Tuula Isohanni sent a message, saying that she had discussed the idea with Markku Hakuri, the professor of environmental art at Aalto University, and that the idea was in Mr. Hakuri’s view feasible.
Niina Puumalainen enquired about the opinion of the owner of the plot, the Real Estate Department of the city, and found that the department reaction was positive. Their message was that the city would be content with a nominal rent but it would have to be clear who is responsible for the upkeep of the plot and the cultivation.
Translation by Pigasus Translations
At this point, it’s clear that we can use the empty plot for cultivation in the summer of 2011. We would have liked to start this year, but no can do. It’s ok, though, the future looks bright, and everything has went so well that you wouldn’t believe. At least I wouldn’t, true to my Finnish brand of scepticism.
The Arabianranta art co-ordinator, Tuula Isohanni from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, has taken the project under her wing. She has managed to achieve progress both with the city and with the School of Arts. The project now has the support of the city, and the planning will start at the department of environmental art sometime in the autumn. The application for a WDC initiative has been handed in, and it’s realistic to expect that it will pass and that financial support would come from that quarter.
Translation by Pigasus Translations
During winter, the planning went on in the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture headed by Scott Elliott. In November, Scott met with the architect in charge of Arabianranta area in the City Planning Department, and the designs and plans made by students were sent to the architect already by the end of the month. December saw three designs chosen and presented to the city decision-makers, after which one of the designs was selected for realisation.
At the end of February, Scott, Tuula Isohanni and the architect from the City Planning Department had one final meeting about the budget and matters concerning some last loose ends. In the beginning of March, the chosen plan was handed over to the environmental engineer of the Land Division of the Real Estate Department who would use it when landscaping the plot.
Translation by Pigasus Translations
Design Dog Park project group asked for a meeting with the project manager Armi Koskela from Public Works Department and the quality controller Ritva Keko. They graciously agreed to come.
I asked to be updated on the progress of the town plan draft at Helsinki City Planning Department. The plan has to cover the whole surrounding park area as well, and it has to be completed before the rest of the project and construction can proceed.
The department was quick to reply: “The department is currently working on the town plan. The plan will probably be delivered to the planning committee as a proposition. 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.
There were a lot of people in addition to our three representatives. Tomas Palmgren, project manager of investment office, chaired the meeting. There were also the office manager, region planner and the project leader of this initiative, all of who have been in touch with us in the past, and finally the purchasing contract planner consultants from Vireo Oy. Read more
Taneli the producer smiles broadly in our meeting. He has a good reason to, because at the moment he’s our hero. He conquered Hämeentie.
Hämeentie is a street nearby. In previous years, the street festival has sprawled on both sides of the street, and this year too we’ve made plans to place programme and show venues to the community centre Kääntöpaikka, Galleriakäytävä, Comics Centre and the yards of Toukola area single-family houses. And now, according to the most recent news, also on Hämeentie.
“By the truckload,” sighs Taneli the producer. He’s talking about artists willing to feature in the festival. Arabia Street Festival is popular amongst potential performers. There are jazz dancers, rappers, mini installations and performances. Tens of good street musicians and bands. By the truckload, indeed.
Some of the artists have found the festival through the artist invitation on our website, others are familiar faces from previous years. The word of mouth at work.
Dance performances were delegated to a volunteer who knows about the dance scene but she had to leave the project before the finishing touches had been added because of her doctoral dissertation. D’oh. Who could we find to finish this?
Mari Andersson ja Azar Saiyar deconstructed the Artova Kino concept into bite-size entities in Artova Film Festival (AFF) mini seminar 7.9.2012 (see the video in this post). They told about the joys and challenges of running a movie club that has established itself in the Helsinki movie scene. They also told about funding, facilities, hunting down rights to films, film traffic, motivation, ambition and the magic of the moving picture.
Translation by Pigasus Translations.