Yesterday I interviewed two persons behind KinoKivinokka happening: Anu Suoranta (main manager) and Janne Hulkkonen (technology). These people were just two of 25 voluntary people who made this event possible. Here are some selected parts of these interviews:
Anu Suoranta was the leader of the KinoKivinokka project. She told me that they got the idea of this movie event over a year ago while she and other people who have cottages in Kivinokka were drinking wine. “It was a spontaneous idea and nobody seems to remember where it actually came from. This spring Ulla Tyyskä activated the project again. Then we just started doing it without having any idea how big job it would be”, Anu said.
Anu told me that she didn’t have any experience of arranging movie happenings before this. Actually there wasn’t anybody on the team that would have been on his/her own field. The closest one was their cleaning team leader Outi Hupaniitty who Anu told was going to have academic degree on film history.
“We also know Aleksi Bardy from Helsinki Filmi and he agreed to take part on this project too. Katriina Rosavaara had most experience in culture projects. Everybody on our 25 person team was needed to make this project happen.”
The main idea of KinoKivinokka was to offer a free movie experience in an open city environment. The social / political aspect of the project was just as important to Anu as the movie theme. She (and project in general) wanted to activate the political discussion about the future of Kivinokka and make it more accessible and open to everybody.
I was curious about the organization of course since we too (cineout.com) are planing to get organized somehow. Anu told me they did not have organization for this activity at all. They just asked their relatives, friends and Facebook contacts to come and help with this project. And many volunteered. Anu also found couple of sponsors to cover the costs of the screen rental etc.
Kivinokkalaiset ry (registered organization of Kivinokka people) was only used for money transfers, but the actual project execution was carried out by group of individuals. “But not a random group as we all shared a common goal and most of us have a long history in non-governmental organizations, political activities, squatting, peace movement and so on. That is why we got the team work so well together”, Anu added.
Project also applied some funding from the city of Helsinki. At the time of this interview they were still waiting for the funding decision so they had done this part so far with their own risk. The budget was quite small though – little under 2500 euros.
In Finland it is often very hard to arrange anything because Finnish people seem to love regulations and restrictions. I asked Anu if they had any problems getting permissions for this event. According to Anu “it was one hell of a fight to get all burocracy done”.
“It turned out that Helsinki city law says you cannot have an event this late at night. Then you have to have a rescue plan for rescue department and that one is very hard task especially if your event is meant for over 200 people. We also had to talk to both Sports Department of the city and the Public Works Department of the city, because in Kivinokka there is both beach and lawn. Finally we got the decision from Archipelago Department… And then you also need permission from police… And you need some order supervision persons. But that just ment some people wearing the yellow wests. And police reacted very nicely to us too.”
When I asked about rights to show these movies in public, Anu told that they first wanted to show foreign movies, but it turned out to be too hard to get those permissions. At least for their “amateur team”. Instead they decided to show Finnish movies since they got the permissions straight from local film companies and from the directors of the movies. Some of their team members had these connections too.
“The consumption of alcohol in this event was almost pathetically low and there were no disturbances of any kind during the event. Also we didn’t find a single trash on the beach after the event. The only thing that went little wrong was the children’s movies before the main feature. We were positively surprised that there were so many kids… about 2-3 times as many as we had prepared room for in the covered dance deck. That led to situation where some equipment got overheated. So we had to get creative, change some technics, sing some songs and give some candies for waiting audience. Other than that we had no problems.”
Tehcnology & Communications
For tech questions I was able to reach to Janne Hulkkonen – the guy who was responsible for the event’s hardware and technology part. He also did the communications and graphics design works for the project and took care of hardware transfers and building / unpacking the stuff. Like everybody else, he was working as a volunteer.
Janne told that finding big enough screen was quite challenging.
“Everywhere we asked the screens were rented to somebody else. Some companies did not want to rent screens for beach use at all. Finally we found one from Simo Alatalo and his Movie Company. He has a moving cinema in Lapland. I got in contact with him through Helsinki Festival. Only problem was that screen and projector had to be brought from Ii, over 600 kilometers from Helsinki. And it was only a screen material. I asked Jukka Tuominen to plan truss frames around the screen. And we had to change those plans just one day before the event took place because screen turned out to be wider than we thought.”
Social media was heavily used for communications and PR. 380 people attended to KinoKivinokka Facebook event. There was a 6 meter wide banner that was hanged by Itäväylä Road. Janne also designed posters and leaflets that were distributed to eastern Helsinki. The press release helped event to get through to many websites and event listings.
Janne told me that they got the sound system from the Youth Department of Helsinki (Happi). We also discussed the projector’s brightness and how it was just 15 minutes time period when the evening darkened enough for screening. It doesn’t really matter how bright projector you have since nothing beats the sunlight.
When I asked Anu about next year she said that she was the only person of the team that was not sure yet. Everybody else had already said “Sure”. So we will most likely see KinoKivinokka again in 2014. Let’s hope so!