Film Archive

Cheer Up

Documentary Film
Canada,
Finland
2016
82 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Liisa Juntunen
Christy Garland
Tom Third
Sari Aaltonen
Thor Ochsner, Graeme Ring
Try to cheer up! That’s what the girls get to hear even when one of their ingeniously constructed pyramids of bodies just collapsed and they lie on the floor, bleeding and injured. Cheerleading is the essence of the kind of motivation coaching that fills whole shelves of self-help books and always drives us to peak performances – since this is exactly what this sport is about. It’s just that the logic of the permanent drive to succeed doesn’t seem to work with the Arctic Circle Spirit Ice Queens in Rovaniemi near the Arctic Circle: they are Finland’s worst cheerleading team. But coach Miia is determined to change this. After a visit to the world’s top team in Dallas, Texas – which looks like brainwashing – she wants to make her flock “number one” by means of a “yes you can” strategy. But the flock have other worries: after the death of her mother Patu must cope with her father’s new partner; Aino is drawn into the wild party life and jeopardises her position in the team. Add first love and moving out from home. And Miia, too, realises that the American credo of “everything is possible” may be seen in a completely different light …

Christy Garland confidently mixes the narrative traditions of the classic sports film with those of the coming-of-age drama while staying close to her protagonists. Falling and getting up again. Sounds easier than it is.

Grit Lemke


Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award

Every Other Couple

Documentary Film
Finland
2016
77 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Aleksi Salmenperä
Mia Halme
Ville A. Tanttu
Heikki Färm, Peter Flinckenberg
Antony Bentley
Mia Halme
Micke Nyström
Statistically speaking the cards are stacked against many married couples who swore each other eternal union ever achieving this goal. What fate holds in store for them is a day of separation in the near or distant future. This will cause pain to everyone concerned, the wounds will fester for a long time, and yet one day scars will cover them. There will also be memories of how it all was before that day, and an “afterwards” will take shape. In “Every Other Couple” Mia Halme makes the experience of separation the pivotal point of her biographical observations of broken families. From off screen we hear different stories of what the shared past once meant. We see how the people involved have accommodated themselves emotionally, mentally and socially in the aftermath of the separation.

At the very end of the film a young girl speaks directly into the camera about how she experiences the very first separation in her life. True, the story is far from original. And yet it feels as if a whole cloud of unhappiness was bursting (unfairly, too) over her head. With great empathy, “Every Other Couple” balances between the “on the one hand” and the “on the other hand”.

Ralph Eue

Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest

Animadoc
Finland
2016
85 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Joonas Berghäll, Satu Majava
Katja Gauriloff
Timo Peltola
Enrique Méndez, Heikki Färm
Timo Peltola
Veronika Besedina
Katja Gauriloff
Timo Peltola, Jukka Nurmela
A documentary fairytale with enchanting animations set in the land of the Skolt Sami people near the polar circle. The narrator is Kaisa, a charismatic storyteller and singer. The filmmaker Katja Gauriloff, her great-granddaughter, approaches her life from the perspective of a man who was initially a stranger: Robert Crottet, the Swiss writer who followed an urgent call he heard in a fever dream and went to Lapland in the 1930s, where he felt, as he wrote in his book “The Enchanted Forest”, “transported to a time when the separation between man and animal and the nature that surrounds us all was not as marked as in our day”. In Kaisa, who virtually adopted him, he found an enlightened representative of this Golden Age.

Over the years the two became soulmates. And like the Brothers Grimm, who produced their children’s and household tales in the 19th century by listening to oral traditions, Crottet recorded the myths and legends Kaisa told him and was increasingly filled and transformed by them. In the 1950s he also became the international ambassador of the nomadic Skolt Sami people while they were driven further and further north and forced to fight for survival.

Ralph Eue



Golden Dove International Competition Animated Documentary 2016

Land Within

Documentary Film
Colombia,
Finland
2016
60 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Jenni Kivistö
Jenni Kivistö
Andrés Estefan Ramírez, Samuel Valkola
Otto Andersson
Jenni Kivistö
Jarkko Kela, Rafael Ospino Betancourt
A film in dreamtime and a nomadic reflection on the alien and the familiar: Finnish filmmaker Jenni Kivistö feels a strange kinship to the Wayuu tribe who live in the desert between Colombia and Venezuela. The seriousness, but also the silence of these people seem eerily familiar to her – a closeness she carefully nourishes and questions. She approaches the reality of this distant place in the north of South America in four chapters of enchanting and powerful imagery, interspersed with light and lyrical notes that resemble diary entries. The attention she pays to a Wayuu myth of origin is as great as the serene curiosity with which she incorporates everyday moments and dreams, strange rituals and ghostly incidents in her narrative.

At some point Kivistö relates her encounter with a little boy who teaches her a few words of his language while she in turn teaches him Finnish vocabulary. Some terms are similar. Others bear no relationship to each other at all. There’s only one word that means the same in Finnish and Wayuu: “maa”. It’s the word for earth. Or: the land.

Ralph Eue
Next Masters Wettbewerb 2016
My Secret Forest Niina Brandt

Lauri likes to philosophise, loves the forest and is looking for a girl friend. Not that easy when you’re autistic and need an interpreter. A compelling and straightforward portrait.

My Secret Forest

Documentary Film
Finland
2016
56 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Niina Brandt, Saara Helene Murto
Niina Brandt
Splendid Laine
Niina Brandt, Jari Linjala
Tuula Mehtonen
Niina Brandt, Saara Helene Murto
Pinja Mustajoki
He feels good in the forest; when he’s accompanied by his language interpreter, the chaos of his thoughts comes to rest there. That’s what Lauri types on a cardboard letter grid – which is how he manages to use language to bring his inner life in touch with his environment. The lanky boy who loves philosophy is autistic. He defies his handicap. With an impressive will to communicate, to express himself, Lauri plans to write a book about his special experience of life. He is frequently constrained and made dependent on others by his autism. For an adolescent this distance between desire and fulfilment, as well as the independence denied him, is an emotional roller coaster ride in more than one sense. Breaks in the vital regularity and first hopeful steps, for example looking for a girlfriend, lie close together.

In her unyielding and empathic portrait Finnish director Niina Brandt follows her protagonist through moments of joy and anger, of embracing the world and retiring. She effortlessly shifts between compelling immediacy and close visual observation of Lauri’s everyday environment. Small islands of rest are placed in the flow of events – floating macro shots of the calm forest show the ever-evolving life there from up close.

André Eckardt


Nominated for Young Eyes Film Award
Disobedient Images 2016
Swarming Joni Männistö

Rile a mass of coloured little beetles and they will pay you back in spades! Joni Männistö’s visual and acoustic scuttle-fest comes with the risk of herpes.

Swarming

Animated Film
Finland
2011
7 minutes
subtitles: 
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Eija Saarinen (Turku University of Applied Sciences, Arts Academy)
Joni Männistö
The World Mänkeri Orchestra
Joni Männistö
Joni Männistö
Joni Männistö
Lucas Pedersen
Rile a mass of coloured little beetles and they will pay you back in spades! Joni Männistö’s visual and acoustic scuttle-fest comes with the risk of herpes.

Ines Seifert
Disobedient Images 2016
Tony Is Back – Candy, Age: 43 Jani Leinonen

An advertising icon on a dubious mission: cereal big cat Tony and his flakes bring out the tiger in an ageing prostitute.

2015

Tony Is Back – Candy, Age: 43

Animated Film
Finland
2015
1 minute
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Tero Tamminen (Komeetta Ltd)
Jani Leinonen
Jani Leinonen
Jani Leinonen
An advertising icon on a dubious mission: cereal big cat Tony and his flakes bring out the tiger in an ageing prostitute. One of several advertising spots in which Jani Leinonen appeals for social responsibility; rejected by the Kellogg Company, celebrated by millions of YouTube viewers.

Ines Seifert
Kids DOK 2016
You Can’t Hide from the Truth A.a.v. Amasi

Every day in the African country of Zimbabwe Isaac stands in the street with his blind father and a few simple instruments. One day he receives an offer to make a record.

You Can’t Hide from the Truth

Documentary Film
Finland,
Poland,
UK,
Zimbabwe
2016
28 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

A.a.v. Amasi
A.a.v. Amasi
Daniel Gonora
A.a.v. Amasi
Jojo Erholtz, Pawel Slomkowski
Annie Lloyd, Pan Panagiannopoulos
Every day in the African country of Zimbabwe Isaac stands in the street with his blind father and a few simple instruments. One day he receives an offer to make a record, and Isaac gets the chance to play a real drum kit.