This year, about 350 films were offered for the Finnish Competition. The amount of fiction increased, but documentaries remained strong.
The Finnish Competition is divided into two categories; Films over 30 minutes and films under 30 minutes. Over-30-minutes category in 2009 consists of nine documentaries and two fiction films. Documentary directors include Peter von Bagh, John Webster, Jukka Kärkkäinen, and Satu Väätäinen. The two fictional films are Monte Rosso (2008) by Tuomas Milonoff and Jon Sundell and Where Is Where? (2009), the newest film by Eija-Liisa Ahtila.
There are 25 films competing in the under-30-minutes category. There are nine animations, seven fictional films and eight documentaries. Only Kari Yli-Annala's film A Life of One's Own (a long tomorrow) (2008) has been reported experimental. These shorter films take four screenings and the longer films seven screenings, making the total number of screenings in the Finnish Competition altogether eleven.
Jury for the Finnish Competition 2009 are actress Anni-Kristiina Juuso, artist Teemu Mäki, and producer Shane Smith from Canada.
The Finnish Competition is also viewed by the "Risto Jarva jury" set by the Finnish Film Foundation. Members are: director Kiti Luostarinen, Matti Paunio of channel MTV3, and Otto Suuronen, Assistant / International Promotion - Short and Documentary Films at the Finnish Film Foundation.
A fair 3000 films from 73 countries were offered to the International Competition. A clear majority were fiction (about 1800) and animations came in second (about 600). Approximately 340 documentaries were offered, and almost 330 experimental films.
Sixty-nine films were selected. Most, 31 of them, are fiction. There are 15 animations and 19 documentaries, and four experimental films. The already familiar names this year are Nick Park (UK) with his new Wallace & Gromit animation, Hazim Bitar (Jordan), director collective BIF (France), and Mikhail Zheleznikov (Russia). Zimbabwe enters the Festival as a new country with Christina Anderson's Inflation (2008).
Finnish films are represented in the International Competition by three documentaries: Between Dreams (2008) by Iiris Olsson, Ghosts (2008) by Jan Ijäs, and Hanasaari A (2009) by Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen.
Jury for the International Competition are Ngo Phuong Lan (Vietnam), Mia Maike Höhne (Germany), Kristiina Pervilä (Finland), William Sloan (USA), and Montserrat Guiu Valls (Spain).
LAB1O Competition, characterized by films that stretch the limits of cinematic expression, launched in 2008. This year 19 films were selected, and they will be divided into three screenings. Two films by Johannes Nyholm from Sweden are particularly titillating: animation Sagan om den lille dockpojken (2008) and a documentary Dockpojken (2008) on the animation. Kimi Takasue from the USA, familiar from previous years' films in the International Competition, now takes part in the LAB1O with Suspended (2008). This year Finland is represented by Hit the Road - A Regular Love Story (2009) by Tero Jartti.
Jury for the LAB1O Competition are director of the Mumiá Underground Worldwide Animation Festival Sávio Leite (Brazil), executive manager at Espoo Ciné Jenni Ukkonen (Finland), and program manager at Finnkino Toni Lähteinen (Finland).
International Competition:Grand Prix €5000, Best Animation €1500, Best Fiction €1500, Best Documentary €1500, as well as nomination for European Short Film Awards.
The winners of the International Competition Grand Prix and the main prize for under-30-minutes in the Finnish Competition get to compete for the nomination for Best Live Action / Animated Short Film Oscar®.
Finnish Competition:Under-30-minutes category main prize €5000 (Finnkino Oy) and special prize €1500.Over-30-minutes category main prize €5000 (Oy Yleisradio Ab) and special prize €1500.
The films in both categories also compete for the Risto Jarva Award (€10.000, the Finnish Film Foundation), and for a resourse award (€3400, Digital Film Finland & Finnlab).
LAB1O Competition:Main prize €2000.
In addition, all competitions have honorary awards and audience awards. The Finnish Competition also has a youth jury award and a student award.
Jukka-Pekka Laakso, Festival Directortel. +358 3 214 1143 or +358 40 703 email@example.com
Riina Mikkonen, Press Coordinatortel. +358 3 213 0034 or +358 40 532 firstname.lastname@example.org