Festival turns 40!
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In honour of the anniversary, the programme of the Oulu International Children's and Youth Film Festival includes both this year's new releases and beloved classics. In the new films we see the joy of adventure and environmental themes. Current issues are highlighted, and difficult topics are not shied away from. However, we seek to look at the world optimistically through hope. We particularly wanted our festival programme to bring positivity into these gray times.

This year’s films open windows to other worlds located in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, a Japanese village, or the Icelandic countryside. Worldviews may also be broadened on the way into an autistic mind, the past world, or legendary Chinese folklore. Cinema takes you near and far, it evokes emotions and thus helps the viewers to better understand both other people and the world and their own place in it. 

– The diversity of people and nature is a richness that is expressed in many ways in this year's festival. We are not alone in our world, but together. Everything affects everything because we are part of the global world. It is a delight to grow into an ever bigger, ever happier, ever more loving person who values their environment, themselves, and others, says Anna Asplund, the festival’s artistic director. 

Fictional stories and documentaries, insightful short films, and the full spectrum of film language can be viewed at the festival. Festival is targeted especially at children, young people, and families – the programme has something exquisite to see for all ages!

Children have the power of open-mindedness and everyday heroism 

Children have adventures in the fast-paced stories of Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond and Finders of the Lost Yacht. The children of Birta and Buster’s World demonstrate the heroism of everyday life in their actions. 

The films Martin and the Magical Forest, The Ogglies: Welcome to Smelliville and School Garden express love for nature and the need to get closer to it. Children see the importance of nature and want to protect our environment. 

Open-mindedness and the ability to appreciate diversity are themes in The Ape Star, A Butterfly's Heart and Raise the Bar. The children’s films tell stories about families, and this is especially evident in Father of Four and the Vikings.

Young people follow their own path

Youth films tell their own strong story, as evidenced by Born2Drive, Goodbye Soviet Union and How to be a Classy Tramp.

Fantasy worlds can be enjoyed in The Prince's Voyage and White Snake. A unique atmosphere captivates viewers in Life without Sara Amat and The Club of Ugly ChildrenThe films provoke thoughts and questions about your own life choices.

The directors of the youth films forge an unparalleled and impressive path to which they keep throughout the film. The stories create a visually interesting and one-of-a-kind world that holds you in its grip and that the viewer will reflect on even after the experience. 

Journeys within the mind and in the world

You can tell deeply affecting stories that give the viewer a lot to think about in a short form too. What is the mindscape like when the mind is out of the ordinary? Can you latch on life and be empowered, even if you are different? 

Imaginative landscapes and stories show the viewer possible worlds that differ from everyday reality in Love Is Just a Death Away and Tales of the Outback. The Landing turns traditional positions and thinking on upside down. In addition, we see quite mundane characters who see the world exceptionally, through the prism of their minds. How to be faithful to yourself and live a good life, bringing out unashamedly all your talent? Mind my Mind, Nestor, and Toni with an I explore this theme. When difference is seen as a source of wealth, it makes us all shine.

Films in competition

There are eleven films in the Children's Film Competition, seven films in the Youth Film Competition, and ten films in the Finnish Film Competition. The festival also has a new competition: There are seven films competing for the ECFA Short Film Award. 

In addition to the competitions, the festival will screen Nordic children's film classics, Kaleidoscope special programme, a short-film compilation curated by the Nordic Junior Sessions project of the Nordic children's film festivals, and a comprehensive selection of other short films. Films made by children and young people take part in the Oskari competition. The festival, which attracts about 30,000 visitors a year, has a total of nearly a hundred films in its programme. 

More information about the awards and juries will be available in due course on our website ( 

Children's film competition

THE APE STAR Sweden, Norway, Denmark 2020, directed by Linda Hambäck
BIRTA Iceland 2021, directed by Bragi Þór Hinriksson
BUSTER’S WORLD Denmark 2021, directed by Martin Miehe-Renard
A BUTTERFLY’S HEART Lithuania 2021, directed by Inesa Kurklietytė 
CAPTAIN SABERTOOTH AND THE MAGIC DIAMOND Norway 2019, directed by Rasmus A. Sivertsen, Marit Moum Aune 
FATHER OF FOUR AND THE VIKINGS Denmark 2020, directed by Martin Miehe-Renard 
FINDERS OF THE LOST YACHT Finland 2020, directed by Taavi Vartia 
MARTIN AND THE MAGICAL FOREST Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany 2021, directed by Petr Oukropec 
THE OGGLIES: WELCOME TO SMELLIVILLE Germany 2020, directed by Jens Møller, Toby Genkel 
RAISE THE BAR Iceland, Finland 2021, directed by Guðjón Ragnars

Youth Film Competition

BORN2DRIVE Norway 2019, directed by Daniel Fahre
THE CLUB OF UGLY CHILDREN Netherlands 2019, directed by Jonathan Elbers 
GOOGBYE SOVIET UNION Estonia, Finland 2020, directed by Lauri Randla 
HOW TO BE A CLASSY TRAMP Iceland 2021, directed by Ólöf Birna Torfadóttir 
LIFE WITHOUT SARA AMAT Spain 2019, directed by Laura Jou 
THE PRINCE'S VOYAGE France, Luxembourg 2019, directed by Jean-François Laguionie, Xavier Picard 
WHITE SNAKE China, United States 2019, directed by Amp Wong, Zhao Ji  the

Finnish Competition

ARKIPELLINA & SVARTA LÅDAN: VINTER Finland 2020, directed by Antonia Ringbom 
EATNAMEAMET – OUR SILENT STRUGGLE Finland 2021, directed by Suvi West 
FINDERS OF THE LOST YACHT Finland 2020, directed by Taavi Vartia 
GOODBYE SOVIET UNION Estonia, Finland 2020, directed by Lauri Randla 
GOODBYE TORNIO Finland 2021, directed by Emilia Hernesniemi 
THE LANDING Finland 2021, directed by Kaisa Penttilä 
SPRING BREAK Finland 2020, directed by Aleksi Salmenperä 
TALES OF THE OUTBACK Finland 2021, directed by Lauri Ketonen, Konsta Verta 
WALK THE TIDELINE Finland 2021, directed by Anna Antsalo 
WRETCHED Finland 2020, directed by Erika Karsikas 

ECFA Short Film Award

90% Germany 2019, directed by Jerry Hoffmann
THE LANDING Finland 2021, directed by Kaisa Penttilä
LOVE IS JUST A DEATH AWAY Czech Republic 2020, directed by Bára Anna Stejskalová 
MIND MY MIND Netherlands, Belgium 2019, directed by Floor Adams 
NESTOR Portugal, UK 2019, directed by João Gonzalez 
TALES OF THE OUTBACK Finland 2021, directed by Lauri Ketonen, Konsta Verta 
TONI WITH AN I United Kingdom 2019, directed by Marco Alessi

On our website at you will later find more information about the films. Stills from the films will be found later at 

Changes in programme are possible.

New logo and mascot to be unveiled, naming competition coming 

The festival unveils its new mascot which is based on a brand-new logo. A colourful and agile flying squirrel poses in the logo. In November, the festival will announce a competition to find a name for the mascot. 

Detailed instructions for participating in the competition will soon be available on the festival's website. 

Befor visiting the festival, please read about safety precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic (

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