Our Documentaries in Progress & Development selection showcases eight Finnish documentaries. These projects will also compete for the Best Documentary Project Award, which is a 3000€ package from AVEK to be used to make an international trailer for the film.

The Black Gold

170 million tons of oil is hauled across the Gulf of Finland each year. The volume has increased eightfold during the last couple of decades. Today, the Gulf of Finland is one of the most busy sea areas in the world.

The film begins with a giant oil tanker running into the rocks due to a human error. Several close calls at the Gulf of Finland show that a severe oil spill could practically happen at any given moment.

The Black Gold is a documentary that shows what a major oil spill at the Gulf of Finland (or any other Arctic area) would cause. The film shows how an ecocatastrophe caused by oil would proceed minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day in the vulnerable nature of the North.

Director: Petteri Saario
Producer: Elina Pohjola & Leila Lyytikäinen
Writer: Petteri Saario
Production company: Citizen Jane Productions Oy
Country: Finland
Looking for: Sales agent, Distribution, Festivals, Co-producers, Financing,
Sales company: Available
Eatnameamet – Our silent struggle

Eatnameamet is a political pamphlet portraying the indigenous Sámi people fighting for their existence. The film follows the ongoing cultural genocide of the Sámi which the current Governmental politics allow. Eatnameamet reveals multiple colonial acts done by the State of Finland towards the Sámi people and reveals the government’s attitude towards Sámis. Through the film the audience will understand that all the injustices are part of a bigger question about the ownership of the land. Piece by piece the film unravels the big tangle of questions starting from the seemingly superficial cultural appropriation and ending with the moments which will decide the fate of the entire people. This film is a cry for help for the last indigenous people living in the EU.

Director: Suvi West
Producer: Janne Niskala
Writer: Suvi West
Production company: Vaski Filmi ltd
Country: Finland
Looking for: Festivals, Distribution, Sales agent,
Sales company: Available
Guardians of Creation

The story takes place in Kenya, in the area called Turkana, the Cradle of Humankind. The area is inhabited by the nomadic tribe called Daasanach. A young scientist, Álvaro, sets up a research to explore the relationship between humans and nature. He becomes friends with a tribe member called Job, who shows him the daily life in the village. Alvaro is impressed by the stories and tales people share with each other, and starts to collect them. The stories feature the local wildlife which has disappeared from the area. At the same time, the tribe prepares for a Dimi ceremony, where they use the skins and horns of wild animals as ritual artefacts. Alvaro is shocked when he realises that the extinction of wild animals is caused by the tribal rituals. The people that once lived side by side with the wildlife, have gradually forgotten how to coexist with the nature.

Director: Iiris Härmä
Producer: Visa Koiso-Kanttila
Writer: Iiris Härmä
Production company: Guerilla Films
Country: Suomi
Looking for: Sales agent, Distribution, Festivals, Co-producers, Financing,
Sales company: Available
The Last of the Seagulls

Bulgarian “seagull” Ivan, 58, used to chase wealthy foreign ladies at Sunny Beach resort. He has seen Soviets coming and leaving, Westerners flooding in. Now, with his EU-passport, the hunter has become the bait.

In the 1970s, Bulgarian men wanted to marry East German and Soviet ladies in order to get away. Now Russians and Ukrainians come to Sunny Beach to find Bulgarian men in order to get married and stay in the EU.

Ivan was considering marrying a Ukrainian lady, Elena, 60, and settling down, when Ivan’s old friend from Russia, Olga, 57, contacts him. She asks Ivan to send her an invitation in order to get a short-term tourist visa. For many Russians, Bulgaria is a door to the European Union – and Ivan’s friendship is now more valuable than ever.

Director: Tonislav Hristov
Producer: Kaarle Aho
Writer: Tonoslav Hristov & Kaarle Aho
Production company: Making Movies Oy
Country: Finland, Bulgaria
Looking for: Financing, Co-producers, Sales agent, Distribution,
Sales company: Available
The Mission

The Mission is an intimate coming-of-age story that reveals the inner-lives of young mormon missionaries like never seen before, as they leave their homes for the first time and embark upon the most emotionally, physically and spiritually challenging period of their life.

McKenna, Megan, Tyler and Kai – teenagers in sharp suits – are on a mission to prove themselves to God and their community. We’ll get to see how these elusive troopers of the Mormon faith feel, think, doubt, fear & love. We’ll witness the growth of these young, passionate teenagers as they learn about the world around them and most of all – about themselves.

Director: Tania Moilanen
Producer: Isabella Karhu, Juho-Pekka Tanskanen
Writer: Tania Moilanen
Production company: Danish Bear Productions
Country: Finland
Looking for: Distribution, Sales agent, Festivals,
Sales company: Available
Snowball effect

The story begins, when a young feminist woman Anna Mäkelä is chosen to be the mayor of Kittilä – an old fashioned municipality in Finnish Lapland. A few years after her election, a bizarre scandal involving questionable ski lift deals erupts, leading to lawsuits, a media circus and intervention from the Finnish state. A documentary film about “local politics gone Twin Peaks”, Snowball Effect is set in the international winter wonderland holiday destination of Kittilä, the home of skiing, reindeer and northern lights. It follows the snowballing case that started with the dismissal of mayor Mäkelä and the growing pains of a new democratic order in Finland, one of the least corrupt countries in the world, – or is it really?

Director: Pauliina Punkki
Producer: Pauliina Punkki, Kaisa Astikainen
Writer: Pauliina Punkki
Production company: Ida Productions Oy
Country: Finland
Looking for: Sales agent, Distribution, Festivals, Co-producers, Financing,
Sales company: Available
The Trans Syrian Express

Organised by the Ministry of Defence and the personal order of Vladimir Putin, the 2019 train exhibition “Syrian Breakthrough” transported the spoils of war from Syria around all the major cities in the country. Russian people live in a state of war, no matter with whom, no matter where, and no matter when or why. It begs the question, should the country be strong or worthy? People chose strong. Now is the time of power again, as Russians are fighting Ukranians and bombing Syria. The train covered 28,500 km on its 65-day journey, stopping in 62 towns. It was visited by a million people, who don’t care about the Syrian war, but were just there for the entertainment. This film seeks to show the ordinary life of these people, connecting their lives through the tracks of the train.

Director: Alina Rudnitskaya
Producer: Pertti Veijalainen, Sergey Vinokurov, Dorota Roszkowska
Writer: Sergey Vinokurov
Production company: Illume Oy, 317-Films, Arkana Studio
Country: Finland, Russia, Poland
Looking for: Financing, Sales agent,
Sales company: Available
We Are Animals

In 2007, 19-year-old Saila sees secretly-filmed footage from 101 working farmhouses. She, like the rest of the country, is shocked. Saila joins the animal rights movement, and in 2009 becomes the first activist to publicly reveal her identity. This decision lands her – instead of the farmers – in court for years. Afterwards, Saila turns the camera to the justice system in order to reveal how absurd it is. As the government gears up to decide on the new animal welfare act in 2021, Saila is torn between democratic means and activist actions to make change. People are astonishingly unanimous that farm animals should be treated better, but making that happen seems next to impossible. In the end, Saila sees the parliament voting for the Animal Welfare Act and reflects if the value of animal life can be decided in such a banal way.

Director: Saila Kivelä & Vesa Kuosmanen
Producer: Elli Toivoniemi & Venla Hellstedt
Writer: Saila Kivelä & Vesa Kuosmanen
Production company: Tuffi Films
Country: Finland
Looking for: Sales agent, Distribution, Festivals, Co-producers, Financing,
Sales company: Available