STORIES

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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Focus Back To The Basics

Whatever the subject, focus is something I personally need to remind myself often about. I need to focus to focus.

The hardship in focusing has become an increasing issue with overflowing content of social media, and it is not the easiest task to keep focusing unless you shut it all off. Endless messages, event reminders, likes, news… The list goes on.

Similar difficulties I always experience in hectic cities. While being now here in Berlin can be an amazingly enriching and helpful experience towards my future artistic goals, the never-ending possibilities to attend various events can also drive my focus to completely another road.

How to focus then? How to stay on the road you had planned?

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Reflections to reflect // Toledo, Spain

I flew to Spain last weekend, and the trip pushed me back to the basics. Amazing hours in a beautiful town of Toledo gave me the same chills of life than my home country Finland does in endless summer nights. It brought me back to the nature, to the thoughts that are important. It is crucial to find inner peace within you, regardless of what you end up doing. Once you calm down, you see clear – and can focus as well.

Do the exercises that help you to center yourself. Whether it’s meditation or boxing, music or baking, or sitting by a lake, do it. You will find yourself having more time for your own development and the projects you want to pursue, because you will start focusing on focusing.

Keep Your Basics Strong,

Satu

Your Vote And Smile Make The Difference

Finland will have a presidential election next week, but the advance voting around the globe is already on this week. The ride that I took to the Finnish embassy myself here in Berlin, gave me goosebumps. I rode all the way from the heart of eastern Berlin – Friedrichshain, through the city center with a view of The Brandenburg Gate, to the west of Berlin, which only few decades ago, was just a dream to someone.

By experiencing this road to vote to a foreign embassy, I realized that we have come really far from those horrific times. We do live in uncertain times, in a world that doesn’t promise us much and overloads us with negative news from every social channel. But as a response to all that negativity, we have always the chance to make a positive change. Remember what we have been through as a world, and are still going through. You can start with little gestures yourself, and extend it to your family and friends and all the people you meet and can reach.

The important thing as a society of living human beings, is to connect with one another. We are learning foreign languages to break the barriers, and accepting as well as adapting each others ways of living to build a comfortable common place. We are (also literally) breaking the walls and opening our hearts to new people to enter.

Democratic societies with free elections are one way of making the world a little better, through the leaders. I gave my vote to a candidate that represents the better world for us as human beings in this beautiful nature. My fellow Finns around the world, go and give your own vote for the preferred tomorrow.

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The embassy of Finland ready to receive my vote // Berlin, Germany

And my friends in any country in the world, always take every chance you get, to influence your surroundings to become a little more positive. Smile to the child talking in the bus, help a fallen person back up on their feet, vote when you have elections in your country or area, post positive news and remember to keep your comments constructive in real life as well as online.

Which little gestures do you practice every day, to make this world a little better?

Creating New Culture,

Satu

PS. If you missed my first longer trip to Berlin last November, take a look at my short texts: A Brief Point About Berlin’s History and Experimental Berlin.

Where To Look For Inspiration?

This time it took me a while to write my thoughts down. It’s not like there was no inspiration to be found but more of the overwhelming amount of it and the lack of ability to grasp it. I’m new in the city of Berlin and there is so much happening – a great deal of events to attend and interesting conversations to share.

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A house full of information and inspiration when you are in the mode to receive it // Deutsche Kinemathek, Berlin

Inspiration can be found everywhere. In every corner and under every bridge. The stories I keep finding, appear not only from obvious sources like events but also from unimaginable places, such as from my German homework. These first weeks in Berlin I have been overloaded with so many exciting ideas that I have to fight back a little to keep them flowing, give the ideas some space to grow and develop.

So, it is not really about WHERE you are looking for that inspiration, it is all about HOW. Look inside and feel yourself. Look at everything through all those different emotions you have, like happiness and anger, and let it power you onward.

As human beings we cannot always be on our ‘on-mode’, on the open and receiving mode. That’s why we might feel blocked, waiting for a direction to take. It is important to have periods of rest, so that another moment we can be full of energy to get inspired again.

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Any public transport with my favourite music playing – a magical state that gives me rest and inspiration at once // Tram in Berlin, Germany

How do you get inspired?

Creating New Inspiration,

Satu

New Year, New Approach

I always believed that if you have clear ideas and plans in your mind, you will subconsciously do decisions that will bring you towards your wanted success. I was never a fan of writing down every small step, as I personally feel it could restrict the flow of developping your way to success.

As this new year 2018 started, I listed my goals for the year. I can’t recall a last time I actually put words down on paper in a proper order. I had ideas, dreams and somewhat plans in few corners of papers, to remind me where I was going to. But this time, I made that famous list, as well as the ‘how-to-steps’. A new approach for this new year.

Not that I would ditch all my past ideas, I just want to put together all the best ideas that I come across. Even with the written list, I will keep my eyes and ears open, and focus on the opportunities landing on my way. It is only clever to fly when the wind blows.

For an amazing half way focus to succeed in your life plans, my-kind-of-a-way, I found this TED Talk by Reggie Rivers:

Few days into 2018, and the advice Rivers gives in this talk, has kept me in a good way towards a successful year.

Creating New Year,

Satu

PS. If you missed it, here is my last blog post about last year – the ups and downs it offered me and the life lessons I learned. To plan this year even better.

PPS. To reach your goals, which methods work for you?

Countdown For The New Year 2018

Instead of the holiday hassle and the so called ‘holiday stress’, I see more people taking time for themselves and relaxing these days. Our lives are full of chaos as they are, so it is a great idea just to be and let the thoughts fly for a change.

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Holiday feels like a fairy tale with snow ❄

This extra free time also gives a good break to take a look of the year passed. It is important to list the moments you were your happiest, and the moments that didn’t go so well. Remember why you were proud of yourself, and learn from the downfalls.

Personally, I have had an eventful, rough, happy and sad year of changes. I made myself proud by finally obtaining a driver’s license and by being brave enough to change my life completely again. I have learned to know that I am strong because of my travels and adventures since a very young age, and I don’t have to doubt my survival when in pain. I have also realized that deep down inside me, I know what I ultimately want in life and I can make it happen by believing in it myself.

As there have been positive and negative surprises during the year, it has all taught me once again to always stay open to unknown. We never know how the events are going to turn out, so let’s give them the chance to make our lives interesting and worth living.

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Sparkle and stars to your New Year ✨

Have a wonderful and eventful year 2018 to remember everyone!

Creating New Year,

Satu

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

Born With Inner Wings

Some call me a dreamer, some rootless, some insane, some brave.

I guess that it is my kind of a high – to chase the feeling of freedom. To search, how free can one be?

CURIOSITY

It is the curiosity that brought me to foreign lands. When moving, I feel free of movement. The more I break those countries’ border lines, the more I feel I conquer in life.

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Where to next? // Helsinki Airport, Finland

WEIGHTLESS

In a literal meaning I get the freedom of weight when a plane takes off, or I jump from high (which I’m somewhat terrified of actually). In those moments I feel that my human weight is not the limit to fly.

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Light weighted in the air

MENTALLY FREE

Mental weight is what this world tries to press on us so hard. This field is harder to battle at as there are rules in societies. I try my best to do good, be good and give my love. The purity of consciousness keeps the mental weight lighter.

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Sea breeze that lifts the weight from your shoulders // Playa de Las Canteras, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

1 + 1 + 1 and you get an insane rootless dreamer. Which I am happy to be.

Those are my kind of inner wings. How are yours?

3 Dreams On My Map

Oh boy and girl, how many ideas and dreams pop in my mind. All the time. Especially during these quiet times of the winter.

I haven’t put my dreams and thoughts on a map physically in a long time, and they have changed quite drastically since that last time. Either I have made those dreams come true, or then realized they were not something I wanted after all.

Well, as we know, the key to make anything happen, is planning. So finally, this calm moment up in my Nordic home gave me time and space to plan and do my new map. Here ‘the making of’ in few pictures..

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1. Expressing myself with my art and words – from my roots Finland to the world.
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2. Creating my own piece of culture in this world – with a big heart.
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3. Uniting the people and places around me and building it to be my cozy home.

All the points on the map of my dreams have been growing in me past years, and I see myself realizing them step by step. The concrete map will help me to keep my path and give me the needed strength.

As much as you have ideas and dreams in your mind, they will stay only ideas and dreams, unless you put them on paper and make a plan.

DREAM, PLAN, DO!

 

Creating New Dreams,

Satu

PS. Also, saying your dreams out loud helps them become reality.

PPS. Keep your maps away from those legendary cats and dogs..

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Birthday Of Finland – 100 Years

This time of the year is always very eventful in my life. Last day of November, aka yesterday, was my birthday. Today we are on December’s side waiting for holiday celebrations in the end of the year. Also, Finland prepares itself for the independence day coming on the 6th, which always comes with its’ own events. This year, it is time to celebrate 100-year-old Finland.

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Independence day is the birthday of a country, the birth of the state that it is in today. On the day of that birth, all qualities and values were put in place as how to build the country forward. Finland has been through a long path these past 100 years, from poverty to success. I and the generations before me have seen good times as well as challenging times, but as we are about to celebrate the independence the 100th time, we can agree on the success the country has made.

In a similar way, our personal birthdays should be celebrated for our own path. We were born to certain conditions, and the way we build our way and success from there, is the real subject we should look at and celebrate. A birthday is always a beautiful reminder that you are a fighter, you have made it to the point you are today.

We can expand the same thinking to relationships, teams and companies. An anniversary is always the appreciation of the life lived, the challenges won and the successes gained. Ultimately, we are celebrating life!

As it is the darkest time of the year here up north, I collected some of my sunniest shots from our lovely four seasons in Finland to light up this December:

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Autumn // Celebrate all the colours, the life lived!
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Winter // Find your sunshine, even in the coldest of times!
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Spring // Remember that a birthday is the start of the next chapter.
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Summer // Home is where your heart is!

Have a lovely December everyone, and Happy 100th Independence Day my fellow Finns!

Satu