Brussels, je t'aime

I arrived in Brussels on the evening of Friday, 28th of January. I'd been invited there for the 9th edition of Brussels International Women's Film Festival, or Elles Tournent. At the airport, I was met by Roland, who was the other half of the couple who would be hosting me. Jacqueline, his wife and a long-time volunteer at the festival, was coming down with the flu so she was resting at home.

Roland took me on a bus to their place to get settled in. Their epic Brussels townhouse was easily the most beautiful house I'd ever set foot in. The ceiling in each floor was so high you could've practised cheerleading stunts indoors. Jacqueline was resting by the fireplace in the living room. I learned that she works in human rights, particularly women's rights, and does volunteer work with refugee children. Then Roland asked me whether I wanted a beer or a shower first. By this point, I was pretty sure I'd died on the plane and was totally winning at afterlife.

I opted for a shower because I'd been living in Tallinn for the past two weeks or so, and the place we were staying at almost never had any hot water. I was dying for a proper hot shower.

Our place in Tallinn.

Our place in Tallinn.

The huge bathroom in Brussels with a skylight overlooking a park...

The huge bathroom in Brussels with a skylight overlooking a park...

After freshening up, I took the SEVEN flights of stairs (not even kidding) back down and was immediately handed a cold Belgian trappist beer. I sat down to chat with Jacqueline by the fire while Roland was cooking raviolis. We had raviolis, French red wine for dinner and French cheeses for dessert. I'm getting a bit depressed now just thinking about that, and what I've eaten today at school.

With a full stomach and a stupid, happy smile on my face, Roland took me to the theatre where the festival was taking place. I got a goody bag, and a name tag, and met with some of the lovely people behind the festival. To be totally honest, I don't remember much more from Friday night probably because of the benzos I take to be able to fly. And maybe the beer and wine. Also it was almost a month ago so don't judge.

Saturday morning there was a brunch for the filmmakers. This was at another equally stunning townhouse. I went there with Nassima, who was also staying at Roland and Jacqueline's place. I didn't realize what génial company I was in until I saw Nassima's film on Sunday. But more on that later.

It was full on spring in Brussels. This is the backyard of the house.

It was full on spring in Brussels. This is the backyard of the house.

At the brunch, I met Fairouz M'Silti, Shahana Goswami, and Britt Raes... Wait, after looking at this picture from the brunch, I suddenly remembered what happened Friday night! I saw a Turkish feature film, Toz Bezi (Dust Cloth). And it wasn't forgettable at all, actually, but a really, really well-made film. It's always such a pleasure to watch fiction that doesn't feel like fiction. The characters were so believable and alive that I was happy just to watch them do whatever. The drama was also there but there was no need to follow a sydfieldian pattern by the minute. (Although, if I were to analyze the film it may very well follow that pattern but at least it didn't feel like it.)

Watch the trailer below:

1. TOZ BEZI (Dust Cloth) by Ahu Ozturk

Turkey, 2016, 97'

I mostly talked to Fairouz at the brunch but I had missed the screening of her short film because it was on Friday before I had arrived. However, I just watched it recently on Vimeo with a password I was kindly given by Fairouz. Hers too is a film with refreshingly multifaceted women characters. There isn't a trailer online but here is a poster of the film. You can also look for upcoming screenings on the Facebook page for the film.

2. CARAMEL SURPRISE by Fairouz M'Silti

France, 2016, 22'

France, 2016, 22'

After the brunch, I went thrift shopping with a bunch of cool, young, Belgian animators: Britt Raes, Ornella Macchia, and Gwendoline Gamboa. They were skeptical at first but then decided to let me hung out with them because I told them my film also has some stop-motion animation sequences. Phew. Thrift-shopping was a bust unfortunately – I couldn't find any West German leather ties for my partner who collects them in different colors.

Later that day I got to see all of their films in the Elles s'animent shorts screening.

