Short Films from Finland at Nordic Nights

Short Films from Finland at Nordic Nights

The Nordic Nights film series at Ryerson University School of Image Arts presents an evening of short films from Finland featuring experimental works, video art, and animated shorts on Tuesday, January 28. The programme is a crosscut of the genre, providing a wide glimpse into this popular art form in Finland.


6.30 pm

Ryerson University School of Image Arts 122 Bond Street, third floor, Room IMA307, Toronto.


The screening also includes two short films by Ryerson students, shot on location in Turku and Helsinki, Finland as well as Tallin, Estonia.

The programme features veterans and newcomers with even a sample of an early video art by one of the pioneers of the genre.  Many of the artists also work with other media, often photography or music.  

Free admission.  Screening starts at 6.30 pm (doors open at 6.00 pm) at Ryerson University School of Image Arts 122 Bond Street, third floor, Room IMA307, Toronto.

Featured selection:

 Pink Twins: Parametronomicon 9 min, 2014 

Abstract digital animation by artistic duo of brothers Juha and Vesa Vehviläinen, the Pink Twins, whose works often explore the limits of human perception.  
Parametronomicon presents a model of parametric virtual life. A biomechanic organism moves, multiplies and regenerates in an elaborate series of convulsive movements. Its life spans from simple formations to inevitable apocalyptic visions of an over-the-top visual orgy.

To Have A Campfire (Dolastallat/Tulistella) 5:48, 2016 Marja Helander

Marja Helander is a Sámi photographer, video artist and filmmaker with roots both in Helsinki and Utsjoki in Northern Lapland. Since 1992, Helander’s work has been exhibited in two dozen solo exhibitions and over 50 group exhibitions in Finland and abroad.  To Have a Campfire is a whimsical framing of traditional hospitality tradition against cultural differences and the effects of industry on the environment. Marja Helander will serve a taxidermy bear coffee in what remains of an industrial structure on the fells of Lapland.

A Friend (Ystävä)  2:22, 2016 Pekka Sassi

Pekka Sassi is an award-winning Helsinki-based artist whose output consists of experimental sound and video works, short films and installations. Sassi’s works are characterised by creative integration of simple, and sometimes random, audial and visual worlds detected in the surrounding world. In the constructive kinetic A Friend something distant and cold changes into warm and friendly

The Punched Tape of Life (Elämän reikänauha) 8:03, 1964 Erkki Kurenniemi

Erkki Juhani Kurenniemi (1941-2017) was a Finnish designer, philosopher, artist, and experimental filmmaker. He was best known for his electronic music compositions and the electronic instruments he designed. Kurenniemi is considered to be one of the leading early pioneers of electronic music in Finland. The Punched Tape of Life shows the charming visuals of early digitalisation from the 1960's, filmed at Helsinki University Institute of Nuclear Physics layered with scenes of Kurenniemi's friends' clowning around on a Summer's Day.

Passenger (Elinkaara) 1:20, 2011 Jukka Silokunnas

According to his artist statement, Jukka Silokunnas is an artist without a studio. He does not limit his way of being to certain place or certain tools. In Passenger, Silokunnas takes his very first car he got at age 17, languishing in his father's garage, and makes it the subject matter of a stop motion animation of enthropy. For some background, there is a Finnish language 'making of' video, narrated by his somewhat flabbergasted father.

Suddenly,Last Summer (Äkkiä viime kesänä) 4:17, 2013 Juha Mäki-Jussila

Suddenly, Last Summer is an experimental animation based freely on the play of the same title by Tennesee Willams. Some fragments of the original play are restaged frame by frame by new botanical performers. Juha Mäki-Jussila mostly works in video art and short films and is known for examining and reflecting on human behaviour.

The Nature of Walls 6:23, 2019 Thomas Westphal

Thomas Westphal is a German artist based in Helsinki, working mainly on sculpture since 2001. However, his work is strongly influenced by science, technology and moving image.
His video works often originate from samples filmed during physical activity and constructing processes that get re-rooted into kinetic contraptions. The Nature of Walls overlaps sequences of wall demolition are woven into poetry of bodies entangling with the matter.

