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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Finland Series at FinnishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Finnish holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 21. Midnight Sun Film Festival. In Finnish, it’s called Sodankylän elokuvajuhlat.
The Midnight Sun Film Festival is a unique film festival which takes place in Sodankylä village, in Finnish Lapland. The Finnish name of the festival is actually literally Sodankylä Film Festival. The festival is usually held in early June. In this lesson, you'll get to know all about the Midnight Sun Film Festival.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know which film director, in Finnish elokuvaohjaaja, has a street named after him in Sodankylä?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The Midnight Sun Film Festival was founded in 1986, through the cooperation of the municipality of Sodankylä and three Finnish filmmakers—Anssi Mänttäri, and brothers Aki and Mika Kaurismäki. The well-known film expert Peter von Bagh worked as the festival's director until his death in 2014.
Its atmosphere and setting make the Midnight Sun Film Festival one of the most unique festivals in the world, as nightless nights, during which the sun never truly sets, occur in Finnish Lapland during summertime. The world's most famous film directors, upcoming talents, and the international audience come together under the midnight sun, known in Finnish as keskiyön aurinko, to enjoy cinema. The festival is known for its warm atmosphere, where all formalities, or muodollisuudet, have been weeded out.
Films are shown around the clock, or kellon ympäri in Finnish, during the festival in four different locations. The time of day has no significance due to the nightless night. Some of the most popular events at the festival are silent film, or mykkäelokuva, screenings accompanied by live music. A number of internationally significant and interesting filmmakers have visited the festival, and in recent years the international media has even come to cover it.
Since the municipality of Sodankylä is relatively small, it has to set restrictions on the accommodation capacity. Thus, the number of festival visitors has been capped at approximately 20,000 people every year.
There are no competitions during the Midnight Sun Film Festival, and no awards are distributed. This is because, according to the theme of the festival, the focus is the films themselves, not cocktail parties or concern over formalities.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know which film director has a street named after him in Sodankylä?
As inspired by the film festival, one of the streets in the center of Sodankylä is named Samuel Fuller street. Film director Samuel Fuller visited the festival in 1986. Peter von Bagh Street is also located in Sodankylä.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Have you ever been to any film festivals?
Leave us a comment at FinnishPod101.com, and see you again in the next class!