Future Shorts film screenings started in 2003 and have since spread worldwide. This phenomenon includes Finland, where film enthusiasts can attend regular screenings across the country. I went to check out the March session in Helsinki at one of my favourite venues, Cafe Mascot, in the Kallio region of Helsinki. The front row seats were arranged for viewing and the venue was full Entry was a mere 2€ cloakroom fee, which means that the price of the screening license was not even passed on to the watchers. All of the films had English subtitles.
There were three hours of screenings arranged, with toilet and drink breaks each hour. The programme is arranged so that the first hour is dedicated to local productions and the rest of the night is a showcase of international films. This month Teemu Nikki was the featured Finnish artist. Three shorts were shown: The Opportunist (Menestyjä ) – 2006, about a young boy who take the opportunity to improve his life by switching parents ; Mother doesn’t bowl anymore (Äiti ei enää keilaa) – 2009, about a Nazi-sympathiser who suspects his brother of having murdered their mother while he was doing time; A perfect day (Hyvä päivä) – 2011, which concerns a man who returns to work for the first time since finding himself in a wheelchair.
I can only say positive things about Teemu Nikki’s films. I’m sure that makes me a terrible critic, but thankfully this isn’t a blog for critique. The dry, dark, realist humour has the very Finnish flavour and I’m particularly fond of it. The social issues tackled – inequality in from birth, racism and disabilities to name the most obvious – were handled incisively and in a matter-of-fact manner. There was no messing around pretending the audience needed it watered down, but at the same time the films did not feel crude or sensationalist, probably in large part to the wry humour and ordinary-looking environments and actors.
Teemu appears to have a Viimeo channel with a short called A Fish Story on it, so I can at least show you this:
Okay, enough about Mr. Nikki. There were other films shown following his. An eclectic mixture of animation and acting that should have provided something for everyone in the audience, as could be garnered from the conversation next to me after the first film, a very visual and surreal affair, which went something like this:
Friend: I thought it was shit.
Laughter breaks out in the surrounding tables and the audience applauds the film.
The shorts shown were:
- Skream – Listening To Records On My Wall, David Wilson, 2010
- Potilas, Misko Iho, 2011
- La Parabolica, Xavi Sala, 2007
- September, Esther May Campbell, 2008
- What Light (Through Yonder Window Breaks), Sarah Wickens, 2009
- Matter Fisher, David Prosser, 2010
- Bitch, Dom Bridges, 2008
- Much Better Now, Philipp Comarella, Simon Griesser, 2011
You can follow Future Shorts Finland on Facebook for upcoming events and check out the March program in Tampere and Rovaniemi:
17.3. TAMPERE @ Kahvila Hertta 20.00
23.3. ROVANIEMI @ Kauppayhtiö 21.00
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Edit: 19/03/2012 – correction provided by reader