Not just once, not just during a festival, but all year round… Finland’s DOKKINO is an annual, nationwide series of documentary film screenings, a film education tour for children and youth, organised by DocPoint Film Events. The event introduces 10-16 year old audiences to the world of creative documentary films, while promoting documentaries as a tool for learning and self-expression. DOKKINO makes international, high-quality documentaries available in Finland.
Every year DOKKINO, curated around a specific theme, disseminates two series of films: one for primary schools (aged 10-12) and one for secondary schools (aged 13-16). Teacher Outi-Maria Takkinen (Helsinki) is a regular visitor, each year taking several classes of her school to DOKKINO screenings. “All films that we have watched at DOKKINO have been windows into lives of children of the same age as my pupils. They see something similar, which they can recognise and relate to, but different lives too”, says Outi-Maria.
In 2023, the theme ‘Perfectly Unique’ is raising questions about identity and individuality on a wide spectrum, from diversity to disability. This year children will watch many films including SAFIYA THE MOVIE (by Huibert van Wiik, the Netherlands), CHARLIE SURFER (by Pia Strømme, Norway), BGIRL BADLY (by Charlotte De Cort, Belgium) and EVERYMAN (by Jack Goessens, Scotland).
DOKKINO offers educational materials with the films, enabling in-depth discussion on the themes and on documentary film as an art form. During COVID-19 in 2021 and 2022 DOKKINO offered online screenings and a variety of video materials which schools could use as educational support. “Every time I think about DOKKINO, one film comes to my mind. In STRAIGHT WITH YOU (by Daan Bol, the Netherlands) 11 year old Melvin is afraid to tell his schoolmates that he is not into girls. The film had a strong impact on the 6th graders,” says Outi-Maria Takkinen. ”The cinema was all quiet, and afterwards the children were seeking eye contact with me, hoping to start a conversation.”
DOKKINO over the years
The year 2023 marks the 21st edition of DOKKINO. During the years DOKKINO has evolved from festival screenings in DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival, into a nationwide film event and one of Europe’s largest national young audience documentary film events.
In 2019, DOKKINO expanded to 21 cities and was attended by 17,000 pupils and teachers all around Finland. 2020 and 2021 were exceptional due to COVID-19, but despite the hard times, in 2021 the online screenings attracted over 21,000 viewers. Teacher Outi-Maria Takkinen: “I am grateful that DOKKINO, during the lock down when pupils had to stay at home, enabled us to still watch films together online. For a moment, we could forgot about all restrictions and we could be together again. This is the power of art.” The return to the cinemas in 2023 offers schools the long-awaited trip to local cinemas for a collective film experience. DOKKINO will reach out to even more cities with screenings and educational material offered in both national languages, Finnish and Swedish. The Finnish tour is produced by Maria Lehtonen, the Swedish tour by Harald Antskog.
DOKKINO is supported by various public and private funders, such as the Ministry of Culture & Education, Jenny & Antti Wihuri Foundation, Finnish Film Foundation, Svenska Kulturfonden, together with local municipalities and national networks for children’s culture.
Contact points: Maria Lehtonen, producer of DOKKINO, and Outi Rousu, Chair of the Board of DocPoint Film Events.