International Competition

Geraldine Gomez

Geraldine Gomez traverses the parameters of artistic disciplines to create a dialogue between them. She has been director of monthly programs at the Pompidou Centre, Paris, since 2000, showcasing innovative cinema, and crossing territories between writing, architecture, design science, gastronomy, fashion and more.

In 2006, she initiated Hors Pistes, a multidisciplinary annual event, with each edition developed around an urgent theme; Le silence des bêtes, focusing on the condition of animals, to the most recent edition in 2016 under the title of L’art de la révolte, focusing on protest movements (and resonating with the current Nuit Debout protests in France). Gomez tries to put into play the great debates of our societies through the contemporary artistic and intellectual scene. More than just a thematic event, Hors Pistes is also a space for reflection on contemporary art and its place in an institution. Primarily composed of commissioned work by artists, the event is a space of community and creates its own community that forms on the occasion of Hors Pistes to co-produce the event together.

She has also been involved in developing partner Hors Pistes events internationally, engaging with local communities, with events taking place in Istanbul, Reykjavik, Sao Paulo and Tokyo. She holds a PhD in contemporary art, and lives and works in Paris.

Abir Hashem

Abir Hashem started her studies in law, but found her footing in the film industry and over the years had gained experience working with several filmmakers. Together with her brothers she established ‘Solo Films’, a production company based in Beirut. It was the head start for her experience in the creative documentary filmmaking. She has worked as an assistant, executive producer and producer on documentaries, corporate videos and commercials as well as short films.

Abir participated in Docmed for a yearlong training program on creative documentaries for Arab producers with her film “Asphalt”. This workshop gave her the ability to give mentor classes at the institute for media training and research at LAU (Lebanese American university), where she trained Iraqi journalists on funding strategies for independent documentaries in the Arab world.

On another level, Abir acted as the managing director of DocuDays, Beirut International Documentary Film Festival, for five years. She is also the managing director at Ayam Beirut al Cinema’iya (film festival) for its upcoming 2017 edition.

Currently, Abir is producing her independent films besides providing production services for international production houses.

Jaime E. Manrique

Founder and director of LABORATORIOS BLACK VELVET, integral film management company. He has been the director of communications and release campaigns for more than 40 Colombian films and film festivals, among them the Cartagena International Film Festival – FICCI – since 2011 (and currently). He is the founder and artistic director of the Bogotá Short Film Festival / Festival de Cortos de Bogotá – BOGOSHORTS and concept designer of the BOGOSHORTS Movement. Creator and editor of PANTALLA COLOMBIA, weekly newsletter about the present Colombian film industry, owned by PROIMAGENES Colombia, an institution of which he has been a digital communications consultant for more than 15 years. Film analyst in more than 15 magazines in the last years. He has been a professor in different universities such as Externado de Colombia, Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Politécnico Grancolombiano.

Jason Ryle

Jason Ryle is the Artistic Director of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival based in Toronto, Canada. imagineNATIVE is the world’s largest showcase of film, video, audio and digital media works created by Indigenous media artists. In his capacity as Artistic Director, Jason oversees all artistic and programming aspects of the annual Festival and the organisation’s year-round activities, including international co-presentations. He is a lapsed filmmaker but has recently produced his first short film, SNIP (2016), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and screened at Berlinale Generation.

Lasse Saarinen

Lasse Saarinen has been working as the CEO of the Finnish Film Foundation since August 2016. He has extensive and practical knowledge of the film industry as well as experience in working as a producer and a film production company’s CEO. Saarinen has produced more than 80 feature-length films, documentaries and short films, television shows and experimental media art productions. In addition, he has worked as the producer in many international co-productions. During his long career, Saarinen has also served in many film and art industry positions of trust.


National Competition

Elina Knihtilä

Elina Knihtilä (b.1971) is an actress and Professor of Acting at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki. She graduated as an actress and Master of Arts in Theatre and Drama from the Theatre Academy in 1996. Currently, she is also working as the board chairperson at Women in film and television Finland (WIFT Finland).

Before her tenure, she worked as a freelance actress for two decades and has performed several theatre roles at Q-teatteri, the Finnish National Theatre and Ryhmäteatteri. She has also functioned as Q-teatteri’s chairperson and worked as a member in the artistic design group at the International Baltic Circle Theatre Festival. Knihtilä has been seen in several film and TV roles. She has also received a Jussi award twice, for best supporting actress in the film Falling Angels (2008), directed by Heikki Kujanpää, and for best actress in Jussi Zaida Bergroth’s film The Good Son (2011). In addition, Knihtilä has participated in many design and scriptwriting teams for TV comedy shows.

Hebe Tabachnik

Hebe Tabachnik has been a film programmer and festival consultant for 15 years and has participated as juror, project evaluator and panelist at film festivals in the US, Latin America, Spain, Israel, and China. She is World Cinema Programmer for the Palms Springs (PSIFF) and Seattle (SIFF) International Film Festivals and the Artistic Director of Cine Latino Minneapolis Saint Paul. She is a Board Member and programmer of Dance Camera West (DCW) and has worked for Sundance and Los Angeles Film Festival. She gives workshops about festivals, film distribution and project pitching all around the world.

