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"Over a period of 50 years, the number of farms in Sweden has decreased by over 80 percent. The trend is the same throughout Western Europe." 

A film about the spectacular nature of the archipelago and one family’s centre of the world. 

"There is a strange rock on the cliff. Father said it’s a miracle of nature, but it’s not. Father placed it there himself." 

These words by the barely ten-year-old Elin begin the documentary "Sisu Stone" which depicts the outer Finnish archipelago and man’s close relationship to nature there. The ’strange stone’ is a creation by Elin’s father, Göran, and it’s a sculpture formed by nature which is meant to symbolise that even the impossible is possible as long as you have enough faith and will power and guts. 

The daughter, Elin, the father Göran and the mother Rosita Stenroos live on a small island of Husö in the outer Åland archipelago, between Finland and Sweden. There are only five all year round inhabitants on the island. The Stenroos family makes its livelihood from many different jobs, for in order to survive in the archipelago you need to be a jack of many trades, or at least of seven! The family keeps sheep, makes candles, hunts for game fowl and fishes. However, the best way to earn a decent living is to spend as little as possible. 

At the beginning of the documentary filming Elin was eight years old. Despite her young age the precocious girl participates in the work around the island farm daily; feeding the animals, plucking the game birds, fishing and so forth. Elin is exceptionally skilful considering her age and has quite a way with words, too: "I don’t mind being the only child on the island. Here I can just go off to, say, pick flowers and no one will complain." 

Elin, Göran and Rosita live in the midst of the most beautiful of archipelagos. The White-tailed sea eagle nests on its own home island and the nearby skerries are the seals’ domain. The film provides a unique insight into the spectacular different archipelago seasons and events. While Sisu Stone is a depiction of the self-sufficiency of a family it is also a documentary of a unique and close relationship between man and nature. Göran says: "It’s important to understand that man is part of nature, a very small part." He goes on: "A person is happy when he is at the centre of his own world - Husö is the centre of my world." 

The Stenroos family’s home island is like something straight out of an Astrid Lindgren story book: beautiful and inspiring. Even the ’characters’ are colourful. There’s small, frail, Elin and the 130 kilo strong Göran with his long red beard, like that of a Viking chieftain. The mother, Rosita, is like the archipelago women in tales and songs: wise, patient and multi-talented. Göran is a born leader and yet a leader, too, has his weakness. When little Elin sets her hands on her hips and tells her father what he should do, Göran can’t help but obey her command. 

This idyllic setting is marred by a growing concern for the ever worsening state of the sea as the fish are not as plentiful as before and the blue-green algae prevent swimming in the summers. 

Rosita says: "When I was a little girl, the bottom of the sea was clean, but now it’s just a grey carpet of algae. It feels really awful because the sea is, after all, our whole life." 

Göran adds: "When you see how the sea is faring it’s as though you are becoming ill yourself. Yet, Göran still wants to believe in tomorrow: "I have the same attitude to life as Martin Luther: Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." 

The Sisu Stone documentary film is not only homage to the threatened life of the archipelago and the beautiful archipelago nature, it is also a gesture of respect towards classical style of documentary filming. The filmmakers visited the island of Husö over a dozen times between 2002 and 2004. 

A documentary about the race on fishing 

The stocks of cod, herring and salmon in the Baltic Sea have been depleted. Environmental toxins are slowing down trade. Fishing restrictions are preventing a viable fishing industry. 

Professional fishing, and the culture that has been built around it, has come to the end of its tether. 

’When the Cod Ran Out’ is a film about four ’fishy’ men that live on the island of Bornholm: Torben Hansen, Jens Kofoed, Niels Sørensen and Ole Basse Mortensen. Bornholm, which is part of Denmark, has always lived from fishing and fish-processing and its men have been known throughout the times as skilful and efficient reapers-of-the-bounty of the seas and protectors of that right, too. 

Torben is a third generation skipper of his own cod-fishing vessel, and most likely the last of his line. Jens, too, followed in the footsteps of his fisherman father but soon had to own that his livelihood was to be gained elsewhere. Niels still smokes his herring in his traditional smokehouse, but the fish is no longer from the home shores of the Baltic and the future doesn’t look promising, either. Ole-Basse, one of the great founders and owners of a Baltic fishing fleet has not only lost his property but also his health and could today be termed a ’bitter old man’. 

The collapse of fish stocks due to over-fishing, fishing quotas and the pollution of the sea have dramatically changed the face of everyday life on Bornholm. The identity and culture of the isle are in the throes of the most radical changes it has known for centuries. Nevertheless, the documentary ’When the Cod Ran Out’ is not a film about the biological or ecological reasons for why the fish stocks abated. There are no lengthy interviews with researchers and decision-making authorities. Instead, the people that are given voice are four men who are very diverse in their views on life, backgrounds and future prospects. Four men who are nevertheless connected through two essentials: their love of fishing and dedication to their home island. 

