Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pirkanmaa Film Center 30 Years

Juha Viinikainen, Liina Härkönen: Elokuvan lumoamat: Pirkanmaan Elokuvakeskus 1982-2012 [Spellbound by Cinema: Pirkanmaa Film Center 1982-2012]. Tampere: Pirkanmaan Elokuvakeskus r.y., 2012.

Based in the historical center of the city of Tampere, "by the waterfall" (like in the Busby Berkeley production number), with Cinema Niagara as its venue, Pirkanmaan Elokuvakeskus (PEK, Pirkanmaa Film Center) celebrated its 30th anniversary today. PEK is one of the most important centers of film culture in Finland, highly regarded as an exhibitor of a magnificent screening programme second to none in our land, distributor of a wide range of quality films, and also active in many other sectors of film culture. The anniversary celebration was a great opportunity to meet many cinéastes, professionals, experts and aficionados who are or have been active at PEK. An inspired talkoo (work party) spirit has been essential in the breakthrough, success and survival of PEK's activity.

There is a current boom now in PEK which has undeniably benefitted from digitalization. A documentary film such as Tuntematon emäntä [The Unknown Farm Mistress] has received very good attendance results because it has been easy to distribute the DCP to dozens of venues. Attendance at Cinema Niagara is booming because thanks to the DCP availability it can now show any film immediately without having to wait for weeks, months or even years.

The history booklet of PEK, written by Juha Viinikainen and Liina Härkönen, is a valuable contribution to the writing about Finnish film culture. It offers a good summary of the main facts, it is written with a great sense of humour, and, most importantly, it catches the special spirit that has been carrying PEK through all kinds of hardships.

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