For this screening, I opted for an "English whisperer" because all the films at the festival were either in French or subtitled in French. It's a pretty weird experience having someone live-translate by whispering in your ear in the movie theatre. I found it really distracting so for the rest of the festival, I got by with the moderate amount of French I know. I was really pleasantly surprised actually at how well I still understand French, even though I haven't studied it in years. Kudos to my grandmother for bribing me to take French in school! Strange things can pay off one day, kids.

Watch the trailers for Britt's, Gwen's, and Ornella's films:

3. CATHERINE by Britt Raes

Belgium, 2016, 12'

Catherine is actually quite a sad and macabre story but nonetheless got the entire audience laughing. I really liked how Britt takes full advantage of what can be done creatively with animation and just has fun with the medium. Britt also has a blog for the film.

4. PAPIERS D'ARMÉNIE (Armenian Papers) by Ornella Macchia

Belgium, 2015, 7'

In just seven minutes, Ornella has created a lively and wholesome world with some cool animation techniques.

4. RESPIRER SOUS L'EAU (Breathing Under Water) by Gwendoline Gamboa

Belgium, 2014, 6'

In her film, Gwen deals with personal trauma through animation.

I didn't get to meet the other directors in the animation screening but here are some other ones I enjoyed:

5. LE CLITORIS by Lori Malépart-Traversy

Canada, 2016, 4’

By now, I've seen so many films similar to this that I was expecting to be a bit bored. But I was happy to be proven wrong. The film is said to be released online soon, you can follow it at lorimalepart-clitoris.tumblr.com. (Lol, I just realized the director's name without the accent is "Malepart". Haha)

6. ROUGES by Jacinthe Folon

Belgium, 2015, 3’

Belgium, 2015, 3’

Animation about periods! I couldn't find much about this film online but obviously could not leave it out of this list. Period pains perfectly illustrated in three minutes.


Next up on Saturday was the screening of Girl Power, a documentary about women graffiti artists by a woman graffiti artist.

7. GIRL POWER by Sany

Czech Republic, 2016, 92'

I learned a lot about graffiti writers and their culture – and I got to meet the notorious Sany! 🙀  Educate yourself by watching this film. You can watch it here on vimeo on-demand for only $5.

As a side-note, there was another awesome graffiti film that was screened actually on Sunday in the same screening as Period Stories. This one's a lot more light-hearted and more on the legal (yawn) side of things. But funny and endearing nonetheless. It's only 4 minutes, and you can watch it right now for free below:

7 1/2. I'M A GRAFFITI GRANDMA by Lata65

Portugal, 2016, 4'

After watching films all day, I was struggling to stay awake but I wanted to watch the last film of the day anyway, a Chinese documentary, We Are Here.

8. WE ARE HERE by Shi Tou & Jing Zhao

China, 2016, 60'

China, 2016, 60'

What happens when 300 lesbians from all over the world attend the largest United Nations conference?  How did two busloads of lesbians headed to an underground nightclub help spark the birth of a lala (LBT) movement in China?  At the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, the first ever lesbian tent at an UN NGO Forum was created.  At the tent, ideas were shared, connections were made, and identities were assured …with energy for change in growth.

We Are Here is a documentary about historical events that I knew nothing about beforehand. However, it could've used a lot more breathing space in the editing, as the film was packed full of interviews and people talking with hardly any breaks during the entire 60 minutes. The subtitles could hardly fit on the screen or keep up. Nonetheless, it was a very interesting topic, and if I understood correctly, one of the organizers of the Elles Tournent festival had actually been present in Beijing in 1995. Very cool, very educational.


Moving on to Sunday!

I woke up to a super sunny Brussels. The smugness on my face speaks for itself.

I woke up to a super sunny Brussels. The smugness on my face speaks for itself.

Sunday started with the perfect brunch with Roland, Jacqueline (who was luckily feeling better), their daughter, and Nassima. God, I'd missed a real pain au chocolat.

