Sámi Films in Focus

Experimental, documentary and fictive storytelling from Sápmi filmmakers.

The Sámi have a long and layered relationship with cinema. On screen, the Sámi have been appearing in films for almost a century, albeit mostly in supporting roles, either as the exotic seductress or as mysterious shamans casting spells or very often as nameless wanderers in the fells.

The stories of the Sámi people have finally come out and they are of interest to the world. Several of the films in this series have premiered at major festivals such as Sundance, Berlin and Toronto.

Liisa Holmberg
ISFI – International Sámi Film Institute

Language: Eng Duration: 86 min Age Limit: 16+

  • Unborn biru

    Syntymätön paholainen
    Director: Inga Elin Marakatt
    Country: Norway
    Year: 2022
    Genre: Fiction
    Duration: 19 min

    A pregnant widow is in desperate need of help. Without aid from the community, she decides to steal silver from a dead body, in order to survive and feed her daughter. But the silver is cursed, and it has consequences for all of them, including the unborn.

  • Neljä saamelaisten perinnepukuihin pukeutunutta henkilö istuvat pöydän ääressä.


    Home River
    Director: Kati Eriksen, Scott Thornton
    Country: Finland
    Year: 2023
    Genre: Documentary
    Duration: 26 min
    Age Limit:

    The Sámi people have fished the Deatnu River for centuries until Finland enforced unprecedented restrictions on the river. In a landmark Indigenous rights case three Sámi women fought the state to keep their culture alive.

  • Lehdetön, kiemurainen puu nousee aallokosta aurinkoa vasten. Sen takana on lukuisia sähkötorneja.


    Director: Hans Pieski, Arttu Nieminen
    Country: Finland
    Year: 2023
    Genre: Experimental, Documentary
    Duration: 10 min

    Muohtačalmmit is an experimental film about the flow of water as a metaphor of Sámi people in compression of modern times. Film also deals with the meaning of water as a sacred element, pathway and daily source of sustenance for Sámi people. Film paints a dystopia how Sápmi will breathe in the future in the middle of energy and mineral policy pressure. Poetic essence for narration comes from Pedar Jalvi, Finland's first Sámi writer and principal figure of Sámi literature, who describes connection with water in his poem “Muohtačalmmit” (1915).

  • Kalpea, perinnepukuinen hahmo makaa suu auki vihreällä pellolla. Hänen ympärillään on pumpulin palasen näköisiä valkoisia tuppoja.

    Sire ja dat maŋemus geassi

    Sire and the Last Summer
    Sire ja viimeinen kesä
    Director: Liselotte Wajstedt
    Country: Sweden
    Year: 2022
    Genre: Fiction
    Duration: 15 min

    In 1916 Sire Marainen, the director’s grandfather’s mother is pregnant. She falls ill with goitre and chokes to death. But before that she lives a rich summer on the fells with her emotions, sounds and memories, concentrating on small details. Sire makes us remember life, not death.

  • Alhaalta otettu kuva sinivalkopukuisesta naisesta, joka seisoo valko-ruskea-harmaaraidallisten vuorien edessä.


    Director: Johan Sara Jr.
    Country: Norway
    Year: 2021
    Genre: Experimental, Fiction
    Duration: 8 min

    A quiet moment at the horizon where the daughters and sons of Sápmi joiks the bright midsummer night until dawn. With their silky-smooth movements, they form silhouettes in the haze of tomorrow’s and future’s dreams.

  • Aikuinen poro hoitaa pientä vasaansa hangessa.


    A Calf Born in Winter
    Director: Jolanda Magga
    Country: Finland
    Year: 2022
    Genre: Experimental, Documentary
    Duration: 8 min

    A Calf born in Winter is a poetic short documentary about the most important month of the year for reindeer herders in the North when new life is born. It shows the beautiful symbiosis of humans and reindeer helping each other to evolve and survive.