Zinemaissí: a fan zine by cinemaisseros

Zinemaissí: a fan zine by cinemaisseros

This year in Cinemaissí we took a concrete step towards recognizing the endless talent and creativity of our community. We started the Zinemaissí fan zine project: we invited artists and artist-minded people associated with Cinemaissí to contemplate on a selected theme in order to create a zine: a non-professional small publication presenting a specific cultural phenomenon.

Cinemaissí, at its best, is a community where people find themselves in new roles, doing things they have never done before. Zinemaissí is a reflection of this, born as an adventure, as a leap to something completely new. We wanted to invite the hidden talents of our community to create something together – to share our talent, to share our stories. All that was needed was enthusiasm, great ideas and persistence to learn the technical details of putting together a zine.

We were heartwarmed by the reception the idea got. When we sat around the table for the first time with the 8 artists we had invited to join, we noticed that we had been lucky to put together a truly exuberant, wholehearted group. 

The very first edition of Zinemaissí, Zinemaissí 0 evolves around the theme (Our) Stories of Vulnerability. The theme was born from stories told about migration and our contemplations of what power and privilege mean. But at the end, as can be oserved in the zine, vulnerability can mean so many things. It is in the pain we feel while learning to find our place among the rigid rules of the society, the physical pain that does not let us sleep at night, the way we reach out to others.

It takes strength to be vulnerable. But where we are vulnerable, that is where we meet.

Zinemaissí 0 is as diverse as the group of people behind it. We are writers, we are artists, newcomers, migrants. We are silent and shy; we are vocal and brave. We are finding our place.

Zinemaissí fan zine will be sold in Kulttuurikeskus Caisa in 26.10-27.10. There are only 50 copies available, so get yours quickly!

Noora Pitkälä

Board member, Coordinator of Zinemaissí

(For more information about the continuation of the Zinemaissí project, you can contact 

Felipe Gasnier worked on the layout of the zine. 

Yvapurü Samaniego made portraits of the working group: Vilma Pimenoff, Danilo Canguçu, Eduardo Tejedor, Felipe Gasnier, Lois Armas, Júlia Hajjar, Fabu Pires, Noora Pitkälä and Yvapurü Samaniego. 

Fabu Pires made the covers. Every zine is unique with its own cover and packaging. 


Youth Voice

Youth Voice

Youth across the world are taking action to make changes in the world and protect our future.
Cinemaissí welcomes you to celebrate Youth Voice on Saturday 26 October at the Cultural Center Caisa (Kaikukatu 4, Helsinki).


Eliza Capai’s documentary Your Turn (Brazil 2018) at 16:00.

The film follows young people in Brazil who occupied their schools in protest against the government closing them down in 2013-2018. Their fight to protect the quality of their free public education became a fight for their voice and rights.
The documentary is Amnesty International Prize winner.



Before the screening, at 14:00-15:30, the Youth Voice / Cinema In Conversation event brings together young panelists to share their insight on social action and the importance of documentary-film making in bringing about change:


The Cinemaissí Family

The Cinemaissí Family

When I arrived in Finland 12 years ago, I only knew three persons besides my brother and relatives in this country. Back then, enthusiastic about my hopes and dreams of a new life, I didn’t realize the importance of maintaining the connections with my culture.

Then, through my cousin I met Laura Gazzotti, who introduced me to a warm and happy gang getting together at the iconic Corona bar and Andorra in October.

These people were the Cinemaissí family.

From the beginning, I was very warmly received as a volunteer in Cinemaissí. Now, it is ten years since that first encounter in the Corona bar and I am the President of Cinemaissí association. I still don’t fully understand what is it that makes me want to come back and be part of the festival year after year. Cinemaissi is a very important part of my life, for many reasons.

If you have been living abroad, far from your home country, you know how important it is to find a family or a community to connect with people.

Some people find that through sports, or work, or hobbies in general. For me, that was volunteering in anything I found interesting or meaningful.

From the outside, Cinemaissí may look like “just another festival”. But Cinemaissi is more than a film festival – it is an association of friends that got together to see and promote films that are not main stream or in the TV. In Cinemaissí, we are like a family that comes together to organize a big party – but also sometimes disagrees, argues and has different ways to communicate. Even though it is a small festival happening once a year, there is a huge work behind it, and a very strong team that basically works as volunteers for the whole year.

At the festival, we don’t only bring our sunny and warm spring spirits from the South to the North, but we also meet old and new friends, learn from each others’ countries and perspectives, discuss some of the latest facts, news, and stories that are being showed on the screen.

