Another peak into the 2024 programme and a new look for Tampere Film Festival

As a Christmas gift to all film lovers, the second programme theme of the Tampere Film Festival 2024, called Forest, is announced. The programme set includes three short film screenings that look at different dimensions of the forest. There will be documentaries, fiction, animation and experimental films.

The focus of the first screening is forestry, and the films shown in it comment on the forest from the perspective of various professions, such as loggers, berry pickers and tree planters. The screening will include, for example, the short film How to Pick Berries (2010), directed by Elina Talvensaari, which tells the story of Thai berry pickers in Finland. In Nick Jordan’s film The Entangled Forest (2023), ecologist Suzanne Simard talks about her groundbreaking research on the symbiosis of trees and fungi.

Forests in Finland are too often treated purely from the point of view of profit, even though there is much more to the forest than that. The forest also has an intrinsic value, and the human species is not needed for its existence, thinks Riina Mikkonen, executive director of the Tampere Film Festival, who curated the Forest screenings.

This idea continues in the second screening, in which the films present the forest as a home and habitat for many species. The screening includes, for example, two seldom-shown documentaries by Markku Lehmuskallio, Sounds of the Northern Forests (1973) and Tapiola (1974). Milja Viita’s Animal Bridge U-3033 (2018) tells about the parallel realities of humans and wild animals. The Colombian fictional film Tierra mojada (Eng. Swamp) (2017) will also be screened. The film, directed by Juan Sebastián Mesa, is about a family, who is forced to evacuate due to a large hydroelectric project.

We often forget how many species the forest is home to. It has also been that for humans, and for some it still is if not physically, then at least mentally. It is tragic that the value of the home forest may only be recognized when it’s lost, says Mikkonen about the thoughts behind the screening.

The third screening, Metsänpeitto, tells about the strong importance of the forest in Finnish folklore. Metsänpeitto, which doesn’t have a direct equivalent in other languages, has been considered, for example, the world of forest goblins and fairies, where you can get carried away by some creature or by getting lost in the forest. The familiar forest can become strange and foreign, but on the other hand, the forest also protects and carries.

The namesake of the screening, Salla Hämäläinen’s documentary Metsänpeitto (Eng. Covered by Forest) (2012), will be shown at the screening. The film tells the story of Markku, who has seen forest spirits since he was a child and felt that the spirits made him one with the forest. Judith Auffray’s experimental fiction Les hommes de la nuit (Eng. Men of the Night) (2022), on the other hand, tells the story of an explorer looking for orangutans in the jungle of Borneo at night and in the darkness of the day. In addition, Maija Blåfield’s film Scenic View (2023) will be screened. The film explores how the “naturalness” of nature documentaries is constructed, and how some things are intentionally left behind the scenes. 

The forest theme will continue at the upcoming festival with the screening of AV-arkki, which will show several forest themed short films, such as Minna Parkkinen’s A Forest (2000), Annette Arlander’s Dear Spruce (2020) and Elina Brotherus’s Dump a Bushel of Lemons in a Northern Forest in Winter (2017).

TFF’ new look draws from 2024 programme themes

The new visual look of the Festival was unveiled this time with the launch of the second thematic programme. The forest theme is also reflected in the festival’s visual look, designed for 2024 by graphic designer Heini Puurtinen. The new look also incorporates classic Tampere Film Festival imagery.

Tampere Film Festival 6.-10-3-2024.

– The “protagonists” of the look are the hands familiar from the logo, to which I symbolically added the surface of a coniferous tree. Slightly charred wooden hands emerge from the moss, leading the eye forward into the future, but with a strong sense of greenery and hope,” says Puurtinen, describing the look.

Environmental ticket in use from the beginning of the year

Tampere Film Festival 2024 serial card sales have already started, and serial cards will be sold at discounted early bird prices throughout December. From the turn of the year on 1 January, 2024, it is also possible to buy ticket products as an environmental ticket. From the price of the environmental ticket, Tampere Film Festival donates two euros to the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation’s Suojele pala Pirkanmaata campaign. The Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation uses donation funds to, for example, protect old-growth forests.

More information about the campaign can be found on the website of the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation.

More information about the ticket sale on Tickets-page.