Karola Baran works as the general secretary of the Trade Union for Theatre and Media Finland (Teme). She has over 20 years’ experience in managing cultural organisations. Baran has previously worked as a lawyer for Gramex and the Association for Finnish Theatres, as the director of the Private Copying Unit of Teosto, as the financial and administrative manager of the Finnish National Theatre and as the executive director of the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters. Baran has a Master’s Degree in Education as well as in Law, and she has completed the JOKO leadership and strategy programme at Aalto University. Baran is a board member of the Finnish Film Foundation.
Marja Helander is a Sámi photographer and video artist. She graduated as a Master of Art from the School of Arts and Design in 1999. Amongs other things, she has photographed the grim, post-colonial landscapes of the Sámi native region ravaged by the mining industry. On the other hand, Helander’s video works are humorous, exploring the conflict between traditional Sámi lifestyle and modern society. In addition to photography, films have been a passion for her ever since the Rovaniemi film club screenings in the mid-1980s. Helander’s latest short film, Eatnanvuloš lottit – Birds in the Earth, won the Risto Jarva Award and the main prize in the under 30-minute category of the National Competition at the Tampere Film Festival in 2018. The film has been shown at numerous film festivals around the world, including the Sundance Film Festival competition series in 2019. The film also won the Kent Monkman Award (for best experimental film) at ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Art Festival in Toronto in 2018, like her previous short film Dolastallat – To Have a Campfire in 2016. Helander was granted the Visual Artist Award of The Artists’ Association in Finland in 2018.
Kaisa Nirkkonen works as the special adviser for management and as secretary of the board at the Finnish Film Foundation. She has extensive experience in the fields of marketing, concept design and user experience. She has designed, written, produced and commissioned media content for both “traditional” and various kinds of online and mobile platforms. Nirkkonen has studied story-telling and digital content production processes from the viewpoint of both globalisation and localisation. She has studied economic science, audiovisual studies and visual communication – later on her alma maters merged into Aalto University.