T-Port Blog

Our partners at Lithuanian Shorts will host the annual Baltic Pitching Forum starting from October 10th. We were fortunate to chat to Sari Volanen, the Commissioning Editor of Finnish public broadcaster Yleisradio (Yle), who presents the Pre-buy Award to one successful pitch at the BPF.

Hi Sari, tell us about what you find most inspiring about your role?

I think it is great that Yle still has a short film program. The New Cinema strand started in 1995.

There are good films, but, in your personal opinion, what makes a great film and how do you separate the two?

A clever beginning and an unforgettable story – it is easy to discover the two, whether or not you work in the business.

If you could only watch one film on a loop for the rest of time, what would it be?

WASP by Andrea Arnold.

What makes your organisation special?

We want to offer Finnish audiences films with relevance, experience and insight. Even working in TV we are pro-films with cinematic storytelling.

What advice would you give for upcoming filmmakers who want to get involved? Where do they start?

It’s good to watch films and make them to practise the art. Don’t think about what people want to see but instead what you want to tell.

Photo by Tautvydas Stukas

Tell us about some of the filmmakers you have helped, what have they gone on to do?

Our team has supported many successful filmmakers in Finland by commissioning their short films and then features.

Why are short films important?

Short film is fine as a form of film art, as well as as a means to practise the art in longer form. Short films are free from commercial pressure i.e. freer in content and shape, and can experiment with new techniques.

Where do you see the world of Short Films in 10 years, what should/needs to change?

I should not predict anything but I’m afraid the idea of a “film” might be in trouble.

What do you think is lacking in the process of distributing and promoting short films by upcoming filmmakers?

There are many upcoming filmmakers, so they should find an original voice and make better observations of the world and humans in it.

What is your single most important piece of advice for upcoming filmmakers to follow?

Watch films.


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One Response to Sari Volanen, Short Film Commissioner with the Finnish broadcaster Yle and partner of the Baltic Pitching Forum shares her wisdom from the industry

  1. Dear Sari! Always to the point with ‘short’ but fruitful words!

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