The documentary project Once I was a Dragonfly by producer/director Elli Toivoniemi (pictured) picked upthe new €3,000 Best Pitch Award at the fourth Finnish Film Affair in Helsinki (September 22-24). Jury members Barbara Gasser (Hollywood Foreign Press Association), Berenice Fugard (Fortissimo Films) and Robert Burke (TenOne Entertainment) said they were convinced by ‘the project’s visuals and the director’s ability to tell a complex story in a relatable and universal fashion’. Toivoniemi is co-founder of Tuffi Films that produced the Oscar-nominated short film Do I Have to Take Care of Everything? by Selma Vilhunen.
Vilhunen’s first feature film Varpu was among the Works in Progress that caught delegates’ attention, along with Juho Kuosmanen’s The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, Katja Gauriloff’s Baby Jane and Aleksi Mäkelä’s Love Records.
Over 61,000 visitors attended the main Helsinki International Film Festival. Audience favourites included Iceland’s Virgin Mountain, Rams, Denmark’s Men& Chicken and the upcoming Finnish documentary Mother’s Wish. The festival’s best-selling title was Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster.