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SHORTS Finland

The Tampere Film Festival celebrates 50 years


- This latest edition, which runs from 4 to 8 March, is a milestone for the Finnish short-film festival

The Tampere Film Festival celebrates 50 years
All Inclusive by Swiss director Corina Schwingruber Ilic

The Tampere Film Festival in Finland, one of the most renowned festivals on the European short-film circuit, is turning 50 this year. This anniversary edition will be full of celebration, notably with the section ‘Simply The Best’ comprised of two programmes showcasing an award winning film from every decade of the festival’s existence. Amongst them are perennial festival favourites such as Ken Wardrop’s still beautiful documentary Undressing My Mother (Ireland, 2003) and the classic and satirical Breakfast on the Grass (Soviet Union, 1987) from legendary Estonian animator Priit Pärn.

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While the festival will celebrate its past, it will also deal with an uncertain future, with five programmes of films dedicated to various aspects of climate change. Amongst the films screened will be Dulce (Angello Faccini & Guille Isa, USA/Colombia/Peru), the winner of the festival’s Grand Prix in 2019, which follows a community that relies on the sea to live — a lifestyle directly threatened by climate change. There will also be a screening of films around the theme of Dystopia, reflecting the fractious times we live in. The two programmes will include the multi-award winning All Inclusive (Corina Schwingruber Ilic, Switzerland), a commentary on the excesses of consumer culture. Other special programmes will include films from Australian First Nations and Kurdistan, as well as Tampere’s traditional focus on Gems from the Archive and Midnight Movies. There will also be a retrospective dedicated to Swedish animators Niki Lindroth von Bahr and Joanna Rytel, whose individual films – such as The Burden (von Bahr) and Stay Ups (Rytel) – have made them some of the most visible and lauded animators currently on the circuit.

The festival will also showcase the very best of global shorts in its International Competition. A number of films will be arriving with a shining reputation on the festival circuit – such as Polish animation Acid Rain (Tomek Popakul), Toronto winner All Cats Are Grey in The Dark (Lasse Linder) and Finland’s own Teemu Nikki with his pitch black comedy All Inclusive – as well as a number of newer films for audiences and industry to discover.

The National Competition, featuring a mixture of feature length documentaries and shorts, will include the feature Eye to Eye [+see also:
interview: John Webster
film profile
(John Webster), in which family members of murder victims are brought ‘eye to eye’ with the murderers, and numerous shorts including The Stick (the latest dark comedy from Teppo Airaksinen, who gained notoriety of the circuit for his 2017 film The Ceiling) and Tommi Seitajoki’s The Explosion of a Swimming Ring, his follow-up to another popular 2017 film, The Glass Pearl.

As always, Tampere will welcome numerous industry guests. Alongside the Tampere Bootcamp,  which brings together young, international film students, there will be a number of talks and sessions. These will include a discussion on the 50/50 by 2020 Pledge for Equality, as well as the Buy This Doc! and Who Would Buy This? events which will bring filmmakers face to face with distributors and sales agents.

The Tampere Film Festival runs from 4-8 March 2020.

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