What we see in the films does not always represent the best part of our culture – but there are issues that need to be addressed to bring awareness about situations. Sometimes we are not aware of many of the challenges our people face in Latin America and we believe it is our responsibility to bring those to the discussion.

As a community we believe in the importance and the power of the cultural diversity. Art is needed, in many forms.

Films are an especially powerful way to express and to connect with our culture, to give a message for the society on another side of the world. We are proud to represent our culture in all the aspects trough art to share with you a variety of voices.

We are all excited when the Cinemaissí week is here and will be happy to see you all around! This festival is for you all to feel welcome!


Written by

Aime Accorsi

Edited by

Elli Keränen

_MG_7903 copy


Exceptional native language films at the center of Cinemaissí

Exceptional native language films at the center of Cinemaissí

How can groups and individuals stay true to their origins in today’s world? Can film increase pride in culture and awareness of others?

These questions and many more are discussed in two native language films and a panel discussion on Indigenous cultures at this year’s Cinemaissi. Both films, Retablo and Pájaros de Verano, represent their own stories with an interesting plot and multi-faceted personas. The two films stay true to the people and stories without focusing solely on the exotism of the ethnic groups.

The festival will open on Wednesday 23 October with a Peruvian film Retablo (Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio), a brilliant visual narrative that speaks to us in Quechuan language. Retablo is a film about the love that a son professes for his father, despite of the truth and of a devastating internal conflict.  The film has won +20 awards in renowned international film festivals, such as Berlinare, La Habana and New York.

On Sunday 27 October we will host a panel Indigenous cultures with some of the greatest advocates of indigenous culture. The discussion will focus on examining the representation of indigenous communities in cinema and the role of films in preservation of languages and traditions. The perspectives will range from the Finnish point of view to the Latin American, revealing the similarities and differences of indigenous peoples as part of societies across the world. The film Retablo will be shown after the panel discussion at 18.00 at the same location, in Kulttuurikeskus Caisa.

Cinemaissí will close with Pájaros de Verano (Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra), a story narrated in the Wayuu language about the honour of two clans that are fighting against the inevitable destruction of their values and traditions due to money, corruption and power. The closing film Pájaros de Verano will show on Sunday 27 October at 20.00 in Orion.

The new perspectives are reflected in our artistic director Carlos Marroquín words: “It seems like Latin American cinema is taking distance from politicians and governments to manifest the inequality, the injustice and the corruption through the eyes of those who suffer the most because of them.”

Text: Pauliina Alanen

International Year of Indigenous Languages

Languages around the world are disappearing at an alarming rate. That is why the UN has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages. IYIL’s mission is to raise awareness of indigenous languages to benefit the people who speak and keep these languages alive, and also highlight their contribution to our world’s cultural diversity.


Shaping the Future of Anti-Racism

Shaping the Future of Anti-Racism

Monica Gathuo and Leo Custódio are coordinators of ARMA Alliance. Photo: Aleksi Poutanen.

Cinemaissí and Cuarto Cine are proud to co-host a short film screening and discussion event Black Narratives in Brazilian Cinema on 25 October in partnership with the Anti-Racism Media Activist Alliance (ARMA Alliance) and Goethe-Institut Finnland.

The event presents three short films that are followed by a discussion with reseacher Leo Custodio and film director Tai Linhares:

In this interview, Leo Custodio opens up the context of the discussions on blackness in Brazil and in Finland and reflects on the role of new media, including films, that have an important role in shaping these discussions.

In recent years, Black Brazilians have increasingly created new narratives about what it means to be Black in Brazil.
What are the reasons for these discussions to gain a foothold during the past couple of years?

There has always been racial inequality in Brazil. Predominantly between the three main racialized groups: the indigenous, the black, and the white. Of course, it is not as simple as that, there are people with many different shades of skin color, nationalities, regionalities…it can be very confusing. I’ll focus on my own group: people racialized as black.

Historically, black people never really had much of a voice in media.

There have always been black musicians, black sports people and black Brazilians who were famous in the media, but they have not had space to talk about blackness and racism. These issues were not really discussed in the main channels if the discussion suggested structural racial conflict. For instance, if somebody would talk about racism on television, this person was likely to get a lot less space to speak than a person who would speak about the beauty of the black culture or black samba. 

If you think of the Brazilian media, it is mostly controlled by white people. There is a tendency to think that racism is not needed to discuss, that we are all humans, and that we should not enter the polemics about racism. 

With the internet, people are now able to speak more freely and in public. 

They are finally able to talk with an audience. During the past decade, many different types of expressions of blackness have emerged. For example, the conversations about the many political meanings of black people’s hair have become increasingly popular. These discussions have always existed, but it is only very recently that they are really getting heard in public conversations. 

As discussions about blackness and racism have gained substantial foothold and increased awareness, people are raising these issues more often. One of these topics is the discrimination at work places and how black people get less paid than white people. Also, there is increased conversation about black masculinity: how black men could be better partners for black women and parents for their children than black men like myself have historically been. 

It’s important to note that these discussions happening in Brazil are not present in the Brazilian context only. If you think about Finland, it is not just black people, but also other groups that suffer from racism. They have used online media to express themselves. Films are one form of doing this.

When I say new forms of black people’s expression of what means to be black have emerged in Brazil, I refer exactly to what the films we will show at the Black Narratives in Brazilian Cinema session at Cinemaissí. Tai Linhares’ short film Parda (Mixed Race), Cafuné na Laje’s Favela que me viu crescer (Favela that has seen me grow) and Yasmin Thayná’s KBela tell three different, but interconnected stories about what means to be Black in Brazil. 

How does the thematic relate to the Finnish context? Is there any particular theme that can be observed in both contexts?

As a Black Brazilian researcher in Finland, I was able to observe media practices in both countries and wondered: if Brazil and Finland are so different countries, how come the forms of expression of people who suffer from racism, in Brazil and in Finland, are so similar and comparable?

One day, I presented these thoughts in a conference in Tampere. That’s when Monica Gathuo – then a journalist at Ruskeat Tytöt – and I met. From that encounter, we together developed the Anti-Racism Media Activist Alliance (ARMA). Since 2017 we have observed and collaborated with people who suffer from racism and act against it through media in Brazil, Finland and other countries.

For example, take a YouTube channel of a black woman who talks about hair or who talks about her everyday experiences as a black woman, who talks about discovering the beauty in her body and so on. If someone sees the images and not listen to the language, one would not necessarily recognize who is in Finland and who is in Brazil. On YouTube, Gabi Oliveira, of de Pretas, and Jenny Kasongo, of Zenibohoo, have similar online platforms which I often cite as comparable examples. 

Discussions and initiatives around hair can also be observed in both contexts. In Brazil, there are many black women who have built career talking about black hair styles, black hair and its history and heritage. In Finland, the Good Hair Day collective does the same: GHD brings afro-Finnish women and others together through events and public conversations about hair. 

In both contexts there is also a variety websites for and by people who have historically suffered from racism. Blogueiras Negras in Brazil and Ruskeat Tytöt. In my view, Ruskeat Tytöt in Finland is an important platform for multiple discussions about being racialized as something else than white. 

All in all, the stories and dialogues about racism and blackness are very similar in Finland and in Brazil even if the countries are so different in most ways.

How do you see the future?

With ARMA Alliance we are not only showing the relevance and the comparability of these media activities, but we also create encounters for these people to get to know one another, for them to become aware of each other. They feel empowered by the fact that there are other people like them, in other countries, facing similar struggles and doing similar things. Despite the language barriers, the contextual differences and other issues, together they can figure out ways of collaboration to solve local problems and issues – in partnership with people from other countries.

So, when we invite director Tai Linhares, who is Brazilian living in Germany, to speak in Finland with an audience that will certainly be very diverse, we are contributing to this future of global connections, partnerships and joint action against racism by people who suffer from racism in different contexts.

We are doing this to shape the future of anti-racism – it is a form of activism involving people who suffer from racism from different backgrounds in Brazil, in Finland and in other countries. 

Leonardo Custodio

Leonardo “Léo” Custódio is a Brazilian Ph.D. in Social Sciences (University of Tampere, Finland). He is interested in interdisciplinary approaches to social movements, anti-racism activism, media activism and activist research. His book Favela Media Activism: Counterpublics for Human Rights in Brazil was published in 2017. 

ARMA Alliance

The Anti-Racism Media Activist Alliance (ARMA) is a collaborative initiative (2018-2020) coordinated by Black people in Finland to promote dialogue and activities between researchers and racialized activists – specially Black, Sami, Romani and other non-white social groups – about anti-racism media activism in the Finnish society and other countries. ARMA Alliance has three fundamental principles: knowledge exchange, creative publishing and international networking.

Interview and text BY

Elli Keränen


New addition to the program: Family Traces

New addition to the program: Family Traces

Cinemaissí, in collaboration with the Embassy of Uruguay in Finland, presents the Uruguayan documentary “Trazos Familiares – Family Traces” (José Pedro Charlo, 2017) on Thursday, October 24 at 2:00 p.m. at the CAISA cultural center (Kaikukatu 4 B, Helsinki).

