Tuesday, 19 February, 2019

Skábmagovat Film Fest begins in Inari

26 Jan 2018, 01:59 ( 26 Jan, 2018)

DF Report By Gianfranco Nitti
Photo skabmagovat by Tapio Seppala.

An unique four-day film festival has begun on Thursday in the far North of Europe and in a frozen and dark environment typical of the Arctic region, in Inari, Finnish Lapland.

The films are shown in the Northern Lights Theater, which has an unique atmosphere: it is totally made of snow, with the sky and Northern lights as the roof. Films are also be presented in the auditoriums of Sámi Museum Siida and the Cultural Center Sajos.

The 20th Skábmagovat Film Festival in Inari celebrates its anniversary by spotlighting North America. The cinema of US and Canadian indigenous nations is in the spotlight. Indigenous fight and activism also plays their role in the program, with the theme “Hurray for Life”.

North America has in programme several short films, and a few longer ones too. Director Michelle Latimer, who has directed the Standing Rock films Rise 1 and Rise 2, both screened at the festival, is one of the special guests this year, says Aleksi Ahlakorpi, the producer of Skábmagovat.

This year, Skábmagovat (which means ‘images from kaamos’ while ’kaamos’ is the arctic period of dark)  has more than thirty film sessions and over sixty different films. Though Skábmagovat is a film festival, the programme also contains other cultural events. In connection with the festival, Niillas Holmberg and Sofia Jannok, two stars of the Sámi music world, perform in Inari: Holmberg together with the Estonian star Siiri Sisask in the Cultural Centre Sajos on Friday, and Jannok in the Papana Restaurant at SkábmaFun on Saturday.

To celebrate the twentieth festival, they also arrange, for the first time, a Skábmagovat Lávvu Discussion together with Yle Sápmi, the radio services of the national broadcasting company Yle. This Ellos eallin (Hurray for Life) discussion is also broadcast online in Yle Areena during the festival. The discussion are attended by the most interesting Sámi activists of today, for example from the group Ellos Deatnu (Long Live the River Deatnu). A freedom of speech panel discussion with, for example, Sofia Jannok and a few of our guests from further away participating, Ahlakorpi tells is scheduled.

However, these extra events are just a small part of the programme of the Skábmagovat Festival: Indigenous films plays the main role this year, just like every year. Sweet Country, an Aboriginal Western by Warwick Thornton, which has won several awards in different parts of the world, has its Sámi premiere at Skábmagovat.

In the past few years, Sámi cinema has flourished, and it is great to be able to show, in addition to Sami Blood, some of the newest and hottest movies of Sápmi in our short film section. For example, in program is the awarded short animation by Anders Sunna and Inga Wiktoria Påven in Inari. And also new short films by Marja Helander, Per-Josef Idivuoma, Egil Pedersen, Lada Suomenrinne and Katja Gauriloff, Ahlakorpi says, pleased.

The Skábmagovat Film Festival is arranged by the Friends of Sámi Art in cooperation with the Sámi Museum and Nature Centre Siida, the Cultural Centre Sajos, the Indigenous Film Centre Skábma, the Sámi Education Institute, YLE Sápmi and the International Sámi Film Institute.