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DocPoint - Helsinki Documentary Film Festival selection

The 7th edition of DocPoint Helsinki Documentary Film Festival is approaching. Highlights of the festival programme include new Finnish documentary films, Masterclass and retrospective by and about Ulrich Seidl, a focus on Austria and a facinating selection of documentaries from Iran. The opening film of the festival is Recipes for Disaster by John Webster, which has its world premiere at DocPoint.

DocPoint takes place in 23rd-27th of January 2008 in Helsinki, Finland. Accreditation to the festival is now open on the festival’s website (go to ”Press and Guests”). Deadline for accreditations is 11th January 2008.


The jury of DocPoint’s domestic programme has made its selection. This year the jury consisted of DocPoint’s artistic director Virpi Suutari, member of Finnish parliament Heidi Hautala, journalist Taina West, filmmaker Anu Kuivalainen and filmmaker Aleksi Salmenperä. A record number of 20 films was selected out of 105 titles submitted for selection.

Films selected DocPoint’s New Finnish Documentaries programme in 2008 are:

• Milking (5 min), Metrodance (4 min) & Plastic Soldier (2 min) by Rostislav Aalto • Room of Riddles (73 min) by Erja Dammert • The Penalty Box - Senior Hockey Players Talk About Women & Love (9 min) by Arthur Franck & Oskar Forstén • A Shout into the Wind (55 min) by Katja Gauriloff • Big Boy (50 min) by Mia Halme • Shadow of the Holy Book (90 min) by Arto Halonen • In the Depths of the Mind (82 min) by Tuija Halttunen • Bam (73 min) by Jouni Hiltunen • You Live and Burn (69 min) by Iiris Härmä • Middleage Crisis (3 min) by Kimmo Jaatinen • Travelling (77 min) by Anastasia Lapsui & Markku Lehmuskallio • The Pests (39 min) by Katja Lautamatti & Mina Laamo • Keidas (20 min) by PV Lehtinen • 1-7=72=0 (11 min) by Kauko Lindfors • The End of the World Was Here (52 min) by Annika Nykänen • Punishment (44 min) by Timo Peltonen • Learned by Heart (29 min) by Marjut Rimminen & Päivi Takala • Recipes for Disaster (85 min) by John Webster

Films submitted to DocPoint preselection from Finnish film schools were of especially high quality this year. Paradise - Three Journeys in This World (51 min) by Elina Hirvonen, winner of IDFA 2008 Student Award, will be screened in DocPoint’s student film programme, Documentary Films From Finnish Film Schools.


Award winning Austrian director Ulrich Seidl visits DocPoint - Helsinki Documentary Film Festival. Seidl will lecture on his works and working methods to film students and professionals at DocPoint Masterclass on Sunday 27th of January 2008. DocPoint programme features a retrospective of Seidl’s work, which includes Import Export (2007), Jesus You Know (2003), Dog Days (2001), Models (1998), Animal Love (1995), The Last Real Men (1994), Losses to Be Expected (1992) and Good News (1990).

DocPoint’s Austrian focus programme Austria - Constructed Realities presents recent Austrian documentary film production. The films discuss both social themes and little personal stories. The selection includes It Happened Just Before, a topical film about international human trafficking and prostitution by Anja Salomonowitz, and festival favourite Out of Time by Harald Friedl, a film about small Austrian shops trying to survive alongside hypermarkets.


The main theme country in focus at DocPoint's 7th edition is Iran. DocPoint's selection of Iranian documentary films, titled Iran! Iran!, presents a fresh and unseen look into the country and its culture, hidden behind the representations of international news media.

DocPoint's Iran! Iran! programme includes both classic and recent works by Iranian documentarists. Legendary works such as The House Is Black (1962) by Forough Farrokhzad and The Night It Rained (1967) by Kamran Shirdelin are presented alongside such new films as The Apple by Samira Makhmalbaf, The Ladies by Mahnaz Afzal and Zinat - One Special Day by Ebrahim Mokhtar. Iranian film professionals such as Massoud Bakhshi, festival director of Teherans' Cinéma Vérité film festival and director of Tehran Has No More Pomegranates (2006) will visit Helsinki as DocPoint's guests.


As a novelty in our guest services, DocPoint festival now features a videotheque, which includes all films in the current festival programme. DocPoint Videotheque also hosts all films included in DocPoint’s New Finnish Documentaries selection since the first 2002 edition of the festival. The videotheque is located in the festival hotel, Sokos Hotel Presidentti, well situated for our international guests.

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