My Tree (Puuni) 1:10, 2015 Salla Myllylä

A hand paints an outline for a tree on a window on a sunny spring day. People and cars pass by in the suburban backyard. The painting advances little by little with the changing seasons.
Visual artist Salla Myllylä lives and works in Helsinki. Her work moves between drawing, painting and moving images, and is always site specific.

A Finnish Fable 2011 5:35, 2011 Niina Suominen

Snapshots of the cottage life of a mannequin takes a tongue and cheek look at the ideal of communing with nature.
Niina Suominen graduated from the Turku Arts Academy in 2004. She is LAO a fully qualified blacksmith, veterinary assistant and a forest worker. She now mostly concentrates on media arts.

Ekphrasis 1 1:38, 2017 Elina Brotherus 

In Ekhprasis the eye test chart gets an interpretation in dance.

Elina Brotherus lives and works in Finland and France. Her works deal with subjective experiences, the presence and absence of love as well the relation of the human figure and landscape.

Carbon Based Love 5:40, 2014 Vappu Rossi

The dancer meets a large drawing in a partly animated choreography in a dramatic yet humorous take on encountering and longing in Carbon Based Love.

Vappu Rossi is a visual artist working in Helsinki, Finland.  Questions of presence and absence with the human figure as the main motif are the core of Rossi’s work.

If I Were Buried at a Street Corner (Jos minut olisi haudattu kadunkulmaan) 5:40, 2011 Maija Blåfield 

If I Were Buried at a Street Corner is a short film about looking and seeing again – on which the experience of beauty in everyday life is often based. It was shot during an artist's residency in Frankfurt am Main, where an abandoned tombstone provided the starting point for the observation of an unfamiliar setting. The city appears as an empty landscape, seen from an outsider's perspective.

Maija Blåfield is a filmmaker and artist from Helsinki, Finland. Her works lay between experimental film and documentary.

Bun Yum Yum (Pulla) 2:30, 2019 Säde Lahti

A charming animation about making a very Finnish and also very Scandinavian treat of cinnamon buns.

Säde Lahti is a graduate of the Turku Art Academy and describes herself as a storyteller.

Her Head (Hänen päänsä) 6:59, 2019 Emma Louhivuori

Her head is the animated tale of the ultimate cat lady.  Trailer
According to Emma Louhivuori, she weaves tales about anything and everything, balancing between absurd humor and melancholy

Nocturnal Butterfly (Yöperhonen) 5:03, 2015 Annika Dahlsten

Annika Dalhsten is a printmaker and animator but also a photographer and performance artists, often collaborating with her husband Markku Laakso.

Get to know Annika Dahlsten - an interview

Moustache (Viikset) 3:37, 2014 Anni Oja

Still Lives (Kiirehessä liikkumatoin) 6, 2018, Elli Vuorinen

Still Lives is an experimental stop motion animation starring figures from the traditional folk art of various times and places. Accompanied by a soundtrack of narrators facing the pressures of modern life, statues, paintings and other items explore the theme of busy stillness from different points of view in seven separate scenes.

Elli Vuorinen is an independent animation director living and working in rural Finland. Although her approach is often humorous and surreal, her work deals with deeper themes like melancholy, solitude and hope.

REALMS (VALTAKUNNAT) 20, 2018 Patrick Söderlund

Realms is a voyage through time, evolution and the kingdoms of life towards the natural destruction wrought upon the planet by the human species. The story unfolds on a remote fisherman’s farm, where we begin our journey hundreds of millions of years ago in the depths of the primeval ocean. We reach the shore, make our way through to the farm-yard, through the house to the garden in the rear and on to the nearby forest to a rocky ridge and the sand dunes beyond. Finally, millions of years into the post-human future, we stand on the shore again, animate and inanimate nature levelled to black dust, gazing towards the stars of the Milky Way. And so the cycle begins again.

Realms won the main prize at Cinema in Transgression Competition at the 17th International Festival Signes de Nuit in Paris in 2019.
The jury commented on their choice: “A celebration of the beauty of life which is disappearing in front of our eyes. Creating a unique and genuine causality “Realms” is a purely visual description of our paradise lost.”

Writer and director Patrik Söderlund  is the founding member of artist duo IC-98. “Realms” is his first film. With backgrounds in visual arts and cultural studies, Söderlund’s and Visa Suonpää’s 20-year collaboration as IC-98 has produced artist publications, site and context specific projects and interventions, animated moving image installations and various public commissions