Realize The Moment You Are In

Moments of self doubt and periods of feeling unsure of your decisions. Life is full of ups and downs, also those days when you feel lost one way or another.

It has been such an adventure to live in Berlin so far, to attend incredibly exciting events and meet all the lovely new friends, but the city gives also a great deal of anxiety of various things, such as finding a permanent place to live and the hecticness of life.

The overwhelming amount of possibilities throw you easily off track. I have come now to the same realization that many warned me when I moved here. It is really hard to focus and be strong enough to remind yourself constantly of the reasons why you made the move in the first place.

THIS POST by Lindsay Lohan that I saw the other day gave me goosebumps for my current moment, mainly because as a young girl, I used to love her presence on screen. It stated:

“When life stops you from going ahead,
Only in the eyes of the little girl you once were
Will you find the strength to start over.”

This sums up my thoughts in the past few weeks. I visited my home Finland over the midsummer, and got a good reminder of my roots again, the roots of that young little girl that once dreamed to be where I am heading at the moment in Berlin and elsewhere. This gave me the needed little push to keep on working towards my dreams and feeling good about the present moment. The way to the destination IS the life.

I am working on few of my own projects at the moment, which I will tell you more about in a later stage, but to start with, let me introduce POLYMER MOVIE – an interesting short film I’m privileged to be involved as a producer. Please click THIS LINK to start following our making-of and behind the scenes on Instagram as we work towards the final product.

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Berlin’s vibrant film network, especially the one of women, has really helped me to get into making, also into this previously mentioned project. The biggest shout-out goes to Women’s Film Network Berlin, which I’m proud to be part of. If you are interested to join and in the city later this month, please come and share the vibe in Volksbar the 25th of July! To check the event on Facebook, CLICK HERE!

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REALIZE THE MOMENT YOU ARE IN.

Remember where you started at and came from. Appreciate all your hard work along the pathway that made it possible for you to be here. Here is now. And your strength of knowing it all will bring you to where you want to go next!

Creating the New Next,

Satu

Planning To Visit A Film Festival? – Berlinale Edition 2018

The award season has been flourishing these past few weeks around the world. In Berlin, for almost two weeks, it was all about Berlinale. As I am new to the film industry, it was quite overwhelming, but wow so enriching. I never knew how much was going on, until I experienced it myself. Here are some of the main moments of my festival time and few TIPS what to consider when taking part in one. PS. I apologize already beforehand the quality of some photos as they were taken quite on the run.

I started the festival experience with strolling around the locations with unexpected sunshine after months of rain. Lucky enough, I got to have few words with the festival director Dieter Kosslick himself, as he was on his way to one the first premieres.

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The biggest part of film festivals is of course the screenings. I targeted mainly the premieres, as it is interesting to see and possibly meet the crew and cast and take part in the open Q&As if organized.

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The cast and crew of 7 Days In Entebbe after the premiere // Including the director José Padilha and leading actors Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl

Many panel discussions, workshops and events are organized throughout the city during the festival, and I took part as many as I could and reasonably fit my calendar. The most eye opening event was ‘Closing The Gap – Creatives and Financiers on how to take action towards 50/50 by 2020’ -event organized by WIFT Germany, WIFT Nordic and Swedish Film Institute about the gender gap within the film industry. The conversation has been tough around the world thanks to the movements such as #metoo and #timesup, and it got heated here as well – in a good way to push us to work on towards the new goals.

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Nothing will stop these power ladies!

Not to forget the fun and craziness of Berlin, I attended few nights out as well. Mainly they came out of the blue without organizing, so this is good to keep in mind when planning on morning events… When you meet interesting new people during the day, it is not a bad idea to ask where they are heading in the evening.

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Give a damn about ‘rules’ at times – jump with your whole heart instead!

So planning to visit a film festival?

If anyone out there is planning to visit a film festival, one big thing I can say – the planning is the key! Obviously, different festivals work in different ways, but to plan the screenings and possible workshops, talks and parties is still important, so you don’t miss something that you are interested in.

