Coronavirus outbreak reflected in both the content and number of film applications
In March–April, AVEK granted a total of EUR 224,800 of support to 19 film projects. The total number of applications processed was 53.
“The coronavirus outbreak is reflected in applications. In addition to giving rise to new subject matter, it has also affected the content of several projects already in progress. The number of applications increased significantly compared to the same period last year,” says Film Commissioner Mikko Peltonen.
One support recipient was the Poikkeustila (‘State of Emergency’) documentary project, a series of films to be produced as a collaboration between several directors that examines how the coronavirus outbreak has shaken society.
“We currently have nearly 30 director-photographers working on the project, some documenting changes in society and others documenting individuals’ stories,” says Anu Kuivalainen, the initiator and executive producer of the project.
Realising the project has proven challenging amid the ongoing state of emergency. Photography must be carried out while maintaining a safe distance, and it is difficult to get photography permits for many key locations.
“We have to look at the situation differently than the news media is currently doing. At the same time, we also have to keep up with what’s happening. The shock phase is over, and we are now starting to see behind the curtain of the coronavirus crisis. The demands imposed by the economy and public health are contradictory. We are starting to see the people who are really needed to keep the wheels of society spinning,” Kuivalainen states.
See all decisions concerning films (in Finnish)
Grants to 10 media art projects
“Because of the coronavirus outbreak, many applicants are uncertain as to whether they will be able to move forward with already agreed upon exhibitions. However, grant decisions are still being made as normal,” says Media Art Commisioner Milla Moilanen, describing the state of emergency.
The number of media art applications processed in March–April was 19, on the basis of which 10 projects received a total of EUR 59,400 in grants.
One of the recipients of the media art grant was the video piece Sulamispiste (‘Melting Point’) by Sasha Huber, in which the artist travels across the Agassiz Glacier while symbolically wiping away the racist legacy borne by the Agassiz name.
March also saw the selection of a new media art work to be presented before the concerts of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the Visual Overture project. The selected proposal by Jenni Toikka explores the experience of music. A production budget of €20,000 has been allocated for the production of the new work, funded by AVEK and Kiasma, which will be presented in late 2020 on the Musiikkitalo Media Wall.
See all decisions concerning media art (in Finnish)