How it started


Local film club activists had a discussion about uniting the Tampere film clubs. In this discussion, Raimo “Rake” Silius presents the idea about organizing a film event in Tampere.


The first national event, Tampere Short Film Days, was held in Tampere 28 February – 2 March 1969.


The first Tampere International Short Film Festival was held 19–22 February 1970. The first festival director was the founder Ilkka Kalliomäki.

The festival’s core structure was formed: Competitions, Special Programme and events. Kimmo Kaivanto designed the festival logo Creative Hands – Creative Film. The main prize, the Kiss statuette, was designed by Tapio Junto.


Tampere Film Festival’s main objective was shaped; to screen short films of international standard that are universal or looking for new forms of cinematic expression. Tampere Film Festival shall provide a meeting place for different ideologies and filmmakers from every country who strive for world peace and social equality. Tampere Film Festival’s main aim is the promotion of Finnish film culture.


The main tasks of Tampere Film Festival were formed:

  • international short film competition
  • review of Finnish short films
  • film education and awareness
  • training sessions with various organizations for film professionals and enthusiasts
  • promotion of Finnish cinema
  • management of international cultural cooperation
  • organizing a local cultural event

Pekka Lehto, Pirjo Honkasalo, and a Small Kiss 1976. They were awarded for the film Their Age.

Jury of the year 1977: Kelly O’Brien, Eugen Atanasiu, Juhan af Grann, Berndt Plagemann and J.Hunter Todd.

Saturday morning fever at Tampere University of Technology 1979: Raimo Silius, 35 and Aki Kaurismäki, 21.



The era of Tampere University of Technology as a venue came to an end. Tampere Film Festival relocated to Tampere city centre cinemas.


The annual Finnish Film Archive screenings began and were curated by Tampere Film Festival’s Raimo Silius and Finnish Film Archive’s Lauri Tykkyläinen.


For the first time, more than a hundred Finnish films were screened.


Video films as a technical breakthrough were introduced at the festival. For the first time, video films were screened at the festival.


Festival guests  1980: Mikko Niskanen, Camilla Mickwitz, Liisa Helminen and Merja Virtanen.

Small audience in 1989.Children’s screenings in cooperation with Pirkanmaa Film Center and Tampere nursery schools gathered full audiences.


Press conference 1989.

The number of screenings increased significantly to a record number, one hundred screenings.

For the first time, Tampere Film Festival had Special Programme screenings for music videos and computer generated animations.


Audience record: over 17,000 visitors.

Technical staff Pasi Nyyssönen, Jenni Aarniala and announcer Anitta Ahonen 1993 in the winding room of Pakkahuone.

On Klubi’s stage Juhani Alanen, Anna-Maija Lehtinen, Kirsi Kinnunen and Raimo Silius 1993.

Audience in the lobby of Kino-Palatsi 1991.



The digitalisation of the film industry was prominently visible at the festival. Tampere Film Festival wanted to acknowledge the diversities of filmmaking with digital themed screenings  a year prior to video films being accepted into the International Competition.

The Trash & Underground Film Festival was born. It showcases short films made by enthusiasts, often on a zero budget.


Finnkino Plevna was introduced as the new main venue.

Live accompanied silent films became a permanent part of the Special Programme.


Jukka-Pekka “Juise” Laakso took over as festival director.

Competition pre-selection boards were disbanded and Tampere Film Festival began making the selections independently.


Georges Méliès‘ long career was celebrated with a special screening presented by the director’s granddaughter Marie-Hélène Méliès-Lehérissey and accompanied on piano by her son Lawrence Lehérissey-Méliès.



One of the pioneers of film, Harun Farocki (1944 – 2014), visited the festival to attend his retrospective screenings.


Austrian multidisciplinary artist and film director Gustav Deutsch (1952 – 2019) visited the festival to talk about the making of Shirley – Visions of Reality with artist Hanna Shimek.


Tampere Bootcamp for international film students was held for the first time, offering them an intensive training and networking event with the opportunity to get feedback on their films. The participants came from China, Finland and Estonia.

Wall is a screen -tour 2015.
Photo: Laura Vanzo / Visit Tampere

Town hall reception 2017.


Bootcamp’s sauna 2019.
Photos: Jani Rutanen




Tampere Film Festival celebrated its 50th anniversary.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was held entirely online.

Generation XYZ, the new competition for genre films, was launched in collaboration with the American production company XYZ Films.


Tampere Film Festival screenings are moving to a new main venue, Finnkino Cine Atlas.

Jury members of Tampere Film Festival 2020.
Photo: Jani Rutanen

Virtual Saunatour with festival director Jukka-Pekka Laakso 2021.

Live streaming from Olympia-kortteli’s studio 2021.
Photos by Kimmo Siniluoto