Postcard from Beginning Festival, St. Petersburg

Story: Marja Pihlaja and Lauri-Matti Parppei
The International Student Film Festival Beginning was held in St. Petersburg, Russia from 1st to 6th October 2010. There were four works selected for the competition program with two films from TAMK School of Art and Media: our 5-minute film Aarnipuu (The Chainsaw Poet) and Huomisen muisto (Memory of Tomorrow) by Pekka Saari who also was a guest at the festival. The two other Finnish films were Ghosts, a documentary by Jan Ijäs, and R for Realdoll by Katja Niemi.

This year the overall quality of the films was great and it was easy to forget that they were student works while watching them. Even some of the first-year works were well thought out and scripted. One surprising aspect in the screenings was the overdubbing. Every non-Russian was spoken over the original soundtrack by one translator in the theater.

For us the most important thing was perhaps meeting the other movie makers from all around the world. We had long discussions about our schools, movies and the problems with Russian visa applications. Although none of the Finnish films won any prize, the experience was one of those ”once in a lifetime” occasions.

Photo (Dom Kino): Marja Pihlaja
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