Salla Tykkä is the first Finnish director to win the Tiger Award for Short Film at Rotterdam Film Festival

Salla Tykkä has reveiced the Tiger Award for Short Film at Rotterdam Film Festival for her film Giant (2014). She is the first Finnish director to receive this acknowledgment.

Giant was filmed at the famous, Romanian, Communist-era gymnastics schools of Onesti and Deva where people still train fanatically. Top young gymnasts talk about their love of the sport, their fears and dreams. The combination with archival material from the 1970s onwards lets Tykkä reveal links between the photogenic sport and the severe, modernist architecture of the sports centres.

Salla Tykkä (1973, Finland) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. Since 1996, she has worked with photography, video and film. She exhibits solo and in groups. Tykkä’s short films have been shown at film festivals worldwide.

The tenth Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films comprised twenty-four films with a length of up to sixty minutes. For its Jury, IFFR welcomed two-time Tiger Award winner Mati Diop (1982, France), art historian and visual arts curator at the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum, Bart Rutten (1972, Netherlands) and film maker and visual artist Mika Taanila (1965, Finland).

Jury’s statement about Giant:

“A very focused and pure portrait of a place and a political history in one. The brilliant editing and sound design push the seemingly distant observations to a thrilling friction between dehumanisation and man’s quest for beauty and grace.”

Three equal Tiger Awards for Short Films are awarded awarded each year. This year the other winners are Sebastian Buerkner’s The Chimera of M. (United Kingdom) and La isla by Dominga Sotomayor and Katarzyna Klimkiewicz (Chile/Poland/Denmark). The winning filmmakers each receive a cash prize of € 3,000 and a video camera.

The jury gave the following statement: “The jury was very pleased by the scope of cinematic approach demonstrated throughout the nominees for the Tiger Awards for Short Films. The selection of twenty-four nominated shorts celebrates the richness of this domain in a wonderful way. They are not simply repeating well-known cinematic language but looking for renewal within these boundaries, as well as trying to expand the parameters of the cinematic realm. Here we can see glimpses of newer forms of cinema that will enrich the language in many ways. All of the winners were outstanding productions in this search for new ways of narration.

We were not necessarily looking for craftsmanship in the way the shorts were executed, but rather at the approach taken by the maker towards the story or subject matter, and the ambition to celebrate the power of the cinema in personal, thorough or witty ways. And most importantly, in an uncompromised way. Nevertheless, all three winning films were outstanding in their craftsmanship, either in storytelling, montage, soundtrack – or even by bringing a language to the foreground that we as a jury have never experienced before.”

Salla Tykkä’s website

Giant on IFFR website

Giant on AV-arkki’s website

International Film Festival Rotterdam 22.1.–2.2.2014

There is a large programme of Finnish media art this year at Rotterdam Film Festival. The programme is produced in collaboration with Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux, AV-arkki, Frame Visual Art Finland and International Film Festival Rotterdam. The Programme is curated by the IFFR’s programmer Peter van Hoof. Read more here.