Reijo Nikkilä Receives DocPoint’s Apollo Award

Reijo NikkiläDocumentarist and journalist Reijo Nikkilä will receive the Apollo lifetime award 2015. The Apollo is awarded to Nikkilä for his significant conribution to Finnish documentary film making and intercultural exchange between Finnish and Russian documentaries.

Nikkilä has become known as the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE’s correspondent in Moscow in the 1970s and 80s, and through his several documentary films and books on Russia. Since the 1990s, Nikkilä has been an important figure in bringing Russian documentary films to Finland and exporting Finnish documentary films to Russia. His work has been acknowledged with the State Award for Public Information in 1993 and 2001.

DocPoint will honour Nikkilä’s career by including into its programme a Carte Blanche series, consisting of films Nikkilä has personally chosen. The series, A Bitter Taste of Freedom is Nikkilä’s view of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the free filmmaking in Russia from Marina Goldovskaya’s film The Solovetsk Power (Vlast Solovetskaya, Russia, 1988) to Goldovskaya’s A Bitter Taste of Freedom (Sweden/USA, 2011). The title of the whole series comes from a film that is a unique portrait of Anna Politkovskaya, reveiling her assassination in 2006 – an event that was to mark the end of freedom. Nikkilä’s own films comment on the Soviet Union and Russian events from Stalin’s pogroms to the collapse of the Soviet reign from a western point of view.

– Reijo’s series portrays well the developments of the Russian documentary scene starting from the end of 1980s. His films are like comments to this development – he has been a part of every momentous occasion in Russian history since the 1960s as a journalist and a filmmaker, not only reporting the events, but also commenting on them. The Apollo Award will be awarded to him for his work, but the Carte Blance series will also show how important and relevant his work has been in the past – and is right now, considering the current changes taking place in Russia, says the Artistic Director of DocPoint, Ulla Simonen.

A Bitter Taste of Freedom series includes the following eleven films:

Prague 21.8.1968 (Finland, 1998), direction: Reijo Nikkilä
The Solovetsk Power (Vlast Solovetskaya, Russia, 1988), direction: Marina Goldovskaya
On the Hands of Stalin (Finland, 1989), direction: Reijo Nikkilä
In the Garage of Berija (Finland, 1991), direction: Reijo Nikkilä
Lenin’s Body (Russia, 1992), direction: Vitaly Mansky
The August Revolution (Finland, 1991), direction: Reijo Nikkilä
Zhdanov – Stalinin protegè (Finland, 1991), direction: Reijo Nikkilä
The Russians Have Gone (Russkie ushli, Russia, 1991), direction: Alexander Gutman
The Belovs (Belovy, Russia, 1992), direction: Viktor Kossakovsky
DMB-91 (Russia, 1991), direction: Alexei Khanyutin
A Bitter Taste of Freedom (Sweden/USA, 2011), direction: Marina Goldovskaya

The films are screened at Andorra and Orion during Wed 28th – Fri 30th Jan.

Image: Heidi Karhu