Cinemaissí goes Skábmagovat

As part of a collaboration supported by the Centro Cultural Brasil-Finlândia, Cinemaissí were delighted to attend Skábmagovat Indigenous People’s Film Festival 2020 in Inari.

Cinemaissí President Aime Accorsi and Events Coordinator Katie Bell were joined by Bianca Benini of the Centro Cultural Brasil-Finlândia as guests to the festival. After the film screening of “Guardiões da Memória/Memory Keepers” by Alberto Alvares, in front of a full theatre, we had the opportunity to present the collaboration and the evolution of the Cinemaissí festival.

Presenting the collaboration

Honoured to be a part of Skábmagovat, with a strong energy that charmed and impressed us, we had the opportunity to see incredibly beautiful films and meet extraordinary people.

The ‘South American Spotlight’ of the festival provided us with considerations for future selections as well as a reminder of the disastrous effects of climate change. This included ’Sembradoras de vida’ (2019) by the Sarmiento brothers: a beautiful and didactic documentary about the effect of climate change on indigenous agriculteurs, told by women, in Spanish and Quechua. Another documentary ‘Ushui, la luna y el trueno’ (2019) depicts the effects of a tragedy on an indigenous community in Colombia, and emphasised the knowledge and connection of indigenous people to Earth. Other films like ‘Wiñaypacha’ (2017), a favourite of the festival, and ‘Tiempo de Lluvia’ (2018), showed that the identity struggles and the issues of younger generations fleeing from their indigenous origins spans from Peru to Mexico.

The festival curated by Artistic Director Jorma Lehtola was full of lessons in the struggles of indigenous people all over the world. As well as films from South America, our eyes were opened to the similar cultures and issues of indigenous people in New Zealand, Canada and of course Finland. A highlight of the whole festival was seeing new Sami short films under snowfall at the outdoor Revontuli theatre.

Jorma Lehtola speaking at the Revontuli theatre

Alongside the films, was an impressive schedule of side events. We were inspired to hear from indigenous directors in discussions and honoured to make important connections at the official parties. As well as meeting with Cinemaissí friends like Suvi West and Marja Helander, new relationships were built, like with Liisa Holmberg of Sámi International Film Institute.

Suvi West, Liisa Holmberg and Aime Accorsí (Cinemaissí President)

Thanks go to Producer Taru Arrela, Associate Producer Anni Koivisto and all the Skábmagovat team and volunteers for your warm welcome to the brilliant festival.

We look forward to further collaborations and welcoming the Skábmagovat family to Cinemaissí in the future!

P.S. We can highly recommend seeing a selection of the films shown at Skábmagovat, during ‘Alkuperäiskansojen elokuvaviikko’ (Indigenous Film Week) at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, between 3rd and 8th February.

Katie Bell (Cinemaissí Events Coordinator) , Bianca Benini (Centro Cultural Brasil-Finlândia) and Aime Accorsi (Cinemaissí President)

Text: Katie Bell