Director Peter Lindholm’s latest film offers Finnish society pause for thought.

FinLAND-Swedish film director, producer and scriptwriter Peter Lindholm is known for such films as Kites over Helsinki, Three in Love and Kill City, while also producing several TV-series as well.

Not seeing himself as a typical Finland-Swede, the 51-year-old director feels more that he belongs to a minority within a minority. His true mother tongue is the language of film, a dialect that he has retained from his youth.

From interviewing Nelson Mandela after his release from prison, to riding in helicopters during the Vietnam War, renowned Finnish journalist Rauli Virtanen has covered many of the world’s major events and conflicts of the past forty years.

Amongst his numerous postings throughout the decades, Rauli Virtanen has worked as a freelance journalist for YLE and has been MTV3’s foreign correspondent in America and the United Kingdom.

Saido Mohamed’s inspiring human rights advocacy has earned her the title of Finland’s Refugee Woman of the Year.  SixDegrees caught up with her this month to hear more about her life, work and thoughts on her new title.

Somali-born special nurse Saido Mohamed has been nominated Refugee Woman of the Year for 2011 by the Finnish Refugee Council.

The 36-year-old, who was awarded the title in recognition of her extensive voluntary work with the Somali community and Finnish health professionals, came to Finland in 1992, training as a nurse and later working with a host of NGOs including the Finnish Somali Association.

Karri Miettinen, aka Paleface, is without a doubt the most talked about Finnish hip-hop artist of our time. His latest album Helsinki Shangri-La was nominated for the Nordic Music Prize and has been praised amongst domestic and international music critics. He won three Emma awards in the spring: Etno Emma, Male Artist of the Year and Hip-hop/Electronic/Reggae Album of the Year.

On top of being a talented musician, Miettinen has a lot to say. He’s known for sharp and challenging lyrics that point out the defects of society, for standing behind his beliefs and as the man who brought meaning back into Finnish hip-hop.

LIFE sometimes seems like it moves in a straight line, until one day it doesn’t. Just ask Ali Elkharam, 20, a consumer electronics salesman from Mikkeli, whose life turned upside down when he appeared as a contestant this spring on the popular television programme Idols, Finland’s version of the Pop Idol format pioneered in Britain. He ended up finishing in second place on the show, which wrapped in May, but turned heads across the country with his deep, expressive voice and – in the midst of an unprecedented electoral season where xenophobic rhetoric ran high – multiracial background. He spoke with SixDegrees about growing up in Mikkeli, his Libyan father, and leaving the sales floor behind to pursue a singing career full-time.