After my little selfie session with the sun, we headed to the theatre to watch Nassima's film, 10949 Femmes.

10. 10949 FEMMES by Nassima Guessoum

France, 2014, 76’

Actually it's ninth on my list but I listed it as tenth because this film is such a 10/10. (Even though I probably missed a lot of it because it was subtitled en francais). But skillfully made cinema is a universal language. In the screening, I was sitting with Fairouz and after the film she told me that on the brunch on Saturday she was trying to act cool but was actually totally fangirling inside about meeting Nassima because she'd seen 10949 Femmes before.

In the film, Nassima spends time with and films her namesake, Nassima. In a nutshell, Nassima is just the coolest old lady revolution fighter, and you will love her.

Sadly, I can only give you the trailer to watch for now, but the film should be available to watch online some time soon this year. You can like it on Facebook to follow for updates.

Next up was the film that Shahana was the lead actress in.

11. UNDER CONSTRUCTION by Rubaiyat Hossain

Bangladesh, 2015, 88’

I don't think I've ever been to a film festival where at least one of the films didn't have some sort of a technical issue. Very unfortunately, this time it was Under Construction, where somewhere mid-film the audio went out of sync. I'm guessing it may have been a framerate issue because people said they thought it got worse gradually.

However, the film was still really good, and Shahana was great. I loved how they showed her with and without make-up, hair done and not done – and I mean like the way people REALLY look like when they're home in sweatpants, not like Hollywood usually portrays this, where the "home in sweatpants" is actually a very carefully crafted illusion of effortless conventional and "presentable" beauty.

And then! It was time for the Vive le Feminisme screening with Period Stories. I haven't been nervous in screenings in ages but somehow this time I felt some jitters again. I really liked the festival and I really wanted the people to like it. Also, for some reason the theatre was packed for this screening. Voila all the people in the picture below. I'm one of those tiny dots at the front of the theatre doing the Q&A.

The screening went really well and there were many audible reactions from the audience during the film which is always great. All in all, an awesome experience!

After the screening, our little family: Nassima, Roland, Jacqueline, et moi, went to have some beers and dinner. Roland recommended it, so I had an epic bucket of spicy mussels which were to die for. The people in the neighbouring table also kindly taught me how to eat them like a pro: you're supposed to eat one and then use the shell of that as a little tool to eat the rest. A skill I doubt I'll be needing very often but maybe you eat mussels all the time and I've now changed your life forever.

Mussels in Brussels.

Mussels in Brussels.

I flew home to Tallinn early Monday morning. Meanwhile, my partner had moved our stuff to our new place which, mind you, has an endless supply of hot water. Ahh.

xx,
C

 

Screening at Brussels International Women's Film Festival

We're having our Belgian premiere at the 9th edition of Brussels International Women's Film Festival on January 29th! Period Stories is in the closing screening of short films at the festival on Sunday at 7pm. The screening is titled Vive le Féminisme and the description reads: "Around the world, women claim their rights with humour and insolence."

This is the first festival that found the film on their own, instead of me submitting it. Apparently, one of the organizers had seen it at VoxFeminae Film Festival in Zagreb, Croatia in 2015. Good things come out of good things!

They've also invited me there so I'm looking at flights to attend the screening. I've just moved to Tallinn yesterday for an exchange semester at Tallinn University and the first day of school is on the 30th so I will probably miss it... However, can't say no to an invitation to Brussels! 

Here's a complete list of films in the screening:

LADIES FIRST
US, 2016, 33’, VO AR/EN ST FR
MONA EL-NAGGAR
Women on the election lists in Saudi Arabia !

DIFFÉRENCE DE SALAIRES H-F?
USA, 2015, 3’, VO EN ST FR
HUFFTINGTON POST
The virtues of the female worker, cheap and exploitable at will.