Free entrance!

Two names on a banner are the origin of a story that intertwines the lives of three families and their different generations over the past four decades. The social process in Uruguay and the surrounding region is the background to a story built in the present, in places (Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Vienna) to which the protagonists have been led by different stages in the family history.

The Embassy of Uruguay will be joining Cinemaissí, the Latin American Film Festival, which will be organized from October 22 to 27 at the cultural center CAISA (Kaikukatu 4 B, Helsinki) and at Cinema Orion (Eerikinkatu 15, Helsinki). Welcome!

This year, the festival has a large selection of films, which are all sharing the same main theme, diversity.


New addition to the program: The Load


From objects to protagonists

From objects to protagonists

This year, the Latin American Film Festival Cinemaissí casts light on the transgression and the battle of the so-called minorities that raise their voices and demand to be heard. Powerful themes are packaged into a diverse yet compact selection that highlights the big return of the festival.

The diversity can be seen in films directed by female directors and spoken in native languages as well as in themes addressing ethnicity, feminism and LGTBQ+ issues.

Throughout the selection, these topics are treated from a more sensitive point of view instead of simply portraying the phenomenons and the people related to them as objects under the normative patriarchal eye.

Observing identities

The festival opens with a brilliant visual narrative Retablo (Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio), that speaks us in Quechuan language. The film tells about the love that a son professes for his father, despite of the truth and the devastating internal conflict.

Identity, gender and the battles of the LGTBQ+ community are explored for example in Bixa Travesti (Tranny Fag, by Kiko Goifman & Claudia Priscilla), a vibrant documentary on the challenges of living as a poor and black transgender person in São Paulo. Furthermore, the drowned screams shall be surfaced in El Despertar de las Hormigas (The Awekening of the Ants by Antonella Sudasassi Furniss), as a woman fights against the system that wants to dominate her body and the education of her daughters.

Stories of all generations

This year’s selection gives the stage to all generations. On one hand, the documentaries Espero tua (re)volta (Your Turn by Eliza Capai) and Una banda de chicas (A Girls’ Band by Marilina Giménez) as well as the fictitious Esto No es Berlín (This is not Berlin by Hari Zama) tell stories about the struggles of the young generation that is striving to break the status quo of an archaic, homophobic and chauvinistic society. On the other hand, Candelaria (Jhonny Hendrix) and Las Herederas (The Heiresses by Marcelo Martinessi) are hearty stories about the most unexpected forms of survival of two long marriages, one in Paraguay and the other one in Cuba after Fidel Castro.

People behind phenomenons

The films this year indicate that the Latin American cinema is taking a distance from politicians and governors to manifest the inequality, injustice and corruption through the eyes of those who suffer the most because of them.

La Familia (The Family by Gustavo Rondón Córdova) presents a father that is desperate to get his son out the violent favelas. El Ángel (Luis Ortega) is about the irrational and inevitable violence of a young man living in the dictatorship in Argentina, and Arrieros (Marcelo Curia) observes the gradual disappearance of a culture and a form of life due to globalization.

As always, all good things must come to an end. The festival closes with Pájaros de Verano (Birds of Passage by Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra), a story narrated in Wayuu language about the honour of two clans that are fighting against the inevitable destruction of their values and traditions due to money, corruption and power.

Cinemaissí is blossoming, thanks to the hard work of the production team and our faithful audience. It will be amazing to see you all again in Cinemaissí – we have missed you!

Written by

Carlos Marroquín, Artistic Director

Edited by

Saana Ihamäki


Nueva adición al programa: Trazos familiares


Nueva adición al programa: La Carga

Nueva adición al programa: La Carga

Cineimaissí, en colaboración con la Embajada de México en Finlandia, presentará el filme “La Carga”(Dir. Alan Jonsson, 2017) el día sábado 26 de Octubre a las 13:00 horas en la Sala 1 de la Escuela de Teatro TEAK (Haapaniemenkatu 6, Helsinki).

¡Entrada gratuita!

Así mismo, extiende la invitación al Festival de Cine Latinoamericano que se celebrará del martes 22 al Domingo 27 de Octubre en el centro cultural CAISA (Kaikukatu 4 B, Helsinki) y la Sala Orión (Eerikinkatu 15, Helsinki).

Éste año el festival cuenta con una gran selección, teniendo como tema principal la diversidad, cada vez más presente en el continente. Dentro de la selección, también estará la cinta mexicana “Esto no es Berlín” (Dir. Hari Sama, 2019) el día sábado 26 a las 18:00 horas.