At the end of December 2010 we heard from Artova that the dog park materials we had prepared for WDC in August weren’t sufficient and that we would have to fill in an official application form. The timing was difficult as I and my husband Tero Pajunen would be travelling from the beginning of January. Writing the application was thus postponed until the beginning of February. Read more
Scott talked the city into give us a hand in the form of a small tractor and a driver, who spread the bark chippings and most of the soil over the plot. Unfortunately, the schedules were a bit off, and there was a truck-load of soil from Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY) the following day when the tractor wasn’t there anymore. Together we tucked in with the one wheelbarrow we had and spread the soil the best we could. It was ok, although quite slow and laborious. Naturally, the soil-free patches were the furthest away from the heaps of soil, and in the absence of proper digging spades, we used regular snow shovels. The original plan was that students and growers would construct the park together, but the students from School of Arts were in short supply.
Translation by Pigasus Translations
Contributing, finding the feeling with everyone else, being a part of a group and reaching the goals of one’s own community is not always sufficient motivation for starting volunteer work. The word ‘work’ incorporates many concepts that don’t always go hand in hand with, for example, the volunteer activities traditionally carried out in city districts. The word might also suffer from some negative associations from working life. I feel that district activity should be defined as voluntary activity rather than work. In part. In part it really is hard work, done for no pay and with no regard to office hours. But when successful, volunteering gives you new tools for life and problem-solving, new people, and new communities.
The concepts of activity and work need to be explained a bit further, because as all those who have volunteered know, things are sometimes too complicated for simple labels. Sometimes what starts as volunteer activities turn into work very quickly. Or at least it starts to feel like work. And it might become too much to handle. Read more
Hunting down movie copies and licences is a whole world of sleuthing of its own – sometimes it grows into a fascinating search for the right people and connections. The cases where the film has been running recently in Finnish cinemas are the easiest. It’s likely that there is a copy you can get your hands on and there is a Finnish person, association or company that has the licence to show it.
Things get tricky when you want to show a film that has never been distributed in Finnish cinemas. Although you sometimes see movies like this in, say, the series shown by the National Audiovisual Archives (Kava), we’ve learned during our time in Artova Kino that Kava also shows films that they don’t have a copy of at all. For example, out of the works of Abbas Kiarostami, the rights and a 35 mm copy can or could be found in Finland for only The Taste of Cherry and Certified Copy.
If the movie has never been distributed in Finland, the licence must be sought elsewhere. When we decided to show the Kiarostami film Close Up in Artova Kino, the licence was finally found in France. In this case, we were tipped off to the right direction by people who had film festival experience of movie distribution. They had the contact information of the quarters who distribute films they have shown in other film festivals.
You can find a surprising amount of info on the distributors online: the Internet Movie Database and, for films previously shown in Finland, Elonet service are useful. We’ve also made phone calls to Kava and the national broadcasting service, Yle, when looking for contact info. In our experience, people are happy to give a hand.
One observation we’ve made is that one movie can have a number of distributors – one for Europe, one for North America, or even smaller areas, like distributors for France and the UK but no-one for the Nordic countries. Often it has taken several forwarded e-mails to reach the right person. Times like those one is grateful for having started out with a lenient schedule. Finding the right person may well take four weeks what with all the forwarded e-mails. It has been helpful to sit down and write a well thought out message that contains the introduction of Artova Kino and enquiries of a licence / film copies. Later on, work gets done faster when you can simply modify the old text.
While sleuthing, you also find new European distributors. Writing these down for future reference might come in useful when compiling new programs later on. Even if the distributor company isn’t the one you are looking for this time.
When the copies and licensors are located, the next question is the price for showing the film. The prices may vary a lot depending of the distributing company, producer or where the movie was made. Time of publication can also affect the price. The most expensive recompense suggested to Artova Kino for one-time screening of an entire film from a DVD was one thousand euro. (The movie was not shown.) On the other hand, some production companies are happy to give the licence and the film copy for free, given that the showing is organised by volunteers and that there is no entrance fee.
This far Artova Kino has paid 0–450 euro per screened film. After a bit of haggling, the licence for Kiarostami’s Close Up was acquired for 400 euro. The movie was shown from a DVD that had to be bought for the show. Rights for the same movie shown on film would have cost double. Of course, that wouldn’t include the rent of the film copy and delivery to Finland. Sometimes the solutions can be inventive – it never hurts to ask. When negotiating about Derek Jarman’s Blue, we cut a deal directly with the producer, who sent the film copy from London to Helsinki. We were able to incorporate Love&Anarchy film festival into the screening. The festival was useful when transporting the film to Finland.
