THE TRAVELLING PREACHER'S RETURN TO TURKU
To Turku, again. It's becoming a scary habit.
Etnia-festival focuses on screening films on so-called native cultures, and nowadays markets itself as "the festival of three continents". The festival has been held since 2000, and the Etnia organisation responsible for it also publishes a magazine called Ensimmäiset kansat. The festival is small, but activates people nicely and brings forth important themes. I am a guest here for the third time. My previous visits were associated with my films A Dreamer and the Dreamtribe and Conquistadors of Cuba.
Etnia-festival's poster wall
The screenings take place in a legendary, old cinema called Domino, which has since been named ML Media Liv Ltd auditorium. The cinema is used only seldom these days, and the equipment is already dated. Therefore a Dolby Digital sound system is lacking. The film's sound crackles and pops, and the volume is of course too low. I have struggled with the same problems at other festivals, and from at least ten screenings of Shadow of the Holy Book I've had to run to the projection room to stop the screening, or at least to give instructions on the sound level or the focusing of the image.
Projectionist Reino Vahteri
The crowd-puller at the Etnia-festival is the Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi and his films Turtles can fly and Half Moon. It's a good move from the organisers, as his films always fill the room and even activate the immigrant population. I manage to exchange a few words with Ghobadi, and we arrange to meet up in Iran. Tehran's new documentary film festival Cinema Verite is approaching and I'm leaving for it next Tuesday. But now I hop on a train and arrive safely back in Helsinki. Tomorrow to Tampere, but this time to talk about a different film altogether.