Walking Under Water is one of many documentaries on offer at this year’s festival.

ONCE again, the 14th annual DocPoint is the first port of call for what is becoming an increasingly crowded film festival calendar annually. Presenting the best Finnish and international documentaries of the year, the festival lands once again in the Capital Region from 27 January until 1 February.

Founded in 2001, DocPoint represents one of the largest documentary film festivals on the Nordic landscape. Here in Finland it is the only festival solely dedicated to documentary films, and has also been organised concurrently with Tallinn since 2010.

The numbers are impressive, with some 28,000 visitors attending festival screenings and side events last year. This year sees 166 documentary films on offer.

The festival opens with Markku Heikkinen’s Men of Talvivaara Mine, depicting the everyday life of miners in the eponymous mine that has grabbed headlines in recent times.

Elsewhere, those who have followed the Edward Snowden saga with great interest are in for a treat: Laura Poitras’ Citizenfour is being screened. In June 2013, Poitras flew to Hong Kong with two reporters for the first of many meetings with the man who would soon become Public Enemy No. 1 in the USA. She brought her camera with her, with the resultant footage edited into a gripping documentary. The film will also be DocPoint festival’s main seminar film on Saturday 31 January.

Hanna Polak’stouching film Something Better to Come follows a girl named Yula for 14 years living at an enormous dump site near Moscow with her family. Also in Russia, Children 404 and Victory Day, discuss the controversial anti-gay law that was passed in 2013.

DocPoint - Helsinki
Documentary Film Festival 2015
27 January – 1 February

Aside from politics, other themes during this year’s edition of the festival revolve around nature and the sea. Three of the world best known apes take the screen in Jos de Putter’s See No Evil and two Academy Award-winning documentaries from legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau are screening.

On the local scene, 11 new films from Finnish directors are being presented under the banner of “New Finnish Documentary Film”. Much, much more is on offer. Head to the website for more info.

As always, all of this and more is available at their website.

James O’Sullivan
Image: DocPoint