Sami van Ingen’s, Henna-Riikka Halonen’s, and Jonna Kina’s short films selected to IFF Rotterdam

Sami van Ingen’s Flame (2018), Henna-Riikka Halonen’s Placeholder (2017), and Jonna Kina’s Arr. for a Scene (2017) are included in the official selection of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), held from January 24 to February 4.

Sami van Ingen’s Flame will have its world festival premiere in Rotterdam. Flame is a fractured melodrama, based on damaged frames from the last minutes of the only remaining nitrate reel of the lost feature film Silja – Fallen Asleep While Young (1937) directed by Teuvo Tulio. All screening prints and the negative of the film were destroyed in a 1959 studio fire. A sequence from the middle of the film was found at La Cinémathèque Française in Paris in 2015.

“It will be fascinating to see how the audience in Rotterdam will experience my film starring the iconic Finnish actress Regina Linnanheimo: what is the significance of the cultural knowledge in the reception? Moreover, I am happy to see my film included in a well curated and thought-out programme for a dedicated audience”, states the director.

Sami van Ingen has worked in the field of alternative Finnish film as an artist, lecturer, and curator since the late 1980s. Van Ingen finished his doctoral studies in the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2012. He often uses random or found materials in his works. His art, retrospectives, and performances have been shown at various international events, the most recent including Image Forum, Tokyo (2017), and Bienal de la Imagen en Movimiento, Buenos Aires (2016).

Flame is included in the Curtain Call selection of IFFR and will be screened in the screening “Reverse Engineering” on Friday, January 26, at 20:45 in Kino 2, and on Saturday, January 27, at 16:00 in Cinerama 7.

Another Finnish experimental short film in the Curtain Call is Henna-Riikka Halonen’s Placeholder, premiered in Uppsala International Short Film Festival. Placeholder is included in the screening “Colonising Chaos”, screened on Sunday, January 28, at 10:30, and on Wednesday, January 31, at 21:30. Both screenings take place in Pathé 1.

Halonen: Placeholder (2017)

Placeholder comments on a thought experiment where virtual non-living material ( i.e. objects) transform into self-aware beings capable of imitating humane action, telling stories, seducing. Placeholder imagines the moment when AI comes of age. Multiple tabs, and proliferating windows give Placeholder a desktop’s point-of-view as it explores developments in biogenetics, 3D printing of skin and organs and new research into historical models of AI, such as Eliza and the Turing test. In Halonen’s kaleidoscopic new work, created entirely from found footage, open source and animated imagery, a lack of empathy from other human beings has made us to seek comfort from the voice and touch of the machines.

Henna-Riikka Halonen graduated with BA from Limerick School of Art and Design, Ireland in 2002 and with MFA from Goldsmiths College in London in 2006. She is currently undertaking doctoral studies in the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. Her work has been seen in various exhibitions, biennales and festivals worldwide, such as Sydney Biennale 2014, Eyebeam in New York (2013), Gallery Factory in Seoul, Korea (2012), and Transmediale 2012 in Berlin.

Jonna Kina’s Arr. for a Scene will be screened in the Bright Future section. The programme is dedicated to young and emerging film talent with their own style and vision. Awarded as the Best Nordic Short Film at Nordisk Panorama 2017, the IFFR screenings of Arr. for a Scene take place in the screening “Speaking in Tongues” on Sunday, January 28 at 19:30, and on Monday, January 29, at 12:15, both in Kino 4.

Kina: Arr. for a Scene (2017)

Arr. for a Scene is a documentary of two foley artists while they are producing sounds for one of the most famous film scene in the film history (the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, 1960). This performance is documented on 35 mm film. The original film scene will remain invisible while the viewer sees only the foley artists creating sound effects for the scene, such as footsteps, shower and door closing. During the performance, the foley artists are looking straight at the camera. The film inverts the position of the screen and the gaze of the viewer. The viewer becomes part of the scene. The film examines the way sounds are constructed for the use of cinema and what happens when the structures of a film are dismantled into parts.

Jonna Kina (b. 1984, Lappeenranta, Finland) is a multidisciplinary artist who works with photography, video, sound and text. She has studied in Helsinki, New York and Jerusalem. Kina’s works have been presented in numerous exhibitions and she is the winner of the Finnish Art Prize Below Zero, initiated by the Finnish Cultural Institute in London and Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall.

AV-arkki contributes to the Dinamo Network meetings, screenings and professional panels

Again this year the distributors of DINAMO, the Distribution Network of Artists’ Moving Image Organizations, are present at IFFR.

AV-arkki’s title for DINAMO screening “Black and White” is Azar Saiyar’s short documentary film History Bleeds Under Your Fingernails (2016). The screening takes place on Sunday, January 28, at 16:45 in Kino 4.

We used to believe that being left-handed could lead to criminality, stupidity, and immoral behaviour. So we tried to educate our children not to use that hand. History Bleeds Under Your Fingernails is a short film on the history of taming the left hand and on the culture of cultivating the bodies that do not fit.

Azar Saiyar is a Helsinki-based filmmaker and media artist working with documentaries, experimental films and video art. Saiyar is interested in the borders of identity – the traces of other people, our cultures and daily routines in us.

Azar Saiyar: History Bleeds Under Your Fingernails (2016)

The director of AV-arkki, Hanna Maria Anttila, will participate in the network meeting and IFFR PRO Panel “After Uniqueness”, held on Saturday, January 27, at 11:00 at De Doelen. A panel will ponder when and why artists embrace copying and circulation, and when and why they turn to restriction and control. With academic and writer Erika Balsom (King’s College London), curator of film Andrea Lissoni (Tate, Vdrome), artist Aura Satz and distributor Hanna Maria Anttila (AV-arkki). Moderated by Mark Williams (CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand).

International Film Festival Rotterdam, 24.1.–4.2.2018

More information: IFFR