Message from the Just Film Programme Director

Our programme director Mikk Granström greets everyone ahead of the 23rd edition of the youth and children's film festival Just Film.

Who owns the future?

WE own the future and the time that we are in now. During the year, we have learned about all kinds of new applications brought to us by AI. These apps are spreading faster than anything else that has spread among young people so far, but these also make our lives easier. But how will it affect us tomorrow or the day after? We talk a lot about technology and different programs, now we talk about artificial intelligence, etc. But no program teaches empathy or understanding of the world. No program is a substitute for human interaction or creativity. Connecting with parents, teachers, and friends opens the student’s soul and creativity.

That’s exactly what Just Film has to offer, bringing viewers around 50 feature-length films from all over the world. This year’s rich selection of films includes both youth and children’s film programmes, where young people face both current problems but also first love, self-discovery, parents and understanding of the world. Being young means being uncompromising - sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s sad, but most importantly, it’s always exciting. The characters in our films experience different emotions. They adventure in different corners of the world, but eventually always find their way home. Alongside traditional youth and children’s films, the Children’s Rights Programme, the Junior’s Film Programme, #youngfilmmaker and the Just Film x Koolitants Programme have already become a tradition. This year, the Just Film programme has a record number of premieres, which means that the Just Film audience is one of the first in the world to see these films. The festival will also welcome many filmmakers, whom you can meet at the cinema, where you can ask them questions after the screenings. Take advantage of this opportunity and you might even take a selfie with them later!

This year we will launch an entirely new initiative, Just Film Industry Days, which aims to be an international networking and training platform aimed at film professionals, teachers, and young filmmakers. The two-day program (14-15 Nov) includes many training sessions for teachers and youths, who can learn to take advantage of films in school lessons and make good films themselves. This is a great opportunity for both teachers and students to learn good techniques from international players and start applying them in their work. Follow our homepage and come see for yourself. Just Film has always been like a magic box where you can discover something new. This year is no different. A rich film programme and a conference programme for teachers and students will interest both big and small film enthusiasts.

The Just Film mascot, Wolfie, has also had a makeover. Just like a hero with a thousand faces, he reminds us that we are not alone and the future is bright if we care about each other, notice people around us and help each other in difficult times. Love always wins – something we should all whole-heartedly believe!

Mikk Granström
Just Film Programme Director