In Berlinale, it is crucial to know when the tickets go on sale – some screenings sell out within seconds (online). For me, one film screening per day worked really well, on top of workshops, talks and parties – more would have probably been too much to focus.

In Berlinale’s case, a very warm winter wear is important as it can be freezing in February. Some true fans stay outside all night to wait the tickets to go on sale, but even though I am from Finland, I am not much of a winter person, so I preferred to refresh the event page in the coziness of my home every morning just before 10am.

Remember to get a good night sleep to have the energy also daytime, even though the parties can be tempting to stay til the next day. Good amount of parties can be amazing though, especially if you are looking for getting new contacts.

Which brings me to this: Be open to new contacts and surprising moments and occasions. You never know who you could meet and where. I met some key persons to my fun times at the festival in a metro – call it a luck or destiny.

Well lucky enough, I get to focus on my own film making now.

The world is full of stories – find your way to tell yours!

Creating New Culture,

Satu

 

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Escape To The Sun – Gran Canaria In December

Beach holiday in the south, culture in the north. This is a rough generalization that I made during my visit to Gran Canaria on the Canary Islands this week. It it now the darkest week of the year up north in Finland, so I decided it is my turn to check what the Canary Islands have to offer.

To be honest, I didn’t expect much other than touristic beach holiday but I was pleasantly surprised by the life on the island. Part of it was staying in an apartment of local Canarians and getting to know them, partly I discovered new favourites on my own.

PUERTO DE MOGÁN

In the south side of Gran Canaria, you can find long beaches such as Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas, which are always sunny though windy this time of the year. Warmer options in December and winter times are definitely Puerto Rico and few beaches around, such as Playa de Amadores and Anfi del Mar.

I passed by all these packed beaches but my own cute finding this side of the island was Puerto de Mogán. Also there, the international tourists are inevitable, but the small size and the remote location give a little more peace in the paradise.

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Flower Power // Puerto de Mogán, Gran Canaria
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Remote paradise // Puerto de Mogán, Gran Canaria

DUNES OF MASPALOMAS

As I mentioned before, the area of Maspalomas is quite windy in the winter. The dunes are still an experience you shouldn’t miss. As it is a small area, you can make a little hike barefoot and enjoy the calmness of the raw nature. Definitely a must for sunset. PS. A pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from the flying sand.

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Maspalomas Dunes, Gran Canaria

VEGUETA AND LAS PALMAS

The Spanish culture and the history of the island live strong in the north side of the island. While the weather is not the best during the winter, there is plenty to do inside as well. Gran Canaria was a home for Spanish realist novelist Benito Pérez Galdós and a temporary home to the explorer Christopher Columbus on his travels. These homes offer a good option for a cloudy day in the old town of Vegueta.

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Casa Pérez Galdós // Vegueta, Las Palmas
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Notes of Christopher Columbus in Casa de Colón // Vegueta, Las Palmas

What comes to the traditional Canarian and Spanish restaurants, it is good to follow the local’s updated suggestions. Few words of Spanish can also help you that extra notch in Las Palmas in the north.

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Paella, por favor // El Tipico Español, Las Palmas

This trip taught me that in every place, you can find the world you personally love and enjoy. I found an authentic and cultural experience on a promised island of touristic beach life.

Creating New Mindset,

Satu

A Brief Point About Berlin’s History

The first time I visited Germany was in 2010. If I was asked before that what I thought of Berlin, my opinion would have differed a lot from today’s answer. Of course, Berlin has changed, but what has changed the most, is my knowledge and experience.

My brief point that I discovered now during my second week in Berlin, is about the historic part of this city that I didn’t know much about.

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The Berlin wall – one part of the history that tried to divide us

Berlin, as well as Germany, is presented in such a monotonic way what comes to history and cultural knowledge in schools and media. We all have learned about the horrors that wiped Europe past century.

But before the world wars, and even between them, Berlin was one of the most avant-garde and open-minded cities in the world. As an example, it gave the wings for the world famous star Marlene Dietrich that was famous for her openness of viewing life. Art and different ways of life were flourishing in that Berlin.

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Marlene Dietrich

As much as certain movements have tried to destroy all this beauty of life, it has all grown back and strong. Berlin is once again one of the most liberal and free cities in the world. Cabarets have changed to techno clubs and the classical style to more urban looks, but the famous Berlin air is back in the air.

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The Brandenburg Gate – to remind us to unite

The power of love is the strongest of all. And Berlin proofs that big time.

From Berlin with love,

Satu

PS. My FIRST WEEK IN BERLIN, if you missed it.

Experimental Berlin

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The promised network of streets that bring everything experimental together

I have been in Berlin almost a week now, and I see that the amount of things you can experience will probably never end. The city is pumping its’ own artistic air, which I’m sure has drawn all these souls to it.

BERLIN WALL / EAST SIDE GALLERY

One of the most iconic places in Berlin is definitely the Berlin Wall and specifically the East Side Gallery, though surprisingly only one picture seemed to be packed with tourists – the famous kiss. But it is not the only art on those walls, and there are so many ways you can experience the wall. Again mirroring the city itself. Here are few shots around the wall, not including that kiss.

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The Berlin Wall
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Love between the walls
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Contrast of two worlds
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Always, choose the light!

CHANGING MEETING TIMES AND CANCELLING

This seems to be a growing trend all over the world, perhaps thanks to the smartphones that able us to cancel last minute and keep situations open.

Here in Berlin especially, I can see that people make vague plans and promises which they don’t even have an intention to keep. Maybe it is part of the culture of this city, and whoever lives in it, starts behaving this way. Maybe it is the hectic and interesting lifestyle itself that makes people do those changes or maybe, as mentioned earlier, the human beings with the technical media around have changed. Or maybe it is occasional, just today I confused the dates with a friend of mine.

Either way, lesson learned – keep your mind open for changes!

GALLERY OPENINGS

I came up with a thought, that as amazing as art in different forms is, the real art is always the reaction to it. I often see myself watching more the people in the museums or galleries, rather than the actual art. In the gallery openings in Berlin, my interest towards those art viewers have at least doubled. It is interesting to see which kind of a crowd is gathered to see that specific opening. It tells a lot about the exhibition as well. The interaction is always the key.

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Women of the world – The Atlas of Beauty -exhibition opening

ONE STREET TO ANOTHER WORLD

This is something typical of any big city, the sub worlds and areas that host various types of neighbourhoods change even from one street to another. As Berlin is such a mix of cultures, it has been mind-opening to walk around, meet new people and experience that famous Berlin air. Street after street.

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Between the streets

Second week to go with whole new experiences..

Creating my own Berlin,

Satu

Few words of thoughts. Coincidences and enlightenment

At times in life, there are moments that feel completely magical. Coincidences that we could have never imagined to find on our way. On our way to the next chapter of our lives that one way or another have been preparing itself in our minds and hearts.

One big loop comes to full, all the experiences and choices of paths make finally sense.

After many cancellations of plans for days off from work, I booked flights to Jaipur, chosen as a base by recommendations about the beauty of the city. The plan was to visit Taj Mahal near by. Funnily, Taj Mahal ended up to be the least wowing moment of the whole trip.

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One unexpected wow moment instead, in Amber Fort, India.

I found a real treasure of a place to stay, All Seasons Homestay (which I can recommend if your plans or coincidences ever bring you around the area). I met such warm persons that helped and inspired me during my stay, such as the owners of this very same homestay, the gentlemen of Rajasthan Incredible Tours Jaipur and a couple from Mumbai that I travelled with.

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All those smiley faces, Red Fort, India.

Where the real coincidence lays, is the fact that I found out the first evening of my stay that the city of Jaipur was organizing a film festival those days.

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JIFF 2017, Jaipur, India.

