Saturday, May 18, 2024

10 kirjettä tulevaisuuteen / 10 Letters to the Future

Poikkeustila-ryhmä: 10 kirjettä tulevaisuuteen / 10 Letters to the Future (FI 2024). Ainu Kyrönseppä.

Poikkeustila-ryhmä: Anu Kuivalainen, Esa Illi, Sanna Liljander, Katja Gauriloff, Markku Heikkinen, Juho Reinikainen, Saara Helene Rawat, Susanna Helke, Sari Aaltonen, Pauliina Punkki, Jussi Rastas, Leena Kilpeläinen, Saija Mäki-Nevala, Timo Korhonen, Einari Paakkanen, Laura Rantanen, Terjo Aaltonen, Aija Salovaara, Niina Brandt, Mauri Lähdesmäki, Tuuli Teelahti, Saara Hakkarainen, Ville Tanttu, Tiina Meling, Larisa Rudolfson, Heli Pekkonen, Reetta Huhtanen, Kirsikka Paakkinen.

10 brev till framtiden / Ten Letters to the Future.
    FI 2024 © 2023 BonsaiFilms Oy. P: Saara Helene Rawat, Anu Kuivalainen.
    D: Poikkeustila-ryhmä : Anu Kuivalainen, Esa Illi, Sanna Liljander, Katja Gauriloff, Markku Heikkinen, Juho Reinikainen, Saara Helene Rawat, Susanna Helke, Sari Aaltonen, Pauliina Punkki, Other Managers, Jussi Rastas, Leena Kilpeläinen, Saija Mäki-Nevala, Timo Korhonen, Einari Paakkanen, Laura Rantanen, Terjo Aaltonen, Aija Salovaara, Niina Brandt, Mauri Lähdesmäki, Tuuli Teelahti, Saara Hakkarainen, Ville Tanttu, Tiina Meling, Laura Rudolfson, Heli Pekkonen, Reetta Huhtanen & Kirsikka Paakkinen.
    SC: Anu Kuivalainen, Saara Helene Rawat, Markku Heikkinen, Susanna Helke, Esa Illi. Cin: Saija Mäki-Nevala, Esa Illi, Katja Gauriloff, Sanna Liljander, Theofanis Kavvadas, Sari Aaltonen F.S.C, Heikki Färm F.S.C., Pekka Uotila F.S.C., Saara Helene Rawat, Leena Kilpeläinen, Janne Niskala, Jussi Rastas, Emi Linnakoski, Laura Rantanen, Aarju Aalam, Tero Hanski. M: Sanna Salmenkallio. S: Olli Huhtanen. ED: Katja Pällijeff F.C.E.
    Featuring: Malmin peruskoulun aikakapselihanke [Malmi Primary School Time Capsule Project], Ainu Kyrönseppä, Minna Hankaniemi, Ilari Hämäläinen, Jalvvi Niillas Holmberg, Christoffer Weiss.
    Languages: Finnish, English, Hindi, Sami.
    66 min
    Festival premiere: 1 Feb 2023 DocPoint.
    Finnish premiere: 17 May 2024 - released by BonsaiFilms Oy (theatrical) and Yle Areena (online)
    Telepremiere: 7 June 2024 Yle TV1
    Viewed at Finnkino Kinopalatsi 10, Swedish subtitles only / svensk text Monica Ödahl Åminne, Saturday 18 May 2024

[Poikkeustila-ryhmä = Emergency Team.]

Logline: " 10 Letters to the Future is a documentary film about people living in a time of global crises, wondering what the future will be like in over fifty years from now. "

Official synopsis: " 10 Letters to the Future documentary film is a mid-term review in a world of intertwined crises. A jigsaw puzzle, a kaleidoscope that allows for a polyphonic debate in society. It started as a collective effort at a time when everything stopped. The reality of global states of emergency pierced everything we took for granted, and made many people reassess their lives in a new light. What happened to us and what kind of future do we want to be heading for? A virus researcher, a climate activist, a policy researcher and anti-vaxxer protesters see the future challenges of our society in a very different light. When the virus controlled the world, schoolchildren started to collect letters that will be encapsulated in a wooden case built by students, to be opened in over 50 years. The main characters in the documentary write their letters, address their loved ones or someone unknown in the future, creating a space for the viewer to take a breather. "

A word from the director - Poikkeustila-ryhmä: " We set out to make a film in the midst of the COVID crisis, but soon the need arose to look at this  historic moment more closely and further away. We wanted to see in a deeper and different way something this time has revealed about us. "

" With our film, we aim to look beyond the acute problems of this crisis, towards other issues that  challenge our time, such as the climate change. The time of COVID has been not only a global health catastrophe, but also a crisis testing the foundations of societies. In the fear and anxiety caused by the crisis, have the forces that sow anti-science and irrational conspiracy theories and undermine the
foundations of democracy further strengthened and taken hold of the future to which the main characters of the film are writing their letters? "

" Or will we find new ways of living together globally? Finnish society got off quite lightly. Is there something valuable in our society, something worth preserving, that helped us survive this reasonably well? What has this lifeless virus reminded us of? The world stopped, but just for a moment. Is now the time to turn the future around? "

AA: 10 Letters to the Future was made by the Poikkeustila-ryhmä [Emergency Team] of  29 directors during the COVID-19 pandemic, the outbreak of which was declared on 11 March 2020 as a public health emergency of international concern. Its festival premiere was on 1 February 2023 at the DocPoint in Helsinki. The theatrical release is this weekend.

