Introducing Sunna

In 2014, Māoriland Film Festival established an international festival to festival exchange program, sending Madeleine de Young on a 21 hour plane journey to imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival in Toronto Canada. In 2015 this relationship was reciprocated as imagineNATIVE sent Lindsay Monture to Aotearoa for Māoriland’s 2015 festival. Now in 2016  we introduce Sunna Nousuniemi from Skábmagova — Indigenous Peoples’ Film Festival.

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My name is Sunna Nousuniemi and I’m a 22-years-old. I come from a small village called Inari, which is located in the Finnish part of Sámiland 330 kilometres above the Arctic circle. I study Sámi language at university of Oulu and I’m currently working as the Festival Producer of Skábmagova — Indigenous Peoples’ Film Festival.

Skábmagova — Reflections of the Endless Night is an Indigenous film festival that has been running for 18 years in my home town Inari. At the festival we screen Sámi films and we also have international spotlights on other indigenous cultures. This year the festival spotlight is on Navajo people and our main guest will be Blackhorse Lowe who attended Māoriland Film Festival in 2014. The focus of Skábmagovat is on only indigenous films and the films are shown in their original language, mainly with English subtitles.

Skábmagovat is held in January during one of the coldest and darkest periods of the year when the sun doesn’t go above the horizon. Our festival screens films at three different venues and one of them is our trademark of the festival: Northern Lights Theatre. The whole theatre, seats and silverscreen, is made of snow. It is quite an extraordinary atmosphere when you watch the films outdoors underneath the moon, stars and sometimes even aurora borealis.

It can be an incredibly surrealistic experience to watch a film like Ngurra Wanggagu which is shot in Australia’s summer landscape when you are experiencing a temperature of -30 degrees celsius!

I spent a year in Aotearoa in 2013/14 and am so pleased to have the opportunity to return. I look forward to collaborating with Māoriland, sharing my experiences and meeting you all in Ōtaki.