I have had interest for film industry for years already, and in this event as much as the days I spent in India with all the wonderful people, I understood my-very-self that all the steps and experiences have been preparing me for this grand step and hopefully a chance that awaits me in the film world.

Sometimes it takes a coincidence, sometimes your work or the lack of it, to find your way and your enlightenment. We all have our ways but yours is only yours. You must just recognize it when it hits, and act on it.

*More pictures of my stay in India and other places in Instagram.

Creating Our Earth – From sadness to respectful world of tomorrow

The past week has been very tough mentally for me, as it’s been for the most of the world. Beirut, Paris, Bamako, Syria, Iraq… The list continues. ‘Why’ and ‘what next’ seem to be the questions in the air.

In the western media, Paris was shown largely and Beirut seemed to be forgotten at the same time. But so were and are forgotten countless of tragedies all over the planet every day.

The lives of Lebanese lost were not any less important than all different nationalities that were lost in Paris. The reason why Paris incident has touched me personally the most and also some others, is because I lived in the city before. Those exact streets were my home. Every time I visit Paris, I go out around the same areas, I was there two weeks before the attacks, and I was there again now one week after. My friends live there. It could have been them. It could have been me. This closeness of events makes us react stronger to some events than others, even they are all as horrifying.

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A view of Paris from Trocadéro, now one week after a tragedy that I will never forget. To me it represents our humanity, the happiness we can have when we learn to respect and love.

Personally, my mind has been full of plain sadness. I have needed my time to mourn, to leave my condolences to those who lost their families/friends in these inhuman attacks around the world. And sadly, they still continue.

There comes always a turning point then, we lift our faces up again to see forward. What shall we do, how can we help, what do we need to improve, where can we start? Most of all, how can we make the new world of tomorrow better?

We need to be kind to one another. We need to learn to tolerate and understand different points of view in life, we need to stop bullying and start building friendships, we must stop bombing and start sending flowers. In every city and country.

Most of all, instead of all the mess of today, we need to focus on the future, to build it better and always more peaceful than the world today. It all starts from children. What we learn at young age, we bring to the world later on. If we learn hatred, how can anything beautiful come out of it later on?

Our Earth is full of countless different cultures, religions, and habits. We need to learn from each other, let our children learn, let the next generations build without all the limits we might have in the world today. We need to concentrate on building respect and friendships, in daycare, in preschools, in schools, and continuously in universities, work places and different communities. This needs to be part of everyday experience. Let respect live in us.

Who will start to do all this? We all will.

How shall we? Be kind. Respect. Communicate. Learn. Innovate. Create. And most of all, smile.

Creating New Culture for tomorrow’s world,

Satu

The Power Of Nature

Today, I locked myself inside the house for a while, because a storm with amazingly strong winds took over the city.

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A storm arriving – better get inside!
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Even this was a mild storm compared to real destroying ones happening all over the world, I couldn’t stop thinking, how small we humans are. One cannot do anything when the nature shows its powers by wind, rain and lightnings.

When we get reminded of our tininess, it makes us wonder our values and choices. The nature puts us back to the basics, and so many superficial thoughts slide back to where they came from.

Danger pulls the love to the surface. After the storm, we remember all the important again. Everything seems clear, likewise the nature. A storm every once in a while is good for us; it feeds the nature, and clears the air and our heads.

Sometimes we need an inner storm as well, to change the things in our lives that we want to. We might get hit hard, but when the sun comes up again, we enjoy it even more.

Have some great storms and fresh air!

The passion of Napoli

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Last weekend I visited the wild south of Italy, Naples (Napoli). I have enjoyed this beautiful country all the way from the southern island Sicily to the northern cities, such as Milan and Venice. But I haven’t found such a special taste of life anywhere else than in Napoli.

In the city, you can feel the very special energy that all the danger around creates. An active volcano Vesuvius as a landmark of the city makes you live in a moment in these old streets and appreciate the beauty of life in its vulnerability.

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The first feelings of danger I got on the streets, as the traffic made my heart pump a bit faster. Everyone drives where they find a way to go, the Vespas pass by with some extra speed, at times even in impossible places.

