European Installation Temp° Sauna To Be Constructed Harbourside For The Inaugural Nordic Film Festival
Not limited to the sights and sounds of acclaimed Nordic Cinema, the Inaugural Nordic Film Festival has confirmed the installation of Temp° Sauna at the Sydney event on Friday 16 October to further the Nordic cultural experience! Temp° Sauna creator Mika Meskanen will attend the festival and construct his mobile wood-fired Sauna installation outside the Dendy Opera Quays cinema at Circular Quay for the evening, to coincide with the screening and Q&A of Finnish Horror film SAUNA and its visiting director AJ Annila. Photo opportunities with the Sauna will also be available on Thursday 15 October.
Temp° Sauna is a nomadic project on revitalising the millennia old Finnish tradition and survival technique. An intrinsic feature of Finnish (as well as Baltic and Russian) culture and living practice, Saunas are a place to quiet one’s mind and purify the body. The Temp° Sauna project aims to translate tradition into new living sauna culture and to bring sauna to unexpected places and contexts and thus facilitate creative exchange between people and cultures. Like the ancient inventors of sauna who lived off the land, the project strives to respect environment and find new avenues of sustainability. Developed in the obscured backyards of old Berlin, the Temporary Sauna has so far visited Helsinki, the Basque Country in Spain and arrives in Sydney fresh from Newcastle’s Electrofringe / This Is Not Art festival.
Finnish Director AJ Annila will present a special screening of his acclaimed steaming horror film SAUNA on Friday 16th October which will be followed by a Q&A after the screening. A hit of the Toronto Film Festival in 08 and a further 30 festivals since, Sauna approaches themes such as sin, repentance and atonement – themes deeply rooted in the mythical Finnish gloominess – via a genre that has until now been almost non-existent in Finnish cinema.
A cruel horror film bathing in the Finnish sauna culture, in the no-zone between Christianity and paganism. In 1595 the long war is finally over. Brothers Knut and Erik, members of a commission marking the border between Finland and Russia, commit a terrible sin when they leave a young girl to die a horrible death. As the commission crosses an uncharted swamp, the girl returns to haunt them, her face pouring endless filth. The weary men find solace in a nameless village and find a sauna—a sauna where all sins are washed away. Seeking forgiveness, the brothers step in… Sauna is a horror film about sins and repentance. The story leads us into the core of darkness where there is no hope, no salvation.
Director AJ Annila was born in 1977 in Helsinki, Finland, and studied at the Tampere Polytechnic School of Art and Media in Finland. He earned international acclaim with his debut feature, Kung fu fantasy film Jade Warrior (2006), the first-ever co-production between Finland and China. Sauna (2008) is his second film.
The Inaugural Nordic Film Festival, brings to Australia a fresh blast of acclaimed Nordic cinema showcasing films from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne through October and November 2009. Working in cooperation to present the festival, The Royal Danish Embassy, the Finnish Embassy, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Swedish Embassy aim to give an introduction to Nordic Culture and lifestyle, and expand the cultural exchange between Australia and the Nordic countries by bringing award winning Nordic cinema to Australian audiences. The Nordic Embassies have worked with their respective film institutes to secure award winning films, the festival team says “We believe that the insight into Nordic cultural and lifestyle will give a better understanding of the shared Nordic values such as human rights, equality, social inclusion and respect for nature”.
The 2009 Nordic Film Festival is proudly supported by the Danish, Finnish and Norwegian Film Institutes, the Swedish Institute, the EU Commission and AFTRS. The festival is sponsored by Scandinavian Airlines, Pandora Jewellery, Finlandia Vodka, Design Mode International, Lundbeck SAAB Technologies Australia, and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics.
The Inaugural Nordic Film Festival screens in Sydney 16 – 20 October at Dendy Opera Quays
Sauna screenings in Sydney:
8.30pm Friday 16th October – intro by AJ Annila + Q&A after film
1.45pm Saturday 17 October