Finland was the partner country of this year's Tourfilm Festival, held in Karlovy Vary from October 6-8, 2016. Tourfilm Festival is the world’s oldest international film festival aimed at tourism issues. The famous Finnish actor Kari Väänänen also known from director Aki Kaurismäki’s films was a special guest this year.
Mrs. Helena Tuuri, ambassador of Finland and Ms. Salli-Susanna Petäjä, special adviser, represented the Finnish Embassy at the festival on Friday. The day started out with a press conference held at Hotel Thermal. The view from the conference room windows was spectacular overlooking the scenic Karlovy Vary dressed in early autumn colours. Mr. Väänänen’s presence and humour gave a great twist to the conference.
The day’s events were followed by a gala award ceremony in the evening held in the grand hall of Grandhotel Pupp, the finest hotel in Karlovy Vary hosting the annual Karlovy Vary film festival and known from such films as the James bond movie Casino Royale. The venue was palatial and bathed in a lovely soft light. The gala was hosted by Václav Žmolík, a radio and TV presenter. Ambassador Helena Tuuri gave her opening words at the gala. Finland was also present in the gala menu that consisted of Nordic style dishes.
Last year in 2015 Finland won the main prize at the festival with the film "White Night Magic" and this year won the category of promo spot up to 3min with Pekka Hara’s “Polar Night Magic”. Mrs. Helena Tuuri, Ambassador of Finland got on stage to receive the prize. This year’s main prize was given to Turkey for their spot “The Meaning of Turquoise”.
During the awards, the audience got to enjoy musical performances from Lucie Niemelä, a Czech singer and songwriter who performed in both Finnish and English. The artist had beautiful Finnish after falling in love with the language at age fifteen and since having studied the language in Finland. She has also released a cd in Finland and Germany.
The festival’s four day programme was full of Finland-related lectures, movies and different activities. Michal Švec and Jitka Jindřišková from the Scandinavian House (Skandinavský Dům) hosted several of them. Markéta Hejkalová - writer, publisher, translator from Finnish and translator from Finnish was also present. All in all, the festival painted a versatile picture of Finland and tourism-related issues
Pictures: Salli-Susanna Petäjä