Niina Suominen’s What Time Is? (2020) and Maija Blåfield’s The Fantastic (2020) were selected to be screened at Aesthetica Short Film Festival. What Time Is? is part of the Experimental 2 -program, and The Fantastic is part of the Documentary 3 -program. Aesthetica Short Film Festival is held online from November 3 – 30.
What Time Is? presents the essence of our time under the magnifying glass. The starting point was to create a visually interesting and intense, kaleidoscopically abundant work that could be set together with the pioneering electric composition of Jukka Ruohomäki (b.1947). The sound material was created in 1970 with the DIMI-synthesizer designed by Erkki Kurenniemi. The film material (16mm) was shot and developed by the director with the exception of the found footage war imagery. What Time Is? places the experience of time in the centre of contemplation. The human figures act as reference points for meditation on the passage and ending of time. The images of war function as universal symbols reflecting the inherent violence in human nature through all eras. The work gives us a chance to reflect on the transient nature of time and the relationship of the viewer to the conflict-ridden epoch in which we live.
Niina Suominen has graduated from the Arts Academy at Turku in 2004. She also has an education of a blacksmith, animal nurse and a forest worker. She works as a film director and media artist using traditional animation techniques requiring hand-work. Her works have been shown widely at the festivals both in Finland and abroad. She lives and works in Southwest Finland.
The Fantastic is a film about encountering the unknown and the relationship between imagination and reality. The film is built on interviews with exiled North Koreans, who describe what they imagined the outside world to be like, based on their experiences of watching smuggled western fiction films. Alternating documentary footage and visual effects, the film raises the question of how reality is defined and what we wish to believe in. The Fantastic reverses the set-up where westerners are peeping in on the everyday life of the closed-off state. In this film, it is the North Koreans who direct their curiosity at the outside world and imagine what life in Western countries is like.
Maija Blåfield is an artist and an experimental documentary filmmaker from Helsinki, Finland. Her works often combine documentary and fiction in some way, exploring the fantastic side of our everyday life and digging up the stories from its events. She was granted the State Prize for the Media Arts in 2014 and in 2017, she was a nominee for Ars Fennica award for contemporary art. Her works have been screened in internatonal and national festivals, television, art museums and exhibitions.
Aesthetica Short Film Festival, 3 – 30 November 2020, York, UK
More information: ASFF