Tampere Film Festival, Finland is one of the three largest short film festivals that happen annually in Europe – screening around 400 films every year and attracting approximately 30,000 visitors.
We chatted to Festival Director Jukka-Pekka Laakso about the festival, their films, and why short films are important.
What about your role and organisation do you find most inspiring?
Curating/selection of competition films
There are good films, but, in your personal opinion, what makes a great film and how do you separate the two?
When the film has something important to say about the world we live in and finds a new angle and way to deliver the message.
If you could only watch one film on a loop for the rest of time, what would it be?
This would be like living in hell of course. DR STRANGELOVE comes to mind first.
What makes your organisation special?
What advice would you give for upcoming filmmakers who want to get involved? Where do they start?
Come and see the festival personally.
Does your organisation recognise a particular type of filmmaker or film? If so could you describe what / who you’re looking to work with?
I hope not! We aim to be open to everything and everybody.
Tell us about some of the filmmakers you have helped, what have they gone on to do?
There is a documentary film maker in Finland who has said many times that when coming to study in Tampere and, by chance, ending up in screenings at TFF, it changed his trajectory totally.
Do you have any events or particular shorts you’d like to promote – tell us about them here.
There is THE SAUNA PARTY… but that does not need any promotion any more I guess. There is not one particular film I want to raise above others. It is the total programme and within individual choices according to the interests of guests and spectators.
Why are short films important?
Because it is the area of the world of cinema that is least restricted by the marketplace. Also it is the part of filmmaking where new ideas are developed.
Where do you see the world of Short Films in 10 years, what should/needs to change?
As it has developed/expanded the last 40 years that I have been following it I see it developing in many ways, there is always a place for old-fashioned film festivals as well as other ways of reaching audiences. And unfortunately still it has to struggle for support and recognition.
What do you think is lacking in the process of distributing and promoting short films by upcoming filmmakers?
Understanding the big picture- the difficulties and on the other side the possibilities.
Where are the gaps in the film industry?
There is no room to develop one’s talent; there is a gap between film schools and finding one’s slot in the industry/art.
What is your single most important piece of advice for upcoming filmmakers to follow?
Watch all kinds of films. A lot of them, at festivals if possible. You might find out that your unique idea is not really so unique.
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