Master Classes attracted the festival audience on Saturday

On Saturday it was Spanish director Carlos Saura’s turn to be interviewed at the morning discussion. Saura explained his working methods and said that what he especially enjoys in filmmaking is the sense of control, since he finds controlling his own existence so difficult.

After the morning discussion it was time for the traditional football match between the staff and guests of the festival at the Sodankylä sports field. At the Small Tent there was a discussion between the Finnish filmmaker guests of the festival. Moderated by Liselott Forsman, the discussion featured among others Ville Virtanen (Law of the Land) and Selma Vilhunen (Little Wing and Hobbyhorse Revolution), as well as actors Nuppu Koivu, Simon Al-Bazoon and Janne Hyytiäinen from the film The Other Side of Hope. The discussion touched on subjects such as the changing nature of art, social media, immigration and identity politics.

Neil Hardwick’s Master Class concentrated on Finnish musicals, a subject that has never before been a topic of a Master Class at The Midnight Sun Film Festival. Hardwick used his musical If You Love to illustrate the challenges and particularities of Finnish musicals. He pondered on why there does not exist a proper tradition of musicals in Finnish cinema. The audience also got a chance to comment and criticize Hardwick’s views.


Introduced as the world’s premier Jacques Tati expert, Stéphane Goudet discussed at Saturday’s screening of Jour de Fete (1949) how all the best elements of Tati’s comedy are already present in this first film of his. Goudet praised The Midnight Sun Film Festival and said that this is exactly where Tati should be present, since this is the only festival where can be found all of Tati’s components: school, circus, cinema and the passing of the art of cinema to the next generations. Goudet’s film American Style (2014) was also shown at the screening. He describes the film as an experiment focusing on things that the viewer may not notice on a first screening of Jour de Fete.

The Master Classes curated by Olaf Möller and Mika Taanila continued at the Small Tent with a series of short films connected in one way or another to Fukushima. “There were two atom bombs dropped on Japan, so the Japanese already had a particular relationship to nuclear power. And then the country was radiated a second time”, Möller explained to the full tent. The choice of films included for example graphic designer Hachiya Kazuhiko’s animation Explaining Nuclear Accident with Farts and Poop – Nuclear Reactor Boy’s Upset Stomach (2013), which he made for his young son, and the performance video 100 Cheers (2011) by the Chim↑Pom collective.