In 2021, Academy Moving People and Images (AMPI) and Finnish Film Affair (FFA) started a collaboration for a new residency programme. As part of the residency, FFA provides an ‘industry residency scheme’ for a filmmaker from AMPI alums. This unique residency opportunity offers the participant a chance to develop industry-related skills, skills that a filmmaker needs once they start attending film markets and promoting their talent. The participant can follow FFA’s programme, showcase day, and network at the event.
The recipient of the second industry residency was AMPI alumna Mariangela Pluchino. The filmmaker was be selected by the Head of Finnish Film Affair & Nordic Flair Maria Pirkkalainen-Barber, the Founder & Artistic Director of AMPI Erol Mintaş, and AMPI advisory board members: filmmaker Saara Saarela and researcher Senni Jyrkiäinen.
AMPI FILMMAKER IN RESIDENCE: MARIANGELA PLUCHINO
Mariangela Pluchino (b. 1991 in Maracay, Venezuela), is a filmmaker whose practice is informed by social sciences and intersectional queer feminist lenses. After studying to become a psychologist at the University of Costa Rica, she enrolled in a master’s program in Documentary Filmmaking at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, where she co-directed the visual essay Infinite Galatée (2017). The film was awarded and screened in international film festivals such as ZINEBI Bilbao, Cartagena film festival, DokumentART, Hot Docs Canada, Documenta Madrid, Reykjavík IFF, l’Alternativa, and Reina Sofia Museum, among others.
She graduated from the Academy of Moving People and Images (AMPI) with the short film Leonarda-Flesh Ain’t Weak (2020), which premiered at the Helsinki International Film Festival. She currently works as a Production Coordinator at AMPI. At the moment she is developing Peppermint Diesel 20% with Kenno Filmi. The short film follows two women who take hostage a man they mistake for a kidnapper in a gas station on the outskirts of Helsinki. Her topics loop around the fetishistic fantasy of revenge and the claim of female-queer bodies’ faculty of being fun and violent.
Mariangela’s Experience, Tips and Advices from her residency at Finnish Film Affair
The Finnish Film Affair (FFA) – Finland’s biggest industry event- took place for the 11th time during 21-23 September 2022. The Moving People and Images Residency takes place during the same time which is a collaboration between the Academy of Moving People and Images (AMPI) and FFA.
During the second edition of the residency, I took the baton from the Pilot-in-Residency-Numero-Uno Roxana Sadvokassova to become the go-with-the-semi-established-flow-Numero-Dos-Second born child from the Moving People and Images Residency. I made sure I studied all the tips from Roxana’s presentation and article. Listed below a few insights from my own harvest:
-The residency starts from the application: during the selection, I got to meet people from the local filmmaking scene and have a simpatico chat with the jury. Even if not getting selected, the application process is already worth it.
-Entering the industry feels like language learning -a relatively easy one- : at first, it’s fairly ok to be babbling and feel slightly lost. After a while you’ll manage to identify some recurrent vocabulary related to co-production, sales, distribution, financing, etc. This is also a good start for those who want to dive in other film festivals, markets, labs and forums. You don’t necessarily have to be a producer to be interested in these kinds of events, you will probably be exposed to them as a director or even as a voyeur.
I overdid the smoking area during the residency. There are many other places for socializing and non-smoker people in the industry, go discover them!
-Bearing FOMO: if you’re that kind of film nerd that waits all year long for HIFF as your fav event of Helsinki of the year, being the filmmaker in the Moving People and Images Residency at FFA will keep you from watching barely any film. It’s still worth it.
-Not bearing FOMO: It’s also ok to feel a bit FOMO and use it as motivation.
-Watching pitches instead: pitches are a genre itself. It’s exotic to see directors and producers presenting their work and ideas with their flesh-bone bodies and trembling voices. You won’t see these people in this position very often and it’s also fun to watch the films you saw in their very raw state premiering during the upcoming years.
-Sweating insecurities out: you might find yourself naked and breathing the same sweat and bodily particles with: decision makers, members of SES, AVEK, National and International Festivals, distributors, sales agents and lost souls like you. FFA normally has one networking event that takes place in a sauna, how cool is that.
-Hot add up: the stage pitching: One of the new features in the Moving People and Images Residency is a 5 minute pitching of yourself or a project you are working on. You might find yourself, fancy dressed, sweating under the spotlight of a stage in front of: a bunch of decision makers, members of SES, AVEK, National and International Festivals, distributors, sales agents and lost souls like you. This is way less pleasant than the sauna, but it’s a great learning opportunity for an emerging filmmaker.
–But, as the song says, “You are not alone”: one of the prime features of this residency is to be surrounded by the great team of FFA: Maria Pirkkalainen, Veronika Pesonen, Lydia Taylerson, Bella Meer, Linnea Salonen, Marta Balaga and other key participants in this residency as Anna Möttöla, Anni Wessman.
-In closing advice: APPLY!: I’ve been a close witness to all the effort put into creating these initiatives, the constant dialogue between Erol Mintas and the FFA and HIFF team, and all the work behind organizing and maintaining a program like this. Take the space, grab the opportunity and keep the residency alive!
Photos by Roxana Sadvokassova taken at Caisa Cultural Center