass lecturer, Nicolas Philibert, and Ross Whitaker, director of Saviors, as well as Vadim Jendreyko, director of The Woman With the 5 Elephants. Both films are featured in the "From One Generation to Another" program. Also, the new sister fest, introduced for the first time this year, DocPoint Tallinn, Estonia, a two-hour ferry ride from Helsinki, will begin on Friday the 29th. More impressions, reviews, etc. from the fest very soon.
Also, just finished my first day of lectures at the TaiK--what a gorgeous facility--wow! Will post pics soon. I learned as much from my Finnish students as (hopefully) they did from me. My host professor, filmmaker Kanerva Cederström, sent me home with a bagful of student films to watch and I'm looking forward to seeing what's coming out of the documentary program there. (In fact, Cederström and six of her students will be visiting New York in early February. Contact programmer Steve Holmgren at UnionDocs if you'd like to meet them.) I was deeply impressed by the student films I saw in last year's program.
I'm also sure you will be able to find many scandalous photos on Facebook when the other Americans descend. Challenge to self this year? A roll in the snow straight from the sauna. :)