Celebrating its 20th anniversary between 29 January and 7 February 2021, DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival will showcase over 70 films representing 38 different countries.
This year, the formerly non-competitive festival launches two new competition series: national (DocPoint-Yle Award for Best Finnish Documentary Film) and international (The DocPoint-Yle Award for Best International Documentary Film), which will be announced on 6 February.
Nationally, Docpoint will feature 20 of the most recent and intriguing documentaries from Finland, 7 of which are in competition. Amongst these films are the festival’s opening, Walk the Tideline (dir. Anna Antsalo), which spotlights treasure hunters on faraway shores and the trash they scour through, abandoned and thrown out by people, yet inevitably always returned by the sea. Other highlights include Donner – Privat (dir. John Webster) offers new perspectives into the life and thoughts of the controversial cultural icon and Finland’s only Oscar-winner Jörn Donner. Eatnameamet – Our Silent Struggle (dir. Suvi West) which depicts Sámi experiences by a Sámi director. The intimate and intense Solitaire Dance (dir. Antti Lempiäinen) offers three different perspectives on how loneliness feels, and how it can be survived. School of Hope (dir. Mohamed Al Aboud) spotlights the creation of a school in the Moroccan desert, and People We Come Across (dir. Mia Halme) follows a vaccine study in Benin where a group of Finnish tourists volunteer as guinea-pigs for a new shot being developed against diarrhea.
Internationally, Docpoint takes a look at African docs, BLM, and the experience of indigenous peoples, among other themes across 39 films. Amongst them are Notturno (dir. Gianfranco Rosi), Gunda (dir. Viktor Kossakovsky), MLK/FBI (dir. Sam Pollard), Softie (dir. Sam Soko), Nothing but the Sun (dir. Arami Ullón) and Once upon a Time in Venezuela (dir. Anabel Rodríguez Ríos).
Other films of note featured at DocPoint 2021 are A Song Called Hate (dir. Anna Hildur), Acasa, My Home (dir. Radu Ciorniciuc), Children (dir. Ada Ushpiz), Her Mothers (dir. Asia Dér, Sári Haragonics), Il Mio Corpo (dir. Michele Pennetta), Newtopia (dir. Audun Amundsen), Radiograph of a Family (dir. Firouzeh Khosrovani), Stop Filming Us! (dir. Joris Postema), The Earth is as Blue as an Orange (dir. Iryna Tsilyk), and There Will Be No More Night (dir. Eléonore Weber)
The entire DocPoint 2021 programme and more information can be found online, as will the entire festival. Films are geo-blocked for Finland but Q&A’s and panel discussions will be accessible from everywhere.