Salla Tykkä

Salla Tykkä is a visual artist who has been working with film and video since 1996. Tykkä graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki 2003 and participated in the Venice Biennale 2001. Her latest solo exhibitions include: M – Museum, Leuven, 2016; Galerie Anhava, Helsinki, 2015; Turku Art Museum, Turku, 2015; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, 2013. She has participated in numerous group shows in museums and public institutions, among others: Göteborgs Konsthall, Gothenburg, 2015; MAXXI, Rome, 2014; The Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, 2013; Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, 2013; Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Istanbul, 2012; Turner Contemporary, Margate, 2011; 17th Biennale of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art, 2010; Momentum, Moss, 2010. Tykkä’s films have been shown at international film festivals, such as: 60th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Oberhausen, 2014; 8th Miami International Film Festival, Miami, 2009; 36th International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, 2007; 21st Brest European Short Film Festival, Brest, 2006; Tribeca Film Festival, New York, 2003; International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Oberhausen, 2003 and 2002. Her short film Giant won the Canon Tiger Awards for Short Film at the 43rd International Rotterdam Film Festival 2014.

Risto Jarva Jury

Georg Dolivo

Georg Dolivo has served as the Cultural Director of the City of Espoo from 2001 till 2013. Before that he led the Helsinki 2000 City of Culture Foundation for five years as Helsinki was preparing to be named as the European Capital of Culture. Dolivo is a theatre director by training and has served as the Director of the National Swedish Theatre of Finland from 1987 until 1996. Most recently Dolivo has served as the chairman of the Finnish Film Foundation’s managing board as well as the board of AVEK – The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture.

Maarit Luukkonen

Maarit Luukkonen works in the Finnish Film Foundation office, where she transferred from the Ministry of Education and Culture. Her previous experience also includes working as a cultural advisor and producer. Luukkonen enjoys watching films, and has in recent years found a new appreciation for short films because of their clever and concise narrative. A good short film leaves a lasting memory.

Anni Oja

Anni Oja (born 1986), originally from Oulu, is an animator and a teacher living in Turku. In spring 2012, she graduated as an art teacher from the University of Lapland, and went on to study animation direction in the Turku Arts Academy, graduating in spring 2015. Since then, Oja has directed animations, created characters and sets for productions, and taught animation to both children and adults. In her work, Oja typically favours making things by hand and using traditional animation techniques. Her graduate work, the animation Moustache (2015), has been shown at many international festivals and won numerous awards.

The jury for the Church Media Foundation prize

Jean Bitar

Jean Bitar is a film director born in Beirut. He graduated from the Moscow film institute. He moved to Finland in 1978. In 1984 he founded Bitar Films that has been active ever since.

Bitar focuses in his documentaries on openness and humane perspectives. His multicultural background gives him an advantage when combining the best sides of different cultures. On the other hand he shows the best parts of the Finnish culture in his works too. Last years documentaries have been focusing on his hometown Hakunila.

At the moment he is working on two documentary projects, ”The destiny of a butterfly” and ”Human Dogs”.



Youth Jury

Miisa Korkiamäki

I am Miisa Korkiamäki from TYK high school in Tampere. I have always been interested in films, and making them has always been close to my heart, something more than just a hobby. I also hope that my future career will allow me to work with films.

Minttu Lumpiola

I am an 18-year-old senior at Tammerkoski High School of Arts. I am interested in social issues and all kinds of media from films to television and books. My favourite film genres include fantasy and sci-fi, but I also enjoy romantic comedies and musicals. I am also interested in filmmaking for my future career, and I have been part of a few small film projects.

Reetta Malmivaara

My name is Reetta Malmivaara and I am 17 years old. I am a sophomore at Sammon keskuslukio high school doing the media studies programme. My hobbies include singing, and I also like writing.

I particularly enjoy films with a clear plot. Also a deeper theme or meaning behind the story is always a plus. I often pay attention to how music has been used in a film, because the right sound can take the story to a completely new level.

Gabriel Ojanperä

My name is Gabriel Ojanperä and I am a 16-year-old high school student at Tammerkoski High School of Arts. I am a hobby filmmaker and use my free time to write scripts, make story boards and practice budgeting, making props and studio photography. In short, I am very interested in media work. I enjoy surreal and epic big-budget films and am particularly attached to films from the 1950s to 1980s.

My favourite film directors and their films are:
* Sam Peckinpah and his films The Wild Bunch, Cross of Iron and Bring Me the head of Alfredo Garcia
* Alfred Hitchcock: Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds.
* Terry Gilliam:
Brazil, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Twelve Monkeys.
* Other films I like:
Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, The Egyptian, Spartacus, Paths of Glory, All Quiet on the Western Front, Come and See.

Petri Tamminen

I am a 16-year-old hobby filmmaker from Pirkkala, currently attending TYK high school in Tampere. I am also a member in TYK’s film club, and films have been my hobby since primary school. Some of my work is on display on a YouTube channel called MPM Pictures.
I mainly enjoy the classics, although I have not yet seen some of the very early pieces. My favourite films include Pulp Fiction, A Clockwork Orange and just about every Steven Spielberg film – the good ones.