DocPoint’s National and International Competition lineups announced – The festival to open with Neurotypes, the story of a young activist

DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival has released the lineups for its 2024 Competitions. 10 films take part in the National Competition and 12 in the International Competition. The winners of the DocPoint Awards, valued at 5000 €, will be announced on Saturday, February 3, 2024. The festival’s opening film is Maija Hirvonen’s NEUROTYPES. ”This film reminds us that everyone should have the chance to be just the way they are. For this reason, NEUROTYPES is the perfect opening film for DocPoint,” comments the festival’s Head of Programming Inka Achté.

Films in the National Competition

Saara Cantell’s THE NORTHERN STAR shines a light on both the life story of Anneli Sauli and turmoil in the film industry and society throughout the decades. Camilla Roos’ CHILD NO. 182 delves into the life of a child drifting between foster homes and orphanages in Finland in the 60s and 70s. In Milja-Liina Moilanen’s MY REALITY, three reality TV stars reflect on celebrity and life in the constant spotlight. Kaisa Rastimo’s NASRIN’S VOICE is a film about Nasrin, who became a victim of human trafficking and married at 13 and now fights to live an independent life in Finland with her children. François Yazbeck’s surrealist NÉCROSE takes an audiovisual journey to the ruins of Beirut, blurring the lines between reality and the director’s subjective experience. Maija Hirvonen’s NEUROTYPES follows young Aida, who admires Greta Thunberg and bravely decides to change outsiders’ views on neurodivergent people. In Petri Luukkainen and Jesse Jokinen’s THE GAMER, a young e-athlete seeks help from a sports psychologist to find out what is stopping him from reaching the number one spot. Panu Suuronen’s REGINA – QUEEN OF THE RING follows a pro wrestler who wants to be the first woman to win the Finnish national championship in the sport and reach international superstardom. Through extensive archive material, Ville Suhonen’s CHILDREN OF WAR AND PEACE shows how between the World Wars, Finnish children were raised to fight and sacrifice themselves for their homeland. THE LAST SEAGULL is Tonislav Hristov’s bittersweet tale of an aging Casanova of the beach who looks for a retirement plan in the touristic coast of Sunny Beach, as the pandemic sweeps over the world like a wave.

The National Competition Jury consists of the International Programme Coordinator of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Angeliki Petrou, Docs Ireland Head Programmer Stuart Sloan, and the Artistic Director of Bogotá International Documentary Film Festival, Maria Luna Rassa.

Films in the International Competition

AND, TOWARDS HAPPY ALLEYS is Sreemoyee Singh’s beautiful essay film on Iran, art, poetry, and feminism in the grips of the censorship of an oppressive government. Climate change threatens a small Danish island, but the local community holds on to their homes as long as they can in Juan Palacios and Sofie Husum Johannesen’s AS THE TIDE COMES IN. In Catarina Mourão’s ASTRAKAN79, a father tells his son a long-silenced tale of his cataclysmic time as an exchange student in the 1970s Soviet Union. Filmmaker Ibrahim Nash’at puts himself in a life-threatening situation by infiltrating the Taliban to see what goes on in an old CIA base after the United States has left Afghanistan in HOLLYWOODGATE. Angelos Rallis’ MIGHTY AFRIN: IN THE TIME OF FLOODS follows a girl from Bangladesh, who is forced to leave her flooding home island and ends up in a big city for the first time. In THE MOTHER OF ALL LIES, director Asmae El Moudir sets up a miniature of her childhood neighbourhood in Casablanca in order to solve the mystery of why she only has one photo from her childhood, and the girl in the photo is not her.

In turns humouristic and disturbing, PLAY DEAD! depicts the director Matthew Lancit’s diabetes through body horror imagery. Campaigning for the election, Georgia’s former president promised new teeth to the country’s poor elderly, but an unexpected election result mixes up the plans in Luka Beradze’s SMILING GEORGIA. Lukasz Konopa and Emil Langballe’s film THEATRE OF VIOLENCE centers on a man who was kidnapped into Joseph Kony’s army as a child and is now accused in the International Criminal Court. Young queer activist Gena fights for the survival of LGBTQ+ people, dressed as an eccentric drag creature in the streets of Moscow in Agniia Galdanova’s QUEENDOM. TOKYO UBER BLUES is director Taku Aoyagi’s personal depiction of his work delivering food in pandemic-era Tokyo, bringing the reality of platform economy intimately close. In the harrowing THREE PROMISES, the director Yousef Srouji returns to early 2000s West Bank through home videos shot by his mother, where everyday life is defined by the Israeli army’s countermeasures against the Palestinian uprising.

The International Competition Jury includes film producer and the founder of production company Parabola Films, Selin Murat, film producer, programmer, and founder of the production company Everything Was Decided in Movement, Rohan Berry Crickmar, as well as director and screenwriter Suvi West, awarded as director of the year in 2023 and with the State Award for Public Information.