Academy of Moving People and Images is a platform in Helsinki for mobile people - those who have arrived in Finland for different reasons, be they immigrants, asylum seekers, students, or employees. Our aim is to design a new learning model and a sustainable pedagogical platform where people who have arrived in Finland from different backgrounds get to contribute to the film industry, and initiate change.
A diversity of voices, genders, and cultures is integral to any group. Its absence mirrors structures of racism and intolerance, and a lack of representation of different perspectives. The film industry suffers from a lack of diversity in creative areas. The stories that are being told do not reflect our pluralistic societies. Networks of professionals within the film industry often exist only within closed circles. This homogeneous representation within the film industry—as the visual industry with the widest reach—contributes to widening gaps between people of different backgrounds. Therefore, it is important to identify these structures that effectively reproduce the same one-sided narratives, and to work towards a representative film industry that truly projects the diversity that is inherent within our societies.
Within this Academy, we explore what it means to decolonise knowledge, education, and institutions to challenge the hegemony of white, European knowledge, without having a top-down approach.
Every year, a group of 12 mobile people are selected by the director and the curator of The Academy of Moving People & Images through dialogues with the board of advisors and lecturers. It is not necessary for the participants to have a background in cinema, however, it is important for them to have a passion for and aspiration within all aspects of filmmaking.
Within our selection process, we acknowledge the existing gender inequality in the film industry, and strive to change it. The Academy is open to people from all minority communities in Finland, such as Roma and Sámi people.
We provide 1 year of hands-on, fee-free courses for participants. They will make their own short films under the guidance of mobile filmmakers and Finnish film industry professionals, performing all the essential roles necessary to realise their films. Our goal is for the films to be presented in local and international film festivals. Upon graduation, they are ready to work professionally in the film industry.
The Academy provides wider professional support and access to resources and community, encouraging participants to learn through practice. All lecturers offer the students practical and theoretical support to enhance and realise their individual projects. The focus of the Academy is on narrative film, however, there will be lectures on documentary film as well. In addition, through our theoretical lectures, our participants will acquire a postcolonial and feminist approach to film theories.
The structure of the Academy is conceived to eliminate bureaucratic processes, dismiss hierarchy, and create a space where everyone can express their knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits, without the concern of being subjected to discriminatory or patronising behaviour.
The diversity among the community of the Academy is enlightening, as they exchange ideas and experiences to confront multiple power structures of domination that continue to exist not only in the film industry, but in classrooms, research, language, ideas, history, and institutions, among others. The theoretical and epistemic knowledge of the Academy will have a lived dimension to it—'lived' in the sense that it foregrounds the experiences of those who have been excluded from modernist knowledge production.
Academy of Moving People and Images does not have a space of its own, it operates within the space of its many collaborators such as Aalto University (ViCCA, Critical Cinema Lab), Goethe Institut Finnland, G.A.P, HIAP, Design Museum Helsinki, The Finnish Film Foundation (SES), Museum of Impossible Forms, Taidekoulu MAA, Caisa and Publics. Through this mobility, the participants get to know the Finnish art scene and surround themselves with a creative network.
A 1 year fee-free intensive and hands-on filmmaking program taught by mobile and Finnish film industry professionals. The program includes a variety of workshops in which the participants will acquire and exchange knowledge about the various tools of filmmaking such as directing, scriptwriting, editing, lighting & cinematography, acting, producing, sound recording & editing, and film & critical theories. You will get familiar with how to work within the film industry in Finland, how to network, how to apply for grants, how to apply for jobs in the industry, etc.
• With the full support of the Academy and its resources, the participants will get to make their own short films under the guidance of mobile filmmakers and Finnish film industry professionals, performing all the essential roles necessary to realise their films. At the moment, the academy can support its participants’ short films by providing the filming equipment and transportation.
• The classes/workshops will take place from April until September 2019 (with the exception of July). After this time we will shift focus into the production of the participants’ short films. The participants will have until the end of December 2019 to finish the production of the films.
• After finishing the year, the participants’ collaboration with the academy will continue in the future in different forms as AMPI alumni.
• The Academy provides wider professional support and access to resources, communities and different networks.
• Open to all mobile residents in Finland in all ages. All mobile residents are welcome to apply regardless of their residence status; temporary or permanent. If you have a Finnish passport or have been raised in Finland but come from a mobile background, you are still eligible to apply. Or if you belong to minorities in Finland such as Sami or Roma people.
• Production experience is not a requisite for getting admitted, but is of course welcome. We encourage everyone from a wide spectrum of backgrounds to apply.
• The language of instruction is English. All teaching, exercise and practical material are provided in English.
• The academy can host a maximum of 12 participants.
We have many collaborators, and a new community around our film academy, we can bring this potential to the network.
We would love to discover more within the network and share our knowledge, experience and newtwork with the other colleagues in the network.