Posted by: admin in: Cinema
Could you tell us when Orion was founded? And who’s initiative was it?
Cinema Orion was founded in 1927 as a regular commercial cinema. Its original name was Athena. It was specially built as a cinema, meeting state of the art standards of the day, including fire safety, as film then was inflammable nitrate. There is also an orchestra pit, and eight musicians belonged to the cinema staff. Since 1984, Orion has been the cinema of the Finnish Film Archive. For the first time, the Finnish Film Archive had a cinema of its own.
Do you know why the actual location was chosen?
The location in central Helsinki is favourable for a cinema.
Regarding the theatre, is it a big? How many spectators can you have?
The cinema is small or medium. It can seat 216 paying customers.
A simple question… what is the difference between The Finnish Film Archive and a traditionnal Cinema / Theatre?
The main difference is that the activity of the Finnish Film Archive is non-commercial. We do not make profit by our screenings, although most of the costs are covered by ticket sales. Also a season card is required, and the screenings are in that sense closed to the members.
How is the program usually made?
The programming is a long-term activity, with a visionary ambition to cover film history, world cinema, and major artists. Extra attention is paid to Finnish cinema, and special care is taken to highlight avant-garde and documentary. The film archive program also reacts to topical events, for example backing up interesting new films with retrospectives. There is an attempt to cater all audiences of quality cinema in a balanced fashion, including audiences especially interested in French, Italian, German, Russian, Japanese, etc. cultures
Do you work in collaboration with other Film Archive?
Yes, the collaboration is tight in both ways.
How many films do the Finnish Film Archive own?
The Finnish Film Archive does not own that many films: mostly the materials are deposited by the copyright holders. The materials may be negatives, sound elements, preservation masters, or film prints. There are 213.000 numbered objects in the film and video collections of the Finnish Film Archive.
Are there some exceptional films that the Finnish Film Archive owns?
Yes, there are. The most remarkable part of the collection is the Finnish collection, as the preservation rate, over 90%, is exceptional. There are also treasures of foreign cinema, dating from the 1890s and onwards.
Regarding film production, is the Finnish Film Archive involved in current projects?
The Finnish Film Archive is involved in film production mostly as a source of historically valuable images for documentaries, compilations and TV programs. Inserts are also in demand for fictional feature films and commercials.
Would you happen to know what is the oldest Finnish film that the Archive have? What is the story of this film?
The oldest surviving Finnish films date from 1906, and they are views of Helsinki produced by the distinguished Atelier Apollo company.
The Finnish Film Archive is also present in other Finnish towns? Could you tell us a bit more about this?
The Finnish Film Archive is a national cultural organization. As for the programming, we have series of films in eight cities outside Helsinki: Turku, Tampere, Oulu, JyvÃ¤skylÃ¤, Rovaniemi, Joensuu, Lahti, and Vaasa. Besides, we collaborate in film festivals and events all over Finland.
How do you select the films who will “travel” in other towns?
In each city, there is an anchor person in charge of the Film Archive program. Based on the list of films being shown in Helsinki, he makes a selection to be shown in his own city. In Helsinki, we then coordinate the wishes.
What are the projects for the Archive in the near future?
In May, there will be an ambitious exhibition at the Tennispalatsi art gallery of the major Finnish film-maker Teuvo Tulio.
In June, we co-host with our Swedish colleagues the conference of the international federation of the film archives (FIAF).
A book about the perhaps best Finnish film director, Valentin Vaala, is being prepared for publication.