LA PROSTITUTION : UN MÉTIER COMME UN AUTRE
FRANCE, 2014, 9’, VO FR
FRÉDÉRIQUE POLLET-ROUYER
Political fiction in France if prostitution had become an ordinary job.

PERIOD STORIES
FINLANDE, 2015, 20’, VO EN ST FR
CHARLOTTE FORSGÅRD
From Kenya to New Zealand, women have posted online the "history of their periods". A taboo topic?

I’M A GRAFITTI GRANDMA
PORTUGAL, 2016, 4’, VO POR ST FR
LATA 65
Luisa is a granny crazy about graffiti.

KODAIKANAL WON’T
INDE, 2015, 3’, VO EN ST FR
SOFIA ASHRAF ET RATHINDRAN R PRASAD
Sofia Ashraf, a young Indian rapper, calls on the giant Unilever, n.1 polluter in Kodaikanal.


See you in Brussels!

-C

Come Check Out BOdyssey & Protest Abortion Ban

I'm happy to announce that Period Stories will be screened next week on Friday, October 7, at BOdyssey by artist Monika Czyzyk! BOdyssey is a video art project and installation currently on at the Academy of Fine Arts' Exhibition Laboratory. At the center of Monika's BOdyssey is the Barbie Cam, which is a 2010 special edition Barbie doll with a video camera and playback unit embedded in its body.

I was one of the people who were given a Barbie cam to shoot material for the installation. Period Stories will serve as a "warm up" film before the premiere of the BOdyssey film that compiles the material produced for the installation into a single channel film.

Screening of the films starts at 5 pm :)

This is an excerpt of the description of the BOdyssey installation:

"For the installation Czyzyk has been shooting a Barbie Cam film which is her own personal Odyssey, and has come to develop multifarious characters through the doll’s lens. During her quest she was granted the chance to meet fascinating female characters, whether professional filmmakers or everyday heroines, with different cultural origins and unusual perspectives on life.
She has invited them to participate in the project by providing them with their own Barbie Cam and with the request to film their respective viewpoints and perspectives of the times we are living in. She has asked these women to put forth their personal comments and statements, along with whatever playfulness they might be triggered to devise, while discovering the characteristics of the Barbie Cam as both camera and minor female character."


Participants in addition to myself are Kinga Kardynal, Leslie Thornton, Ola Maszczynska, Arja, Niina Hosiasluoma, Madeleine Roger Lacan, Stanislawa Czyzyk, Gabriela Monroy, Riina Koivisto, Julie Gasnier, Sun Sun Yap, Lenka Cernotova, and Vishnu Vardhani.

Upcoming events at BOdyssey include supporting the protest against the Polish government for taking steps towards completely banning abortion in Poland. You can come to the gallery on Sunday, October 2, between 2:00 and 4:00 pm to make small black hangers that are a symbol of "DIY-abortions" to demonstrate against this appalling development.

On Monday, October 3, the barbies of BOdyssey will join and film the protest at Helsinki Senate Square. There are 15 barbies available and Monika welcomes everyone to join. There will be a meet-up at 3 pm at Exhibition Laboratory and then people will go together to the demonstration that starts at 4. Videos shot with the barbies will be shown at the gallery as part of BOdyssey. I will be there shooting a 360 degree video of us and the barbies demonstrating with their black hangers!

On Saturday, October 8, and Sunday, October 9, there will also be two performances of a dance piece called MEMORYBOXin at the gallery.

08/10/2016 & 9/10/2016 at 16:00 – 17:40
MEMORYBOXin - BOdyssey dance performance
Choreography: Riina Koivisto
Performers: Julie Gasnier and Riina Koivisto
Music: Pierre AGUT
Clothing: Anu GOULD

BOdyssey is open at Exhibition Laboratory from Tuesday till Sunday from 11:00 – 18:00 till October 9.

You can follow all of the events at BOdyssey easily through this
Facebook event.

To learn more about Monika, you can go to her website at www.monikaczyzyk.org.

