18th DocPoint – the Helsinki Documentary Film Festival (Jan 28th – Feb 3rd, 2019) will soon take over the cinemas of Helsinki to deliver a wide array of documentary films from Finland and beyond. The full programme has been revealed and the ticket sales have kicked off. Make sure you’ll get yours on time!
GODS OF MOLENBEEK by Reetta Huhtanen will open the festival. Other much-awaited premieres include Michael Moore’s FAHRENHEIT 11/9 and Shaheen Dill-Riaz’s BAMBOO STORIES, which will have its world premiere at DocPoint.
Reetta Huhtanen’s debut feature GODS OF MOLENBEEK will open the 18th edition of the DocPoint festival. Set in the Molenbeek district of Brussels, the film follows 6-year-old friends Aatos and Amine. The boys’ friendship is put to test after the Brussels bombings.
Other Finnish world premieres include THE LAW OF NATURE (Luonnonlaki, dir. Verena Netzer and Mika Rantonen) about farmers fighting windmills in desolate areas, THE OTHER SIDE OF MARS (Mars kuvien takaa, dir. Minna Långström), a journey into the intriguing world of Mars science, and THE HYPNOTIST (Olliver Hawk, dir. Arthur Franck), the story of Finland’s most famous hypnotist Olavi Hakasalo aka Olliver Hawk. THE BLACKOUTS (Muistikatkoksia, dir. Oliwia and Jerem Tonteri) is an essay about a family moving from Finland to Poland in search of their roots.
The festival will also premiere six exciting new Finnish short films: THE WILD SWANS (Joutsenveljet, dir. Laura Mendelin), RIDE OF PASSAGE (Keuliminen, dir. Katri Myllyniemi and Vilja Autiokyrö), LATU (dir. Otso Alanko), FOURTH WALL (Neljäs seinä, dir. Laura Rantanen), LOVE THE MOST (dir. Antti Seppänen) and IT’S NOT SILENCE (dir. Joonas Salo).
The Finnish programme was selected this year by Hauskat kotivideot host Sampo Marjomaa, visual artist Kari Yli-Annala, artist Anna Eriksson, documentary filmmaker Kati Juurus and Doctor of Arts and documentary filmmaker Timo Korhonen. ”The submissions and selected films speak especially of strong female filmmakers in today’s Finnish documentary film”, the jury comments.
Shaheen Dill-Riaz’s BAMBOO STORIES, set along the Kushiara river in Bangladesh, will have its world premiere at DocPoint. “Shaheen Dill-Riaz, a Bangladeshi living and working in Germany, documents the ancient traditions and the epic hard work of the last bamboo foresters in Bangladesh. We are delighted to host the world premiere as part of our focus on the state of forests”, says Sirkka Möller, the Chair of DocPoint’s Selection Committee.
Sari Braithwaite’s [CENSORED] will have its European premiere at the festival. Möller states: “DocPoint is very happy to present the European premiere of Sari Braithwaite’s found footage film within the focus on working with archives. The documentary essay about censorship and image creation opens a wider political discourse.”
Michael Moore’s provocative new film FAHRENHEIT 11/9 will have its Finnish premiere at DocPoint. This time Moore takes aim at the 2016 United States presidential election and the subsequent presidency of Donald Trump. One of the themes of the 2019 edition of the festival is the current state of Russia. DocPoint favourite Vitaly Mansky’s new film PUTIN’S WITNESSES offers a bite of the bug life on the wall of Vladimir Putin just before he was president Putin. Maxim Pozdorovkin’s hilarious yet profoundly frightening documentary OUR NEW PRESIDENT tells the story of Donald Trump’s rise to power entirely through Russian media TV reports.
DocPoint is deeply committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion. 46,2 % of the films in this year’s programme have been directed by women filmmakers either alone or as part of a team. In addition, a large number of films have been directed by non-Western directors. A few examples of less often represented film countries include the Democratic Republic of Congo (KINSHASA MAKAMBO), Costa Rica (WE THE STONES) and Indonesia (TARLING IS DARLING).
Gabrielle Brady’s ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS is a striking documentary about refugees pushed in limbo in Christmas Island. Thousands of asylum seekers are locked in the island’s detention centres. Meanwhile millions of Christmas Island red crabs make their way from the jungle to the sea in order to mate – without anyone stopping them. Another unique take on a subject matter is the experimental documentary THE GRAND BIZARRE. Jodie Mack’s first feature length film is like a rag rug in which different yarns, threads and tufts form repeating themes and patterns. The personal journey to the world of ornaments, symbols and character systems combines stop motion animation, 16 mm film shots and time lapse photography. The film leads to thoughts about cultural loans, recycling and appropriation.
Retrospective guest Helena Třeštíková
Acclaimed Czech documentary film director Helena Třeštíková will arrive in Helsinki as DocPoint’s honorary retrospective guest. “We are delighted to present Helena Třeštíková’s impressive work and distinct voice to our audience”, says DocPoint curator Pieter-Jan Van Damme. “We feel Helena’s method of patient and long-term observation easily stands out from the already rich variety of documentary styles represented in this year’s program. She embodies a level of perseverance and access only few command.” DocPoint is proud to present a five film retrospective from the director, which includes DOOMED BEAUTY (2016), MALLORY (2015) and KATKA (2010).
Cinematographer Marita Hällfors will receive the Apollo Lifetime Award 2019. The Apollo is awarded to a person or a community for special achievements in the field of Finnish documentary filmmaking. For the first time in DocPoint history, the award is given to a cinematographer. DocPoint will feature a five-film selection of documentaries shot by Hällfors.
The line-up includes 107 films from all over the world in a total of 260 screenings. Welcome to enjoy all the sharp, fresh and challenging new documentaries to DocPoint from Jan 28th to Feb 3rd!