SCSMI2017 Helsinki has ended
The annual conference of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI) welcomes you to the Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland, June 11th – 14th, 2017

SCSMI2017 Helsinki program is under construction and changes are to occur. Meanwhile you may complete your personal information with a photo and some tags, so the other attendees and speakers will get to know more of you and your interests, and vice versa.

Go to registration or check practical information about accommodation etc. at http://scsmi2017.aalto.fi/
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Sunday, June 11 • 11:30 - 12:30
The 100 years of Independent Finnish Cinema

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100 years of Finnish Cinema

This year is the first centenary of Finnish independence. Finnish cinema is somewhat older, as small scale film production started already when Finland was an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire. Alas, apart from a handful of fragments, that output has completely disappeared. But film exhibition become fairly regular at this time and continued almost uninterrupted throughout the vicissitudes of the independence struggle and even the turmoil of the civil war in the spring of 1918.

Throughout the 1920s film production grew but was able to thrive only with the support of film exhibition which relied to a great extent on foreign export, at first mainly Nordic and other European cinemas, later on increasingly on Hollywood output. Only in the era of sound film did two companies, Suomi Filmi and Suomen Filmiteollisuus grow strong enough to be able to be able to produce films with enough popular appeal so as to make the industry profitable for a couple of decades.

Just like in most parts of the world, the studio system more or less collapsed toward the end of 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s. French and other New Waves provided inspiration particularly for radical young filmmakers, but for them to realize their visions a system of state subsidy had to be created. The Finnish Film Foundation started its operation in 1969. It made a good start aesthetically, but in the next decade it became blatantly obvious that so called Foundation Films were not attracting audiences. The operating principles of the foundation were fundamentally revised in the 1980s, leading eventually to a new rise of Finnish cinema. Due to the small size of the domestic audience, it is not self-supporting, but it does catch about one quarter of the Finnish audience.

The way Finnish cinema has always connected with trends and developments in other countries was thoroughly explored in a research project headed by Henry Bacon, titled A Transnational History of Finnish Cinema. This was probably the first time that the entire film history of a national cinema was explored from a transnational point of view. This entailed further developing methods for the analysis of the economical basis of film production on the one hand, and analysis of style on the other. In our presentation Outi Hupaniittu will tell about the methods she developed for extracting information from company records as well as the often scarce statistical information in order to throw light on the economic conditions of film production and cinema attendance. Jaakko Seppälä in turn will relate how he employed Cinemetrics in his analysis of the impact of foreign influences on the development of style within Finnish silent cinema.

We will thus provide a glimpse into the hundred years of surviving Finnish cinema from a fresh scholarly perspective, providing insight into the ways corpuses of cinema of different sizes can be examined in a rigorous but insightful fashion. 

avatar for Henry Bacon

Henry Bacon

Professor of Film and Television Studies, University of Helsinki
Henry Bacon is professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Helsinki (2004 – ). Previously he has worked as an assistant professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Oulu (1994-1999) and as a research fellow at the Finnish Film Archive (1999-2004... Read More →
avatar for Jaakko Seppälä

Jaakko Seppälä

University of Helsinki
Dr. Jaakko Seppälä is the chair of Finnish Society for Cinema Studies and a researcher at the School of Film and Television Studies, University of Helsinki. He is also a member of the editorial board of Lähikuva, a Finnish language journal on film and media studies. Seppälä’s... Read More →

Guest Speaker
avatar for Outi Hupaniittu

Outi Hupaniittu

Dr. Outi Hupaniittu, PhD, is cinema historian and archivist. She is the director at the Archives of Finnish Literature Society (SKS), which is the largest private archival institution in Finland with 185-year-old history, concentrating on archival collections of folklore & contemporary... Read More →

Sunday June 11, 2017 11:30 - 12:30 EEST
Aalto Big Hall, Töölö Campus, Aalto University (1st floor) Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki