MURMANSK — Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest (Kuun metsän Kaisa, 2016) by Finnish director Katja Gauriloff has won the Grand Prix of the Northern Character International Film and TV Festival in Murmansk.
This Finnish film tells a magical story about a lifelong friendship, the age-old legend of the Aurora Borealis and a culture of Skolt Saami people that was almost destroyed by the Second World War.
Some 100 film directors, producers and journalists from Russia, Norway, Sweden and Finland attended the largest film event in the Barents region. In total, 118 films and television shows were submitted to the festival, but only 53 were selected for the competition. For the first time ever, the festival’s jury was composed exclusively of female film directors from Russia, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
The Northern Character International Film and TV Festival was first held in the Murmansk Region in 2008 with support from the regional government.
“The film and TV shows submitted to the festival have shown that the Global North is largely an integrated region. The people who live in northern regions in many countries have concerns in common and share the same view of the world and of what’s right and beautiful,” Murmansk Region Governor Marina Kovtun said at the festival’s opening ceremony.
A total of 118 works were submitted to the festival, with 53 of them entering the contest program. Not only were northern countries’ journalists and film directors willing to take part in the festival: this year the list of countries that applied to participate included Iraq, Iran, Uzbekistan, India, Italy, the UK, Germany, Nigeria and Georgia.