What is your professional background? How did you end up working in filmmaking?
I’ve been making art in different forms my whole life. I got my first camera from my parents as a confirmation present, and since then I’ve been capturing life and my observations in pictures.
I can’t remember any particular thing that drew me to filmmaking, but somehow I always knew that I wanted to play the role of observer and storyteller in life. I am currently completing my final studies in film directing at Aalto University, where I will graduate as a Master of Arts at the end of the year.
How did you decide to apply for Kehittämö, and what are your expectations for the programme?
I applied for Kehittämö because I believe that it will give me a safe and encouraging environment to develop my first film. I expect the mentoring to spark new insights into the forms and possibilities of stories.
What are the things you want to develop specifically in your own work?
I want to learn to verbalise the images I have in my mind. I also want to better understand the structures and principles of scripts.
Tell us more about your project – how did you decide on the subject and what is the work about?
Kaivo is a film about being a foster sibling. It’s about what can happen if you always place yourself in the role of a saviour. Kaivo is a personal story that has been with me in various forms for years. I’m making the film with the production company Silmu Films.
Has Kehittämö so far been what you originally imagined when you applied for the programme? How do you think the process of your own project in Kehittämö has progressed up to this point?
I have been very pleased with Kehittämö. It has provided me with the peace to work on the film. I particularly like the fact that each project can decide for itself how to use the development support, so that the development can be built around the content of the story. The mentoring I have received in Kehittämö has also already been very eye-opening and inspiring after just a few meetings. I believe that I will make a better film with the programme than I would have made without it.
What kinds of films, other art forms or filmmakers inspire your own work? You can mention a couple of examples of works that have particularly influenced your work.
I am interested in Finnish photographic art because it has often managed to somehow capture a certain atmosphere or human nature that I recognise in my own environment. Photography also allows you to explore and experiment in a different way to film, since it is so much lighter in terms of production. I would like to see the same kind of spontaneous observation in films that we see in both journalistic and art photography in Finland.
How do you approach the artistic process when you start working on your films?
I look for observations that I can’t get out of my mind and things that bother me. Then I try to write them down as clearly and understandably as possible, so that they can start bothering other people as well.
What role do you think cooperation between different parties plays in the making of films? How do you see the importance of cooperation between the producer and the director?
The producer is one of the most important partners of the director. With the producer, the director has the opportunity to create a social and production process that allows the content of the film to be communicated in the best possible way. Because filmmaking is slow and difficult, the producer is also the person who can help the director through the rough patches. Through their selection of films, producers curate the stories that they find important.
How do you see the significance of networking in filmmaking?
Films are difficult to make alone, which is why finding your own people may feel more important than in other arts. I see networking as a tool for other people to get involved in projects that interest them.
Kehittämö – Talent Development Lab is a new development programme by AVEK and the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the aim of which is to strengthen the personal voices of the most talented filmmakers of their generation and create new audiovisual works of the highest quality. Authors selected for the programme receive a €55,000 grant to develop their work, as well as personal mentoring from top international professionals in the field.
Kehittämö is made possible with financial support from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, and the programme is implemented by AVEK. Half of the funding for the programme comes from the Finnish Cultural Foundation and half from AVEK’s compensation for private copying.