<3,
C

Period Stories Is Online!

To mark the one-year anniversary of Period Stories – and to celebrate International Menstrual Hygiene Day – we are releasing the film online on Vimeo on Demand!

Exactly one year ago today, Period Stories premiered at Lunette cup's #BreakTheBloodyTaboo event in Tampere on International Menstrual Hygiene Day 2015. We've had a pretty crazy year since then: the film has won two awards and been screened at film festivals around the world. I just want to say thank you for all your support – and a special shout-out to the amazing people who made this possible: the women and men of Period Stories. You are the best.

Since Vimeo doesn't yet offer a pay-what-you-want option, I'm releasing the film with a supporter price of $10 and a public promo code you are welcome to use to watch it for free! The code is BLEEDANDTELL (obvs). All of the supporter money will go towards annual expenses related to the film such as paying for this website.

THANK YOU &
please let me know what you think of the film &
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE IT!

xx,
C

We're In the Running for Visionary Film Award

I have to say that an email saying, "Hey, we love your film and want to pay for you to travel to our festival", sure is my all-time favourite type of email to receive. In other words, we've been invited to Visions Film Festival & Conference in Wilmington, North Carolina in mid-April!

Visions is an annual peer-reviewed film festival and conference organized by The University of North Carolina Wilmington Film Studies Department. In addition to film screenings, the event includes Q&As, a keynote presentation, a panel discussion, and a video race to make a film in groups in one hour. Sounds like a pretty swell time.

I've only ever been to New York and New Jersey in the U.S. so it'll be my first time seeing a bit more of the States. Unfortunately, the travel grant covers only my travelling expenses, so we are now in the process of applying grants in Finland for Jenni and Heta to attend. You can help us out too by donating or getting a Period Stories tote bag (if you dare!).

As mentioned in the title, we are also in the running for an award at the festival called Visionary Film Award. Wish us luck!

– C

O-oh, Moscow!

35 VGIK International Student Festival in Moscow will be held November 16–20.

35 VGIK International Student Festival in Moscow will be held November 16–20.

(It rhymes, you know.) When I got the email saying we've been selected for screening at 35 VGIK International Student Festival in Moscow, I immediately looked at the date. I was bummed to see that this festival too is on the same week as YOUKI in Austria and Cameraimage in Poland.

So now we should be in three places at the same time and in Croatia the week before! That's a bit problematic schedule-wise – not to mention financially. But we're happy that we have such positive problems!

We're gonna have to rethink our plans of going to Croatia but our money-making initiative is no less relevant – we just need a new hashtag. Maybe something like #wearefuckinggoingPLACES...?

Nonetheless: YAY, Moscow! I love me some good news from Russia.

It's 2 am and I'm editing stuff we shot Tuesday in the name of #wearefuckinggoingplaces. #sendhelp

It's 2 am and I'm editing stuff we shot Tuesday in the name of #wearefuckinggoingplaces. #sendhelp

We'll keep you posted...
– C

We've Been Invited to YOUKI 2015!

YOUKI 2015 will be held in Wels, Austria from November 17 to 21.

YOUKI 2015 will be held in Wels, Austria from November 17 to 21.

Yay! YOUKI International Youth Media Festival has selected Period Stories for their international competition. This is the first foreign film festival that isn't a feminist or women's film festival that has selected Period Stories for screening. This is great because we don't want to just be preaching to the choir. It's also the first foreign festival to include Period Stories in a competition.

We will have a screening on Friday, November 20, 9 am (yes, am!). We're hoping to be able to attend the festival but it happens to coincide with Cameraimage in Poland. Traditionally, Metropolia cinematography and editing students attend Cameraimage during their second school year (which for me would be this semester). I'm looking into hopefully taking a little detour to Austria because as interesting as Cameraimage seems, YOUKI looks like a lot of fun too. 

