Tampere Film Festival starts on Wednesday, 8 March

One of the biggest short film festivals in the world, the Tampere Film Festival will be organised for the 53rd time on 8–12 March.

The 2023 programme consists of over 60 different film screenings of Finnish and international short films as well as feature-length documentaries. In addition to the screenings, there will be numerous discussions, events for professionals, and late night parties at the festival. The venues include Cine Atlas, Arthouse Cinema Niagara, Tuulensuu Palace and the Tampere Cathedral, among others.

The Competitions culminate in the Award Ceremony at the Tuulensuu Palace on 11 March

Across the world, the Tampere Film Festival is renowned for its high quality competitions. There are three competition series: the National Competition, the International Competition, and the Generation XYZ Competition. All of the films selected in the competitions will be screened at the festival on 8–12 March, and guest filmmakers participating in the competitions will be present in interviews organised in conjunction with the screenings.

This year, the competition screenings include altogether 116 films from 59 countries. For instance, the National Competition premieres Mika Kaurismäki’s music documentary Hassisen Kone 40 vuotta myöhemmin (2023), and Finnish director Maija Blåfield’s experimental short film Scenic View (2023) competes both in the National and the International Competition.

The competition winners will be announced on Saturday, 11 March at the Award Ceremony, which is held at the Tuulensuu Palace this year. In addition to the awards, the event boasts Ykspihlajan Kino-orkersteri’s travelling ensemble Kino-Irmelit (Anna Airola, Laura Airola, Miia Reko) and a screening of the award-winning short films. The awarded films will also be shown at four other screenings on Saturday evening and on Sunday, 12 March.

The winners will be chosen by the festival juries, which this year include for instance screenwriter-director Anna Brotkin (National Jury), director Saara Saarela (Generation XYZ Jury) and Ph.D. Laura Kolbe (Risto Jarva Jury).

The themes of the screenings will be discussed at free-of-charge audience events

During the week, there will be many free discussion events open to everyone.

Actress and theatre professor Elina Knihtilä is in the spotlight this year. On Thursday, 9 March Knihtilä talks about her views and experiences on working as an actress in a free Masterclass event. Knihtilä will be interviewed by actress Seidi Haarla. In addition to the discussion, Knihtilä’s career can be seen in a retrospective screening of short films starring Knihtilä. She has also curated the Carte blanche screening, bringing a selection of her own favourites onto the big screen.

Finnish National Broadcasting Company Yle’s Perjantai short documentaries will be the topic of conversation at the free Yle – Perjantai Documentary: the Protagonist’s Perspective event on Sunday, 12 March. The event starts with the Yle – Perjantai documentaries short film screening, which is compiled of documentaries made for the series. At the panel discussion following the screening, the process of making the Perjantai documentaries will be discussed through the perspective of the protagonist. The discussion will be moderated by host and journalist Sean Ricks, and the panellists include the protagonists, directors, editors, and cinematographers of the documentaries.

One of the larger themes this year is Queerscenes, which covers LGBTQ+ history and includes two short film screenings curated by The Swedish Archive for Queer Moving Images (SAQMI) as well as the Making Queer Heritage discussion in English on Friday, 10 March. The free event discusses power and marginalisation against and within the LGBTQ+ heritage. The discussion will be moderated by SAQMI programme designer Sam Message, and the panellists include Kaura Raudaskoski (Friends of Queer History), Levi Karvonen (Fjäll zebra, Sápmi Pride) and Outi Heiskanen (National Audiovisual Institute).

The Maghreb & France programme consists of four screenings of recent short films made in France and the Maghreb countries of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The films create and deepen the image of the history and the present day of these former colonies of France and their relationship to France and the French language. Together with the screening, there will also be the discussion event Cooperation or Cultural Imperialism? with the filmmakers, aimed at professionals in the field. The discussion is held on Friday, 10 March.

The Free Zone screenings examine the ownership of urban spaces through street art, skateboarding culture, criticism of capitalism and civic activism. As part of the programme, the Tampere University and the Tampere Film Festival will organise the Free Zone? discussion event in English on Thursday 9 March. The event discusses the essence of urban space and freedom through skateboarding and skateboarding films. The discussion brings together film directors Jacob Elliot Harris and Ines Särkkä, Lecturer in Sustainable Urban Development Salla Jokela, Professor of Urban Sociology Duncan McDuie-Ra and professional skateboarder and photographer Samu Karvonen. The event is hosted by researcher Mikko Kyrönviita.

The association for animation professionals, the Finnish Animation Guild, will celebrate its 25th anniversary at the film festival. In addition to two short film screenings, there will be a discussion event Finnish Animation Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow on Saturday, 11 March. The discussion will provide a glimpse into the early days of Finnish animation, especially short animation, as well as its future. The panellists include the Executive Director of Finnanimation, journalist and author of Nordic Animation – Balancing the East and the West Liisa Vähäkylä, Senior Lecturer in animation at the Turku University of Applied Sciences, director Elli Vuorinen, director Tatu Pohjavirta, and the Chairperson of the Finnish Animation Guild, media artist Albert Laine. The discussion will be moderated by the Executive Director of the Finnish Animation Guild Mika Koskinen.

Tickets are sold in Lippu.fi online store. The Festival ticket office at Cine Atlas in Koskikeskus will open on Monday, 6 March, and tickets are also sold at the other venues during the festival.

Ticket sales for online screenings on the Festhome TV platform will begin on Wednesday, 8 March.