It is a cross-section film about the Finnish society meeting its biggest emergency since the Second World War. Our Lapland War ended on 27 April 1945, 81 years ago. (We fought three separate wars in WWII.) The present film is a message to the future, but it includes reflections about the memory work of the past. We learn that the generation which endured the Lapland War, where the Wehrmacht subjected Lapland to scorched earth policy, did not want to dwell on the horrors. All energy was focused on building the future.

We see typical scenes from the pandemic years - a little girl's remote birthday party - Sanna Marin providing crisis communication - drone footage of deserted streets in Helsinki - borders closed in Lapland - discrimination: some thrive in remote work, others, such as musicians, are prevented from work - Parliament debates - a COVID-19 victim struggling for his life in a life-support machine - a Finnish-Indian family suffering from the travel ban - demonstrations against the ban of public gatherings of over 10 people.

A central subject is the project of a class at Malmi Primary School (Helsinki) to collect a time capsule in a wooden treasure chest to be archived at the SKS [Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura / Finnish Literature Society] to be opened in 50 years. 

The scope of the movie expands from the pandemic to other existential crises - the 2007-2008 financial crisis whose reverberations still linger heavily with us - the complicity of traditional political movements, losing their legitimacy - giving room to populism - ecocatastrophe - and the return of militarist geopolitics in Europe.

Like in Havumetsän lapset / Once Upon a Time in a Forest (Virpi Suutari, FI 2024), we visit demonstrations of the Extinction Rebellion / Elokapina movement. Why are the young people stopping the traffic and disturbing everyday life? "Because there is hope". "For the love of life".

The topic could not be better. But this pandemic film is also a pandemic victim. There is a lack of an irresistibly engrossing drive, what I have been calling the "pandemic-phlegmatic syndrome". 


“I guess the most important thing would be to learn to accept the incompleteness of this life and to find happiness in the midst of that uncertainty.”

Raina Films

Official synopsis: " 10 kirjettä tulevaisuuteen -dokumenttielokuva on välitilinpäätös toisiinsa kietoutuvien kriisien maailmassa. Se on palapeli, kaleidoskooppi, joka mahdollistaa moniäänisen keskustelun yhteiskunnassa. Kollektiivisesti toteutettu elokuva sai alkunsa korona-ajassa, jolloin globaali poikkeustilojen todellisuus lävisti kaiken, mitä pidimme itsestäänselvänä. Tuo aika sai monet arviomaan elämäänsä uudessa valossa. Mitä meille tapahtui ja millaiseen tulevaisuuteen haluamme olla matkalla? Virustutkija, ilmastoaktivisti, politiikan tutkija ja rokotuskriittiset mielenosoittajat näkevät yhteiskuntamme tulevaisuuden haasteet aivan eri valossa. Viruksen hallitessa maailmaa koululaiset ryhtyvät keräämään kirjeitä, jotka kapseloidaan oppilaiden rakentamaan puuarkkuun yli 50 vuoden päästä avattaviksi. Dokumentin päähenkilöt kirjoittavat kirjeensä, puhuttelevat näin läheisiään tai jotakin tuntematonta tulevaisuudessa. "


Spring 2020. I was in my second home in India. One of the world’s toughest lockdowns had just begun there. I saw a post on Facebook by Anu Kuivalainen about how Finland had entered its first state of emergency since the war and that all of us documentarians need to start to record this historical state of things.

The next day, my phone rang. Anu told me that she already has almost 30 directors on her team. But that she was still lacking a producer. The first funding application was put together at a shocking pace, we were totally on fire. The first round of funding took off quickly. Within days, AVEK granted us the necessary support to start developing the film, and the project was officially off the ground. 

In late spring, I took a rescue flight to Finland to locally manage the project, which started to look like it was not just a recording of a few months of emergency, but something much bigger. At this point, the film and the energy of the team had sucked me into the writing team and the following spring, while we were stuck in a lockdown with my family on different continents, my story ended up being part of the film and I became one of the directors.

It has been wonderful and educational to experience how such a special project got off the ground and how it and our group changed shape when the world around us no longer reflected what we had initially thought it was going to be and what we had started to build the film around. In the end, the team captured something important from the time; a handful of anxiety, a lot of uncertainty, but also a glimmer of hope. And for that, there is certainly a demand right now. Let’s look after each other and not turn a blind eye to injustices, so tomorrow will look much more promising.

One of the narrative means in the film is the Malmi Primary School Time Capsule project, whose basic idea was to collect material (letters, postcards, drawings and various recordings) of our exceptional years 2020-2021 and seal them in the SKS Finnish Literature Society archive until 2078, when the capsule will be opened. The project was carried out by pupils from Malmi Elementary School, led by teacher Jyrki Meri.