This also means we're gonna have to reinvent our hashtag for #wearefuckinggoingtocroatia to #wearefuckinggoingtocroatiaANDaustria!

Here's our first money-hustling selfie from yesterday's gig.

(Check out my last post, if you don't know what I'm talking about.)

More news to come soon...

– C

We're (Maybe) Going to Croatia!

As you might know, Period Stories has been selected for screening at Vox Feminae in Zagreb, Croatia. Now Jenni and I are doing our best to make enough money to attend. We're making some videos for a couple of Finnish companies to earn the money for flights while also applying for artist grants. Project #WeAreFuckingGoingToCroatia has begun.

We'll be tagging all of our money-hustling Instagram selfies with that so you can follow our progress there. That is all.

Poljupci,
C

Period Stories at Hangö Film Festival / Period Stories Hangon elokuvajuhlilla

(English below.)

Noniin, välillä vähän suomeakin tänne. Ihana Hanko on päättänyt lisätä meidän elokuvan ohjelmistoonsa Hangon elokuvajuhlille, jotka järjestetään tänä vuonna 17. kertaa. Period Stories näytetään näillä näkymin festareilla kaksi kertaa. Toinen näytös toimii sunnuntaibrunssin keskustelunavauksena uudenlaisista tavoista lähestyä elokuvantekoa. Päivitän tarkemmat tiedot näytöksistä, kun ne ilmoitetaan.

Ollaan Jennin kanssa iloisesti yllättyneitä siitä, että Hanko on avoin meidän tabuelokuvalle – toisin kuin eräs toinen H:lla alkava suomalainen pikkukaupunki, jossa leffa oli "sopimaton" näytettäväksi. Minä ja meidän animaattori Heta Saukkonen ollaan aikeissa road trippailla Hankoon, joten nähdään siellä!

//

We are happy to announce that our next Finnish screening will be at Hangö Film Festival (website in Finnish & Swedish only). Period Stories will be screened there twice – with the second screening serving as an opener for the Sunday brunch discussion about new approaches to filmmaking.

We're glad to know that not all smaller towns in Finland are as close-minded as another town in which our film was deemed "inappropriate". I will be attending the weekend stretch of the festival with our animator Heta Saukkonen. See you there!

Besos,
C

Period Stories Selected for SAGA Film Festival

What good times! SAGA Stockholm International Women's Film Festival has selected Period Stories (and a few other short docs from Metropolia classmates..!) to be screened at their festival on October 24–25.

SAGA, Stockholm International Womens’ Film Festival, is a weekend film festival that celebrates the women-behind-the-camera films from all over the world. Such films constitute a largely underrepresented category of films available to the public.

We'll be packing our bags and hopping on a ferry to attend the festival with a crew of everyone whose films were chosen from my class. Follow us on Instagram for updates from the road (boat?)!

Ahoy,
C

Screening Tonight at Love & Anarchy

Still from Pair of Hearts (dir. Gaia Saarinen) in which I was the Director of Photography.

Still from Pair of Hearts (dir. Gaia Saarinen) in which I was the Director of Photography.

Hey hey, we have our second screening at Helsinki International Film Festival, Love & Anarchy (Rakkautta ja Anarkiaa) tonight in Dubrovnik at 6:15pm! It's in a short documentary series titled Films from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Get tickets here.

Here's the full list of films in the screening:

Susani Mahadura & Sami Levo
FOREVER YOURS X3 /// IKUISESTI SINUN X3
FINLAND /// 2014 /// 15 MIN
A documentary short film about love and letting go. The playful film tells the story of a 64-year-old mother, a three-time divorcée who is still looking for love, although not willing to walk the aisle anymore. The mother’s story features three husbands at different stages of her life.

Sanna Liljander
MISS /// KAIPUU
FINLAND /// 2015 /// 5 MIN
“Sometimes I try to forget that she’s gone.” What to do when your best friend leaves you?

