Competition Selections for Tampere Film Festival 2021

More than 6 500 films were submitted to the Tampere Film Festival competitions last autumn.  This year, the festival has three different competitions; the National and International Competition, and the new Generation XYZ Competition for under-30-minute genre films.

Jukka-Pekka Laakso, Festival Director of Tampere Film Festival, says the level of submitted films is becoming more and more professional every year: — In the past few years, the themes, as well as the film-making process itself, have grown more versatile and diverse. This year, the exceptionally high number of submitted films made it challenging to specify any particular trends, but in general, the level of expertise among the film-makers has increased world-wide.

Festival Head of Programme, Riina Mikkonen, is particularly delighted by the vast variety of the films: — It’s great to see this increase of diversity in the National Competition, and to have films from countries like Saudi Arabia in the International Competition.

Check out all selected films and juries here.

National Competition 

A total of 302 films were submitted to the Tampere Film Festival National Competition. From these, seven feature-length documentaries (over 30 minutes) and 26 short films (under 30 minutes) were selected. This year, the Selection Committee’s attention was drawn in particular to the high quality and quantity of experimental films, and the heterogeneity of both film-makers and motifs. However, the ever-dwindling numbers of animated films in the National Competition has been a long continuing trend, which the selection committee hopes will change in the future.

18 (47,37 %) of the selected films were directed by females, and 20 (52,63 %) by males.

International Competition 

A total of 6 330  films were submitted to the International Competition, which is an all-time record.  59 short films from 44 countries were selected.

Several competition selection films were made during the lockdown period, but the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were not evident in the number of the films submitted – quite the contrary. Because of this, the Selection Committee was forced to leave many deserving films out of the competition.

Timeless subjects, such as relationships and climate crisis, keep recurring in the International Competition. The complex relationship between humans and animals, as well as the role of animals in our society, are discussed from the viewpoints of both companionship and profit.

38 (59,375%) of the selected films were directed by females, 25 films (39,06 %) by males, and 1 film (1,56%) by non-binary genders.

Generation XYZ

Generation XYZ is Tampere Film Festival’s brand new competition for short genre films. 194 films in the thriller, horror, sci-fi, action or fantasy categories were submitted, many of them from the United States and the United Kingdom. 15 films were selected into the competition.

The new competition brings new kinds of films to the Tampere Film Festival Programme:

– It’s safe to say that monsters are still very much in fashion. In these screenings, you get spooked but you also get to laugh. It’s wise to prepare for icky splatter surprises, Head of Programme Riina Mikkonen chuckles.

Although entertaining, the genre films also pay attention to the world situation, commenting on domestic violence, patriarchy and racism, among other things. Tampere Film Festival presents Generation XYZ in collaboration with XYZ Films and Film Tampere, the City of Tampere, Tampere Region 2026 and APFI – Audiovisual Producers Finland.

4 (23,53 %) of the selected films were directed by females and 13 (76,47 %)  by males.

Online Festival March 10th–14th

Tampere Film Festival 2021 takes place between 10th–14th of March online only. The whole Festival Programme is announced on 17th of February.  Most screenings, including the films selected into the Competitions, will be available on the Festhome TV platform between 10th–21st of March. The awarded films will be announced at the live streamed Award Ceremony on Sunday, 14th of March, starting from 12.00 noon (UTC +02:00).