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10 Years of Discovering the Best Documentaries for You

We are bringing a dose of Nordic atmosphere and sense of humour from Aalto University in Helsinki


The Department of Film, Television and Scenography ELO is part of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland’s only film university. Producing both fiction and documentary films, it focuses on the visual aspect and the film language of its projects, digital ones as well as those shot on raw film material. In a number of those films, viewers can clearly distinguish what is usually labelled as the Nordic atmosphere.

What does it mean to be a radical? A Muslim radical? Such are the questions asked by Sanni Priha in her film RADICAL following Abeer, a devoted Jordanian Muslim working at a non-profit organization and at “Heaven“ Radio.

Chinese ice sculptors come to Finland to liven up a ski centre. Huang Shen, a young Chinese man, is fed up with wearing a panda costume as a walking advertisement to attract people to the sculpture park. Ilkka Rautio has captured a culture clash with a great dose of Finnish humour in his film WONDER WORLD OF ICE.

Our selection includes two films by director Jussi Lehtomäki. BEHIND THE BLUE LINE captures the thin line between victory and defeat, sports matches and national awareness of war history. OUT IN THE WOODS, his second film available at DAFilms.com, plays with the traditional fairy tale about Hansel and Gretel sent to the woods by a poor woodcutter. The film takes the viewers right in the middle of a dramatic plot.

In MY GODFATHER, HIS THAI BRIDE AND ME, ageing Seppo finds a Thai woman. He wants to marry her and live with her in Finland. Wille Hyvönen his godson and director of the film, joins him on his journey to Thailand. As the odd one out, he has serious doubts about the durability and fairness of the relationship. His role in the film is as significant as that of his two protagonists...

Salla Sorri, fiction and documentary film director, has chosen the theme of baby dance, which strengthens the relationship between parents and babies that cannot communicate through the language of adults, for her film CONNECTION based on the ideas of philosopher Kirsti Määttänen.

Director Elli Rintala focuses on the relation between man, nature and technology. Her film VIA AIR takes place at Helsinki Airport which is getting bigger and bigger while the world interconnected by transport and technology seems to get smaller and smaller...

The invasions of seasonal pickers of forest fruit to Lapland are the focus of HOW TO PICK BERRIES in which Elina Talvensaari follows the situations that occur between the locals and the seasonal workers as well as several aspects of the globalized world in general.

Watch 8 Finnish films from Aalto University at DAFilms.com for free; for a whole week until Sunday, September 13.

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Films for the event



Radikaali (Orig.) / 2013 / Finland / 14 min

Radicalism in the West is perceived as a threat to freedom. Today Islam carries the stigma of the word. Abeer is a Jordanian woman, a devout Muslim. She works in a non-governmental organization, and on "Heaven" Radio Station. What are her hopes and what does she dream of? What does it mean to be radical?



Out into the woods

Aamulla viemme lapset metsään (Orig.) / 2012 / Finland / 13 min

Once upon a time a poor woodcutter lived with his wife and two children in a small cottage next to a great forest. The boy was called Hansel and the girl Gretel. Do you know this old story by the brothers of Grimm?



Behind the blue line

Karkuri (Orig.) / 2014 / Finland / 23 min

Ice hockey - war documentary about leaving your team behind.




Yhteys (Orig.) / 2014 / Finland / 16 min

“Baby-dance” is a method to strengthen the connection between the baby and the parent before the shared spoken language. This film dedicated to the discoveries and thinking of the philosopher Kirsti Määttänen.



Wonder World of Ice

Keinolumikylä (Orig.) / 2013 / Finland / 51 min

A group of Chinese sculptors arrive to build an exotic experience park in the middle of Finnish Lapland. Among them Huang Sheng, a young Chinese student, who brings with him his dreams...



My Godfather, His Thai Bride and Me

Kummisetani Thaimorsian (Orig.) / 2012 / Finland / 58 min

Wille has a problem. His godfather, Finnish butcher Seppo is in love with Pin, a Thai woman. How could there be true love between a Western man and a Thai woman? It’s just prostitution by another name. The middle-aged man wants sex and to subjugate the young woman, she wants financial security...



How to Pick Berries

Miten marjoja poimitaan (Orig.) / 2010 / Finland / 19 min

Visitors from a distant place appear in the misty swamps of Northern Finland. The locals grow restless - things are changing, secret berry spots are revealed and everything is getting uncomfortable. Who is to blame and who is profiting from all this? How to Pick Berries is an exploration of Finnish mind and the absurdities of global economy.





“My work has two strands: the first one deals with direct political images of violence, aggression and protest, mostly in Israeli-Palestinian context. It’s critique of news media, researching the complex, both realistic and surrealistic aspects of these images. The second strand of videos is more abstract and universal, dealing with cognitive, environmental and existential issues,” says the director about his works.

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