About another dangerous matter, the mafia, known by the name Camorra in Naples, is these days more underground and a normal tourist rarely witnesses any events of it, but it’s still living. Already once before I posted about Gomorra, a true story of Camorra written by Roberto Saviano. It explains the system very well and shows that mafia is definitely not a joke as few people seem to think, it is everyday life for many locals.

In the middle of all this, I really started feeling to live in that exact moment. And when talking about this, we cannot skip food. Napoli is most known for its pizza and pasta but there are so many other local specialties. Such as fresh mozzarella.

Seafood is a must to try since by the Mediterranean you experience it with your every sense. You smell and see the waves, and you feel the warm Mediterranean breeze on your skin while the salty deliciousness takes over. As this octopus in the picture.

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As in any at least a bit touristic place, also in the Naples area, you should follow the locals to find the best and most original food, such as this restaurant ‘Zona A’ in Pozzuoli.

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As another book to recommend, The Officer by Anthony Capella gives the tastes of the Campania area by its delicious words. It is a novel but written in real frames of history, in the times of the second world war. Though, just a little warning, after this you cannot resist booking the flights to try all those recipes described in the story.

Only in a weekend, Naples took its own place in my heart. I miss those amazing landscapes, juicy pieces of mozzarella, and the passion that the city and its inhabitants deliver. I will really try to adapt the Neapolitan ability to enjoy life to my everyday experiences.

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Enjoying a chilly moment on a beach close to Naples
Lido Vittoria, Italy

As we say, there are two sides to the coin. In every place, time and culture there are always positive and negative aspects. How we find something is mainly about our attitude and our own behaviour. When we respect, try fearlessly another lifestyle, and let the people come to our hearts in their own way, we gain the most – openness and love.

My home Finland

Last week, I flew back to my home country Finland. Since I have been staying abroad a long time already, during the trip to my home town Jyväskylä, I realized and understood many things of Finland that foreigners have told me that surprised them.

The surroundings, habits, and lots of other invisible things of a culture make a place or life feel home. For a visitor it is all different. Sometimes a shock.

This time I took a place of a foreigner and tried to see Finland with their eyes. How do they see Finland? What will surprise them?

Since I have been dealing a lot with people from south of Europe, let’s take one pair of those eyes. Here are some thoughts, I have heard that have amazed or surprised those foreigners, and that I confirmed during my visit.

Wow, it is actually warm here!
Yes, the summer exists in Nordic countries as well. It might be different but it is summer. Temperature was +24 and the sun was shining when I stepped out of the plane.

The trees are so small.
In southern Europe as well as central Europe the trees seem mammoth size next to these little ones.. Road trip view.

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What did the bus driver say??!
The Finnish language belongs to Uralic languages (sometimes heard Finno-Ugric languages). It is completely different from bigger groups for example in Europe and Americas, that also have influenced each other. An example, an English word ‘centrum’:
Centro = Spanish
Centro = Italian
центр (Tsentr) = Russian
Centre = French
Zentrum = German
Centrum = Swedish
Keskusta = Finnish

Nokia 9km
A little village Nokia close to Tampere (the 3rd biggest city in Finland) is much more known in the world probably than Finland itself. Even a road sign ‘Nokia 9km’ could be a funny touristic sight for a foreigner.

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Does anyone live in this country?
During the bus trip, the view was much just nature, nature and nature. Forest, thousands of lakes and some forest again. A house or two every once in a while. There are only about 5,2 million inhabitants in the whole country, so there is some space for the nature as well.

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22.00 and the sun is still up?
Up north (as well as down in the very south) for half a year, there’s light. North of Finland enjoys the nightless night in the end of June, also a little bit more southern the sun stays up almost all night.

Because Finland is my home, I am used to certain things. When you go far, you see close. I’ve been around and now I see so many beautiful and special things of my original home, and I appreciate them a lot more. Go far and learn to respect your roots!