Maija Blåfield’s The Fantastic (2020) will have its North American premiere at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival.
The festival was scheduled for April 30 to May 10 in Toronto, but due to COVID-19 pandemic, all public screenings will be postponed to a later date yet to be announced. However, the industry programme, including the official selection will take place from April 30 to May 31 online.
In March, The Fantastic was awarded with the main prize of the national competition (films under 30 minutes) and the prize of the Youth Jury at Tampere Film Festival. The international festival premiere of The Fantastic is currently taking place in the international short and mid-length film competition of the (online) Visions du Réel.
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 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.
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival 2020, Toronto
More information: Hot Docs