When planning the Artova Kino screenings, we strove to find different solutions to how to screen films that are usually difficult to show due to transporting expenses. When we found a particular film we wanted to screen, we also thought of possible co-operation partners that would fit the nature of the film. This approach allowed us to import film copies from France as well as the UK. Co-operation continues in showing Nordic films.
The most tricky situations occur when the distributing company has gone bankrupt and the licences are “lost”, in a way. The licensor might be, for example, the company who bought the bankrupt distributor, but the new licensor might be disinterested in selling licences. This leads to a situation where somebody has created a wonderful, exciting film, but it can’t be shown as no-one is taking care of the licences. For the makers, the first priority would probably be that the film gets to be seen.
This was the situation with Gummo by Harmony Korine. The distributor had gone out of business and no-one seemed to have interest in the licences. We e-mailed various production and distribution companies that had, at some point or another, been linked to any of Korine’s productions, but no-one was actively controlling the licences. In the end, we decided to show the film.
To wrap up, here are four guidelines for those who are searching for licences and film copies.
1. Think of suitable individuals, groups or companies who can help you find licences and copies or who might be interested in producing the show. Go directly to producers, directors.
2. Reserve sufficiently time for enquiries.
3. Sit down and write a well thought out e-mail template in Finnish and in English that you will use when looking for the movie licences and copies.
4. Have a list of distributors that you’ve e.g. contacted or found when looking around the Internet.
Translation by Pigasus Translations.
Intern and volunteers
I was assigned the task to use common sense and simple maths to estimate roughly how much time the members of Gammel Dogs Association have collectively put into the Design Dog Park project, and how much it would be in cash.
After some thinking, I settled upon the model described below, where the cumulative work amount consists of five different levels that each approximates the number of people and their input:
I suppose everybody’s desk is at least sometimes reigned by chaos… but there was one things about this picture that I thought made it typical. How many mobiles can you find on my desk? Three of those are on after having used them for different work-related things. I’ve spent some time trying, with no success, to get a phone number of my own. It doesn’t bother me, but it illustrates well the feeling you easily get doing this job: you’re working on multiple projects at the same time, but sometimes there is some concrete, practical thing that just doesn’t seem to progress at all. At times, it feels like you get nothing done even though you’re doing something all the time. Though, if you sit down and think about it, you realise that you actually have done a lot. Read more
First there was recycling, then street art. The event grew, more people joined the preparations and the name changed each year. You get a hearty portion of festival history in the first production meeting of the district association Artova. Janne Kareinen, the chairperson of Artova board of directors, and co-ordinator Saara Vanhala kept interrupting each other. As a newcomer, it’s difficult to grasp the big picture but enthusiasm is contagious: we’re making something cool happen.
Fortunately, the aim is not to replicate the festival exactly as it has been before. This time, we’re building something bigger and more ambitious. We have hired a producer, Taneli Kainulainen, and the World Design Capital initiative acts as a big brother. The atmosphere of reinventing the festival shows through, we started the festival production from the very basics, coming up with a name for the event. The name inherited from previous years was Big Recycling Event / Big Street Art Event, and it was too long and bulky. We needed something snappier.
Hi! I’m Taneli Kainulainen, the producer-in-chief of Artova Street Festival, and this is my first entry. Last year, I participated in planning the concept for the Street Art Festival and co-ordinated a street music spot in front of Kääntöpaikka.
The event production was kick-started with a planning meeting where we drafted the division of tasks and responsibilities. Everything ran smoothly because are production team consists of people who are active and clearly committed to the event. We also managed to complete a tentative schedule for the production. Read more
I can’t remember everyone’s names, I can see wandering eyes and hidden yawns. We run out of chairs. There are few things that motivate less than a poorly organised meeting. That’s what we had, and more than once.
I mentioned earlier how the production of a festival is shared by a large group of people. Somewhere in our co-operation fog we decided to invite absolutely everyone to our meetings, “so that everybody is up-to-date.” A mistake. If meetings swell into large gatherings, agenda is lost somewhere along the way and conversations become long and muddled. It’s time for a reformation. From now on, only the people whose contribution is necessary in the meeting will be invited. We mistook meetings to be internal communication, but that’s not the case. The people who know what their tasks are can easily keep up by reading the bulletins that drop into their inbox.