Marja Helander’s Birds in the Earth (2018) will be screened at Available Light Film Festival, held in Yukon, Canada, from February 5–22. The festival will be arranged as a hybrid of on-site and online screenings. Helander’s short film is included in the Indigenous Shorts programme, curated by Siku Allooloo. The screening takes place on Sunday, February 7, at Yukon Arts Centre.
Birds in the Earth is a short film based on dance. The main characters are two young Sámi ballet students; Birit and Katja Haarla. The movie tells a bit melancholic story through their dance performances. At the same time it examines the deeper questions of the ownership of Sámi land.
Marja Helander is a Finnish photographic and video artist. She graduated from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki in 1999. Her earlier work explored her own identity between the Finnish and the Sámi culture. Helander’s recent photographic work has focused on Northern landscape. The accent of the work is on the postcolonial topics in the Sámi area, focusing particularly on the global mining industry. The encounter between nature and mankind is not harmonious, but destructive. On the other hand, her video works are playful, exploring the contradiction between the traditional Sámi way of life and the modern society. Her recent short film Birds in the Earth won the Risto Jarva Prize and the main prize of the National Competition at Tampere Film Festival 2018. Marja Helander has participated in solo and group exhibitions and her works have been acquired for various public collections in Finland and abroad.
Available Lights Film Festival, February 5–22 2021, Canada
more information: ALFF