Sámi shorts

Sámi shorts

During the first 80 years of Scandinavian cinema, Sámis were seen in films through the eyes of outsiders. The birth of Sámi cinema in the late 1980s meant that the Sámi people could finally express their own feelings and traditions. Overall, their films were seen as a natural continuation of the Sámi storytelling tradition.

The era of Sámi cinema began with Nils Gaup’s Oscar-nominated film Ofelaš (Pathfinder, 1987), but the development of Sámi cinema has been particularly rapid in the last ten years, when digital technology, film education and the International Sámi Film Institute have increased the quantity and quality of Sámi film. Today, they are seen more and more at major international festivals and even in theatres.

The film has functioned as a medium for Sámi storytelling and visions, but also as a strong tool for strengthening their language and identity. Numerous awards from international festivals show that the stories and the Sámi way of telling them are also universal.

Skábmagovat, the indigenous film festival in Inari, Finland, has served as the main stage for new Sámi films and will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in January 2023. This series of short films compiled from its repertoire is a small overview of the ways in which contemporary Sámi cinema approaches various issues, such as mythology, identity, Sámi rights and sexual abuse.

Curator: Jorma Lehtola, Skábmagovat

WED 26/10, 19:00 SLOTTS
SUN 30/10, 15:00 FYRIS


In Sámi mythology, the underground world of Saivo is a source of inspiration and strength in which the spirit Háldi protects all living beings. Director Ann Holmgren’s and composer Mette Henriette’s mysterious trip reflects the unity and power of women’s relationships in Sámi heritage.

Sápmi, Norway 2021 / 05:00 / Director: Ann Holmgren

For Thousand Years

The river Deatnu (Tana) is quiet, as the states of Norway and Finland
decided to completely ban fishing of Atlantic Salmon, due to the weak status of the salmon stocks. In North Sámi language the word bivdit has two meanings. It is the concrete action when you are trying to catch something, but bivdit also means to ask for, to request something from someone. The short film documents an Environmental Art Installation made by the Ellos Deatnu movement in the Summer of 2021. The film is also an audiovisual tribute to Deatnu watershed and it’s inhabitant, the Atlantic Salmon.

Sápmi, Finland 2022 / 06:00 / Director: Hans Pieski

Indigenous Police

A sharp satire on the attempts of the Sámi and the majority population to define who the “real” Sámi are. Three men visit the capital. One of them wants to sweep women off their feet with his traditional clothing, another considers this unethical, and the third one is bitter because women do not find his gákti as attractive.

Sápmi, Norway 2021 / 12:00 / Director: Egil Pedersen

Living as a Human Being at the End of the World

Artivist Jenni Laiti ponders how to live in a world that is destroyed every day by using art and sami philosophy.

Sápmi, Sweden 2021 / 05:00 / Director: Jenni Laiti

Breathe Me Back to Life

A personal story of a young Sámi woman on the post-traumatic stress disorder caused by sexual violence and on how to heal from it. There is no return to one’s earlier self, but family and the nurturing of one’s lineage give strength to get rid of chaos.

Sápmi, Finland 2021 / 24:00 / Director: Sunna Nousuniemi

Minority Within a Minority

There is not very much information available on LGBT Sámi. Pinja Pieski
wants to talk about the theme openly, to help Sámi LGBT youths be themselves in the future.

Sápmi, Finland 2021 / 10:00 / Director: Xia Torikka

Sire and the last summer

In 1916, my Máttaráhkku, my great-grandmother called Sire, was suffocated by a goiter at the age of 35. She was pregnant at the time. In the film, we follow Sire’s everyday life, until her final moments. We are a part of her little world and get to see how big that little world can be. How rich it is in emotions, sounds and memories. To handle her situation, she needs to focus on the small details. Sire reminds us of life, not death.

Sápmi, Sweden 2022 / 14:24 / Director: Liselotte Wajstedt

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