Anni Asikainen works as an International Promotion Assistant at the Finnish Film Foundation’s international department. She has a Master’s Degree from The University of Edinburgh in Film, Exhibition and Curation and she has worked in the field of film exhibition and film festivals in Scotland, Ireland and Finland.
Asikainen has also worked as a submissions viewer for festivals such as Cork International Film Festival and Edinburgh International Film Festival, concentrating on the field of feature documentary films. Short film has a special place in her heart as she has enjoyed curating a range of short film screenings and produced a short film in Scottish Gaelic language.
Laura Kolbe, PhD, is a university lecturer, historian, non-fiction writer, and culture influencer from Helsinki. Her primary job is at the University of Helsinki, as the professor of European history. Since 2005, she has served as a city councilor in Helsinki, as well as studied local politics, and urban history and culture.
Kolbe is an active member of civic organisations and a lover of all kinds of art and films. She has written many non-fiction books that shed light, among other things, to the differences and similarities between European and Finnish identity, the relationship between urban and rural areas, and the effect that social classes have on social reality. Since 2022, she has been a board member of the Finnish Film Foundation.
Film director, screenwriter Mari Mantela has directed and scripted internationally awarded short films and has directed international commercials for over 15 years. Mantela has studied directing in the University of Art and Design (now Aalto University).
Mantela’s debut, a medium-length film named An Autobiography premiered at the Brooklyn Film Festival in New York. The film won six international awards and competed at the Palm Springs Shortfest in the United States.
In 2022, Mantela won the Risto Jarva Award as well as the national competition at the Helsinki International Film Festival with her short film Rabobesto or How I Saved a Monster. Mantela is one of the authors of the book MeToo Revolution – How the silence was broken.