Iiti Yli-Rinne
THE GREAT NEIGHBOUR FEST /// SUURI NAAPURIJUHLA
FINLAND /// 2015 /// 18 MIN
Is it a good idea to try and get to know one’s neighbours?

Charlotte Forsgård
PERIOD STORIES
FINLAND /// 2015 /// 20 MIN
Period Stories is a crowdsourced short documentary about menstruation experiences from around the world. Are periods the same for a 16-year-old Kenyan and a 45-year-old Australian?

Gaia Saarinen
PAIR OF HEARTS /// HERTTAPARI
FINLAND /// 2015 /// 6 MIN
An experimental documentary which tells the story of a mother’s gambling addiction from the daughter’s point of view. How does it feel like watching your mother fall and how to prevent her from dragging you down as well?

Eero Evijärvi
PAPERMAN /// PAPERIMIES
FINLAND /// 2015 /// 10 MIN
Poster distributing is prohibited in Helsinki, but the rules don’t prevent poster advertisers from doing their job. This short documentary opens the world of one anonymous poster distributor and his conflict with the City of Helsinki.

Hanna Hovitie
MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP
FINLAND /// 2015 /// 13 MIN
A story of a nomadic life and a broken identity. When Achat was seven years old, her parents sent her away from Congo to be adopted in France. After her adoptive mother’s death, years of ordinary life in Paris turned into a nightmare.

 

See you once again in Dubrovnik! <3
– C

We Have a Screening Tonight at Love & Anarchy!

Just hung up the latest addition to my awesome poster collection.

Just hung up the latest addition to my awesome poster collection.

I'm once again well ahead on updating the blog – meaning we have a screening TONIGHT in two hours at Helsinki International Film Festival, Love & Anarchy (Rakkautta ja Anarkiaa)! It starts at 8:45 pm in Dubrovnik theatre which is downstairs from the bar Corona in Kamppi. You can get tickets (9€) here! Tonight's screening is titled Artova Film Festival Winners, so we are accompanied again by friends Hanna Kaihlanen with Memory Mixtape and Anna-Mari Nousiainen with Glitter Stories.

If you miss this one, we have another screening at HIFF on Saturday 26th, 6:15 pm, again in Dubrovnik. Tickets can be bought here. This is a screening with chosen documentaries from my university Metropolia UAS. With us are choice as films by friends and classmates such as The Great Neighbour Fest (Iiti Yli-Rinne), Paperman (Eero Evijärvi) and one that I shot(!) titled Pair of Hearts (Gaia Saarinen).

– C

We're at Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy

Last night classmate Hanna (Memory Mixtape) and I were at the opening party for Love & Anarchy. In addition to the free booze, we were there to see our friends Hanna Toivonen and Tommi Koskinen, aka the electro-duo Phantom, play some tunes with their new visuals. They played inside a semi-transparent cube and had projection mapped visuals and their live silhouettes onto the cube. Needless to say it was pretty amazing and you should check them out immediately.

Phantom at Helsinki International Film Festival opening party.

Phantom at Helsinki International Film Festival opening party.

And as you might already know, Period Stories has not one but two(!) screenings at Helsinki International Film Festival, Love & Anarchy (Rakkautta ja Anarkiaa). The first is a screening titled Artova Film Festival: Winners with our co-winners from AFF (including Memory Mixtape). It's on Monday the 21st at 8:45 pm in Dubrovnik. The second screening is at Films from Metropolia UAS with short documentaries from fellow Metropolia students. It's on Saturday the 26th at 6:15 pm in Dubrovnik.

Here's a list of all the films in the two screenings.