Ainu Kyrönseppä is a 22-year-old direct action-oriented artist. Her resilience to reality amidst overwhelming consumer emissions has been strengthened while working in Extinct Rebellion Finland and Operation Arctic, looking for attractive channels to reduce climate emissions and sustainable solutions for removing carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere.

is a mother of two school-age boys and a researcher. She is the head of the Virology and Vaccine Immunology Group at the University of Tampere. The group develops new vaccines against pandemic pathogens. The aim is to build a vaccine producing infrastructure in Finland and to develop vaccines that can also be transported to low-income countries.

is a musician with a long career, who in recent years has taken steps towards a career as a singer and songwriter. He is remembered from The Voice Of Finland program, where he was voted the most luminous artist of the year, but many may also have come across him on musical stages and the background musician in other artists’ performances. They include Kaija Koo, Pete Parkkonen and Katri Ylander. His first solo single “Sytytä Mut Vaan” was released in 2013, followed by the release of two solo albums: VALO and VARJO in 2017. Four singles and their music videos from his fourth album have been released so far since the fall of 2021..

(1990) is a writer, screenwriter and musician from Utsjoki. He has published a novel and collections of poetry, and his works have been translated into several languages. Holmberg has co-written feature-length fiction film Je’vida with Katja Gauriloff. He has also written plays and essays. Holmberg has published many albums with different set-ups, and he is multi-genre musician who works as a vocalist, composer and lyricist. Holmberg is known as an advocate for self-determination right of the Sámi and indigenous peoples |

has always been on the go, as an actor, speaker and event producer. Pandemic left him shipwrecked at home in Raasepori. His activism arose when the organization of events was restricted, but  demonstrations were allowed. Weiss actively streamed on his channel and organized demonstrations for freedom.


SAARA HELENE RAWAT is a Helsinki-based screenwriter, director and producer. Rawat acted as director, as producer and scriptwriter for the follow-up reality series Rahdinmetsjäjät (Yle TV1, 2022) and as producer, writer and editor of the true crime series Ratkaisematon tapaus (Discovery +/TV5 2022).
Before that, Rawat has directed and recorded the documentary series Rikollinen mieli (Yle TV1 2019),
worked as a scriptwriter and editor for the television series Rikoksen anatomia (2019 National Geographic/TV5) and has worked as a writer and producer on the internationally award-winning documentary film My Secret Forest (2017)


ANU KUIVALAINEN is a documentary filmmaker/writer with a long career. Her films have won both
international and domestic awards. Kuivalainen has twice been awarded the main prize at Tampere Film Festival’s domestic competition, and the Special Jussi for her film Christmas in the Distance (1994). Her latest film is called Still Into You (2020). Kuivalanen has a history of experience in collaborative films, e.g. Contract (2008).

SUSANNA HELKE is a film director and professor whose films have been screened and awarded at numerous national and international festivals. Her latest film, Ruthless Times – Songs of Care (2022), has won awards at five different film festivals, including the Locarno International Film Festival, and was screened at the IDFA Masters Series.

ESA ILLI is an experienced and award-winning filmmakerwriter, who has often shot his own documentaries, working at the interface between documentary and fiction.

KATJA GAURILOFF is an award-winning film director and screenwriter working on both fiction and documentary films. Gauriloff is currently finishing the first ever fiction film in Skolt Sámi language, Je’vida, which will premiere in spring 2023. Gauriloff’s previous works include Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest (2016), Baby Jane (2018) and Canned Dreams (2012). Gauriloff lives and works in Rovaniemi.

MARKKU HEIKKINEN is an award-winning documentary filmmaker from Kainuu, Finland, whose latest work is the script for (Susanna Helke’s) Ruthless Times – Songs of Care. He is currently filming a documentary called Pohjoinen intohimo (Northern Passion) about the hidden sexuality and changing relationships of married men in remote areas.

SANNA LILJANDER is a filmmaker (Aalto University Department of Film, documentary film) and media artist (Academy of Fine Arts, time-space arts), who works with documentary material in various ways. Liljander’s short works have been screened at international film festivals and have won awards such as The Risto Jarva Award. In 10 Letters to the Future, Liljander has directed a storyline in which she also perform with her child.

SANNA SALMENKALLIO is a composer, musician and sound designer specializing in film music and various stage works. She is known above all for her high-quality long documentary films, and in performing arts, big stage dramas and powerful social contributions to community art. Salmenkallio has won best music Jussi Award for Pirjo Honkasalo’s film The 3 Rooms of Melancholia and Virpi
Suutari’s films Aalto, Architect of Emotions, Entrepreneur and Garden Lovers.

KATJA PÄLLIJEFF F.C.E. is an accomplished in documentary and fiction films and TV series maker. Her best-known works include the award-winning documentary film The Unknown Refugee by Hamy Ramezan and Tuukka Temonen’s The Campaign – The Making of a President, for which she was nominated for the Jussi Award for Best Editing in 2015.

No comments: