2017 in short

The geisha documentary was supposed to be finished this year, in the spring, and when that didn’t happen, in July. But no… I didn’t get all the material and couldn’t start editing.
Long story very short; I was sitting in Kyoto wasting my time, personal relations got a little sour for other reasons not mentioned here, and now it also seems like I won’t get paid what I was promised. “You’ll get the money as soon as…”, “I sent the money…”, “It’s on its way…”, “You should have it soon…”. And soon 3 months have past… I did everything more or less for free because I looked at it as helping a friend, so it wasn’t even that much money, but when you don’t have anything, still it would have made a big difference.

So, I missed a lot of time that I should have spent on my Finnmark documentary instead. It’s almost done editing, and the biggest thing missing now is animations here and there, and that’s going to take some time because I decided to do them by myself. I just can’t afford to pay for it. Impossible.
I’m going to Japan for two months and when I get back in January I’ll start drawing. I need to get an animation software, probably TVPaint, and a drawing tablet like the Wacom Intuos Pro.

I run an Indigogo campaign in the spring to get me a new video camera and received about $ 2000, mostly from friends and relatives. I finally decided to get the Sony X70, which came to my surprise with the 4K upgrade for free.

I did some paid work for Uppsala university early autumn, when I followed two researchers from the university to Finland and interviewed people about the Talvivaara mining project near Sotkamo. This could turn into a bigger project if we get financing for it.
Anyway, it was interesting and shocking to hear all the testimonies about how the mining project had been run. Many parallels to similar kinds of projects in Sweden.

My documentary, The Last Generation?, was invited to the first Saami film festival in Luleå. It was fun to watch movies for 3 days and to meet and talk with others in the business. It has also been invited to a documentary film festival i Prague next spring, One World, the worlds biggest film festival focusing on human rights. Looking forward to visit Prague and spend 10 days watching films!

Film Festival in Khanty-Mansiysk

Festival_sign Program
I’m usually too lazy to submit my work to festivals, I hate all the paper work, but I have a Russian colleague living in the same city who has pushed me to submit to the same festivals that she’s going to attend. This time it was the “To Save and Preserve” ecological film festival in Khanty-Mansiysk in Russia. It is basically a festival for short, or 20-30 min films, so the films that I submitted were a bit too long. Fly Fishing in Swedish Lapland was 43 minutes and The Last Generation? 1,5 hours. The second film was obviously way too long, but as long as the organizers asked me to submit it anyway, I did.

Khanty-Mansiysk is the capital of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug in Siberia, a city with 95000 people. It is situated on a confluence where the rivers Irtysh and Ob meet. The surrounding area is very wet with rivers, lakes, deltas and marsh lands. Click here for a map of the area.
Khanty_Mansiysk Biathlon_stars
According to Wikipedia, a 280-meter skyscraper was planned to be built in the city, but today, nine years after the English architect Norman Foster got the job to build it, I couldn’t see any signs of it. Biathlon World Cup competitions are held there every year and there seems to be many biathlon stars coming from Khanty-Mansi judging from the posters outside the skiing stadium.

Hotel Irtysh

The Hotel was right by the skiing stadium and a short walking distance from the city. Khanty-Mansiysk is divided into two parts with a hill/park between. The hotel was in the middle, on the hill.
All the film festivals that I have visited so far have had several films playing at the same time in different locations and sometimes it has meant some tough decisions. In Khanty-Mansiysk you didn’t have that problem. There was only one thing happening at a time. One schedule to follow. A couple of films to see every day, some workshops and discussions, and two ours of activities/performances.

Planting_trees Locals

I tried some local specialities, like frozen raw fish and cranberry vodka.

Frozen_fish Cranberry_shot

One of the films was dropped from the schedule and I got a chance to show our film instead in that slot. The film was in Swedish with English subtitles, and live translated into Russian. Three languages at the same time was a bit hard.
On the final day, at the prize ceremony, I was surprised to see our film as one of the three nominated to win the category “ecological traveling”. And even more so when the winner was announced and I found myself on the stage with the first prize giving a speech to the audience and all the TV-channels. You can watch it here. Fast forward to 29:00.

Stage Screen
On_stage Prizes

I returned by train and it took 4 days to reach Helsinki. Khanty-Mansiysk doesn’t have a railway station so the trip started with a 3 hour buss drive to Putyak. The road wasn’t great. I was happy I didn’t party too hard, and too late the night before. I had bought tickets in the 3rd class, and it was okay, but the space on the top berth was a little too tight. It was impossible to sit and it was too short. I spent a lot of time sitting in the restaurant coach instead. It didn’t seem to be a very popular thing to do. Most of the time I was the only person sitting there.

Train Train2

All in all, it was a great experience. I was taken well care of by the organizers, got a chance to visit a place that I would probably never go to otherwise, and met some people that I might get in contact with later. And I won a first prize!

Tics Pizza_and_sushi
Putyak Putyak2

In Moscow I visited GUM. A huge department store right by the Red Square. Three arcades in three stories, mostly selling brand name clothes and shoes.