A glimpse into DocPoint’s 20th anniversary edition’s programme

After starting the year with record breaking visitor numbers, DocPoint, Helsinki’s documentary film festival is gearing up for its next edition on 29/1–7/2/2021, whilst strictly adhering to Corona safety regulations. The preparations for Finland’s one and only documentary festival’s anniversary edition are well underway. In addition to national and international competitions, new features include online screenings, which will enable viewers from all over Finland to take part and watch a film or two. The online screening will also make watching documentaries a possibility during any and all potential Corona restrictions.

Having grown into a ten-day event, the festival’s programme will include the most talked-about and praised documentary films, as well as a few rarer gems too. One of the main themes of the 2021 festival is diversity. The anniversary edition will include cinema screenings, whilst strictly adhering to corona safety regulations, alongside a wide selection of online offerings. Director interviews and additional festival snippets will also be made available on the DocPoint festival website.

DocPoint’s international programme contains several thematic ensembles. For example, Africa is spotlighted through five new African films which let us see the continent through the lenses of African filmmakers. In addition to the Finnish and international competitions and other topical documentaries, DocPoint will also host a selection of its all-time creative directors’ favourite films, as well as thematic discussions and masterclass events. The programme will be released in its entirety on 11/1/2021, but below are a few sneak peeks of what is in store among DocPoint’s international offerings.

Gorbachev. Heaven is a unique look into the life and thoughts of the Soviet Union’s last president, Mikhail Gorbachev. With a long career and numerous awards behind him, Russian documentarian Vitaly Mansky’s Gorbachev. Heaven is based on conversations with the now 89-year old Gorbachev, who delves into both his own past as well as his nation’s history. The film is an intimate and melancholy look into the loneliness of a once great leader. Mansky filmed his documentary in both Gorbachev’s own home and a state-run hospital, where Gorbachev resided after his health took a turn. Gorbachev. Heaven is a film fresh off the press, as filming for the documentary continued right up until a 2020 New Year’s Eve party. Watch the trailer here.

Ukranian director Iryna Tsilyk’s The Earth is Blue as an Orange is another film which has reaped festival awards, including one for Best Directing at Sundance earlier this year. The beautifully filmed documentary chronicles the story of a single mother and her four children as they go about their life in an embattled Ukraine. The documentary blends the everyday life of the family in the midst of bombings, with scenes set up by the family’s eldest daughter who dreams of becoming a director. You can watch the trailer here.

In a collaboration with Docventures, DocPoint is hosting the Finnish premiere of I Am Greta, a profound look into the life of climate activist Greta Thunberg. For almost two years, Swedish documentarian Nathan Grossman closely followed Greta’s life, and put to film the exceptionally brave young woman’s fight for climate change, her encounters with world leaders, and her own stories in between. Following the film’s world premiere at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year, DocPoint and Yle will present the film simultaneously during the DocPoint festival. Watch the film’s trailer here.

DocPoint’s festival cinemas are Bio Rex, Kinopalatsi, Kino Regina, Cinema Orion, and the Savoy Theatre. The festival programme will be announced, and ticket sales will begin on 7/1/2021.

This year, the festival’s print magazine will be replaced with an online release titled the Festival Magazine, published on the festival website. Through interviews with filmmakers and other stories, the magazine will shed light on the festival programme and the process of organising the festival. Stories will be published at regular intervals starting on Dec 1, 2020.

The fan-favourite Christmas gift tickets will go on sale in December. The DocPoint festival will be safely organised in accordance with the corona regulations at the time of the festival, and we will update our corona-related instructions on our website.