In lieu of facts and stats, the film ’When the Cod Ran Out’ deals in feelings. The documentary depicts the everyday life of men in the midst of change and opens a door to the biggest prospect of Bornholm’s future - its unique natural environment, which attracts more and more admirers every year. More than a peek into the everyday lives of average Bornholm people, this documentary also delves into the world of the island’s beech woods, sandy beaches, rift valleys, lofty cliffs, as well as the environment of the fish below the waters. 

’When the Cod Ran Out’ describes the fragile bond between man and nature, the destruction of which is not only detrimental to the environment but also to the people that depend on it. However, this film is no moral lecture as it lets the viewer draw his or her own conclusions, staying true to the motto: "through the heart to the brain." 

Viktor and Maria Popov are not in a hurry. They live in a time vacuum in Paanajärvi village in the poorest corner of Russia, in Russian Karelia. 

To the inhabitants of Paanajärvi their home village has been the same for centuries: grey log buildings, smoky saunas, decorative window frames. For folklorists, on the other hand, Paanajärvi is a pearl of culture and architecture. A community in which lives one of the few remaining original European cultures. 

In 1996, Paanajärvi village was placed on the list of the hundred most threatened cultural places in the world, maintained by the World Monument Watch. The village is threatened by plans for a hydro-electric plant which, if realised, would submerge the old buildings and the solitary original culture under water. 

The film group follows the everyday life of Viktor and Maria in Paanajärvi over a period of two years. The documentary is also an illustration of the uncomplicated coexistence of people with nature which, if lost, would take the right of existence from the humanity itself.

Nils "Niilo" Grotenfelt, the owner of a manor in Juva, became a producer of organic food for three reasons. To begin with, he believes that the future of organic production will be economically more profitable than the future of mainstream farming. Secondly, organic production is more challenging and interesting for a farmer than intensive farming still most common. Thirdly, organic production does not harm the environment as much as intensive farming which is based on artificial fertilizers. 

Six Thousand Kilos of Earthworms is a documentary covering the annual cycle of the biggest Finnish organic milk producer, Vehmaa Manor in Juva. What does the title of the documentary really mean? The title arises from the fact that there can be as much as six thousand kilos of earthworms in one hectare of organic arable land. On a farm relying on intensive farming the fertility of soil is based on artificial fertilizers, whereas on an organic farm it is based above all on healthy soil. 

The documentary follows up the life on the farm with the eyes of the master, Nils Grotenfelt, from spring 1995 until the next spring. At the time Finland had just joined the European Union and the mad cow's disease shook up the European agriculture. There was a lot going on during the year: calves were born and some died, the head of farmers' union visited the estate, the frost made walls crack and the manufacturing of AIV silage succeeded. The documentary shows the daily life on an organic farm including various duties typical for a dairy farm. 

The documentary is, however, also a nature film. Hole nesters live in old birches growing at the grazing ground of the farm and also the crane nests on the lands of the farm. The documentary shows with unique shots the life of the crane from mating-time in spring until the time when young birds rehearse to fly - and finally migrate to the south in autumn. When new spring comes everybody waits thrilled whether the crane returns again. 

"And there came two drops,
the first gave it life,
the second, drowned it"
Antonio Machado 

Wild Wild Canary is a documentary film about the natural and cultural values of the Canary Islands and the impact of mass tourism on it. 

There are almost 3 700 endemic species in the islands. This paradise has seen many invaders: first came the native inhabitants, guanches, then the Arabs, Portuguese and Spaniards. However, no-one has left such traces as the present invaders: tourists. 

The film aims to show a glimpse of the reality that a tourist seldom meets during his trip, but which his acts and choices eviden

A keel for a boat and boards for a coffin from a home forest. Touching and warm depiction of the life in a small Karelian village, where young Sergei grows up in the middle of the most fabulous primeval forests in North Europe. 

Awards and honours:

Out of a total of 75 000 indigenous Saami in the world, around 9 000 live in Finland. Yet, what do we really know about them? Finnish children still learn more in school about Native Americans than they do about Finland’s own indigenous inhabitants. 

The documentary film ’The Beckhams of Utsjoki’ is an intimate and honest depiction of modern day Saami people recounted through the experiences of three generations: reindeer herder and respected salmon-rower Niila, Saami musician Annukka, their boys Mihkku and Áilu as well as Niila’s mother Kirsti, a skilful wielder of Saami cultural traditions. 

The documentary was filmed in Utsjoki, the northern-most municipality of Finland and the European Union. The Laiti family’s life is followed for a total of almost three years. In addition to portraying the everyday and festive occasions of Saami life, the film also conveys the viewer through the most magnificent wilderness regions of Upper Lapland: from the Kevo canyon to the salmon spawning rapids, the fiery colours of the autumn ’ruska’ forests, the ice floes of the spring and the aurora borealis flashing across the northern skies.