Azar Saiyar’s, Niina Suominen’s and Ilppo Pohjola’s films at Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux de Paris

Azar Saiyar’s My Home (2022, in featured image) and Niina Suominen’s Golden Headacher have been selected to compete in Competition 3 and Competition 5 series of the 25th edition of Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux de Paris respectively. Competition 3 takes place on Thursday, October 12, 2023 at 21:45 and Competition 5 on Friday, October 13, 2023 at 21:45 in Cinéma le Grand Action. Ilppo Pohjola’s Routemaster will be screened in the thematic screening La Technique du Geste, on Wednesday, October 11, at 20:00 in Cinéma le Grand Action.

In My Home, fragmented memories of childhood and adulthood blend together in a song that an unknown narrator is humming. In a sixties TV show children are learning a new game. Someone is waiting in the hallway for a permission to re-enter the classroom. Everything is set. Everything is nailed.

Azar Saiyar is a Helsinki-based filmmaker and visual artist. She often uses archive materials and plays with images and words of collective memory to look towards ways of looking, remembering and storytelling. Her films have been screened at international film and media art festivals, galleries, exhibitions, museums and broadcast on television.

Niina Suominen: Golden Headacher (2022)

Golden Headacher is an experimental animation documentary about women’s hate and aggression and the culturally sanctioned ways to express or suppress these uneasy feelings. The dialogue is constructed from experiences of women dealing with feelings of aggression towards children and spouses and between women. At the same time, the dialogue comments on cultural norms related to the expression of aggression by women. The film was created by animating textile and décor waste and beautiful glossy pictures of children that were popular in Scandinavia in the last century. The material was improvised using the qualities of different fabrics and objects as the basis for the images. The work brings to the fore the irritation and exhaustion felt by women and the thoughts often left unsaid outside the walls of home. Also the remorse and the shame felt after the bursts of anger are reflected on.

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.

Routemaster is a montage of rhythmically organised repetitions and involves an abstraction of motion that increases in frequency and scale. The basic framework of the film is provided by intercutting two counterposed sets of materials. On the one hand, it uses black-and-white, endlessly accelerating and rhythmically varying images of the inexorable forward motion of the racing cars. On the other hand, it uses colorfull, extreme slow-motion images of details of a chequered flag fluttering in the wind. The escalating speed, growing abstraction and mosaic-like repetition of images leads on to manipulated, yet realistic images of human bodies used in crash tests. In the end, all that is left is the black-and-white flash of speed, the gyrating pulse of the mosaic, the details of the human bodies and the intense soundtrack. Routemaster has some of the qualities of a live concert.

Ilppo Pohjola is an artist and filmmaker based in Helsinki, Finland. He studied at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, USA and at Sheridan College in Toronto, Canada. He graduated from Harrow College of Higher Education in London, UK in 1988. Pohjola has made a number of awarded films, videos and multimedia installations, which have been shown internationally in museum, galleries, cinemas, on TV and at over 100 film festivals, and acquired to private and public collections. He has also works as a designer, photographer and cinematographer.

Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux de Paris, October 11–15 2023, Paris, France.

More information: Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux de Paris

AV-arkki has promoted and distributed Finnish media art since 1989. AV-arkki’s promotional efforts have made the artists’ participation in this event possible. If you want to hear the latest news from our distribution, subscribe to our newsletter!