ARTOVA FILM FESTIVAL: WINNERS

Anna-Mari Nousiainen
GLITTER STORIES

Charlotte Forsgård
PERIOD STORIES

Hanna Kaihlanen
MEMORY MIXTAPE

Kaisu Koski
NOT TO SCALE AT ALL

Savage Streets
HOVISSAAN TAMPERE TALON ALLA HÄN ODOTTAA UNEKSIEN

FILMS FROM METROPOLIA UAS

Susani Mahadura & Sami Levo
FOREVER YOURS X3 /// IKUISESTI SINUN X3
FINLAND /// 2014 /// 15 MIN
A documentary short film about love and letting go. The playful film tells the story of a 64-year-old mother, a three-time divorcée who is still looking for love, although not willing to walk the aisle anymore. The mother’s story features three husbands at different stages of her life.

Sanna Liljander
MISS /// KAIPUU
FINLAND /// 2015 /// 5 MIN
“Sometimes I try to forget that she’s gone.” What to do when your best friend leaves you?

Iiti Yli-Rinne
SUURI NAAPURIJUHLA /// THE GREAT NEIGHBOUR FEST
FINLAND /// 2015 /// 18 MIN
Is it a good idea to try and get to know one’s neighbours?

Charlotte Forsgård
PERIOD STORIES
FINLAND /// 2015 /// 20 MIN
Period Stories is a crowdsourced documentary film featuring people from around the world breaking the menstrual taboo by sharing their period stories on the big screen.

Gaia Saarinen
HERTTAPARI /// PAIR OF HEARTS
FINLAND /// 2015 /// 6 MIN
An experimental documentary which tells the story of a mother’s gambling addiction from the daughter’s point of view. How does it feel like watching your mother fall and how to prevent her from dragging you down as well?

Eero Evijärvi
PAPERMAN /// PAPERIMIES
FINLAND /// 2015 /// 10 MIN
Poster distributing is prohibited in Helsinki, but the rules don’t prevent poster advertisers from doing their job. This short documentary opens the world of one anonymous poster distributor and his conflict with the City of Helsinki.

Hanna Hovitie
MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP
FINLAND /// 2015 /// 13 MIN
A story of a nomadic life and a broken identity. When Achat was seven years old, her parents sent her away from Congo to be adopted in France. After her adoptive mother’s death, years of ordinary life in Paris turned into a nightmare.

 

See you at Love & Anarchy!
– C

Better Periods for Refugees

Today we went and donated some 300 pads and tampons to the Kaarlenkatu refugee center in Helsinki. When we went in, the hallway was packed with refugees: men, women and children. A visibly tired worker greeted us and looked a little skeptical when we said we had something to donate. When I told him it was pads and tampons his face lit up and he said, "Oh good, it's not clothes! We'll definitely take those."

We know how little money these people have while staying at the refugee center and they shouldn't have to spend it on managing periods. Menstrual hygiene is a human right and these women and girls have enough to worry about. 300 disposable products isn't much but it's a start. If you want to help but don't know how, maybe you could donate some hygiene products too?

 #SuomiSaysWelcome #WelcometoFinland

xx,
C & J

We're Now Officially an Award-Winning Film!

Wow this is crazy! We were not expecting this at all after seeing all the amazing films today at Artova Film Festival. We're so amazed and honoured by this recognition from the AFF judges, Sami van Ingen, Milja Mikkola, and Ivan Punzo. Thank you for recognizing and supporting emerging filmmakers such as myself and my classmate Hanna Kaihlanen. I am so happy that this means that her film, Memory Mixtape, will now also be shown at Helsinki International Film Festival.

The Helsinki International Film Festival (Love & Anarchy) "Best Films from Artova Film Festival" screening will be held on September 21, 8.45 pm in Dubrovnik (Andorra). In addition to this, Period Stories will be screened September 26, 6.15 pm in Dubrovnik (Andorra) in the "True Stories from Metropolia" screening of HIFF.

We were also lucky enough to get to know the AFF Best Picture winner Glitter Stories director Anna-Mari Nousiainen from TAMK. She is a lovely and talented human and we can't wait to see what she does next!

Now let's sleep a little for once.

Good night!
xx,