Umeå Film Festival (UEFF) is an annual festival organized by the non-profit association Folkets Bio Umeå. This year’s edition will be the tenth edition and has over 100 scheduled film screenings planned. The festival means so much more than film! There will be quizzes, live music, sing alongs and lots of conversations with filmmakers. We strive to create a broad program for both children and adults.
It is tickling to think that Folkets Bio Umeå has organized the festival for ten editions. During this time, an incredible amount of films have passed through that Umeå would have otherwise missed out on. During UEFF’s first year as Folkets Bio Umeå’s auspices, Umeå was the capital of culture in Europe (2014), which significantly influenced the basic structure and form of the festival. To celebrate the tenth edition, we have worked on a new graphic identity for the festival, in this work we have shortened the name of the festival. Nowadays we are called Umeå Film Festival instead of Umeå European Film Festival – but we will continue to have a focus on European films but are now more open to broken our horizons. Every year before the upcoming festival, we always come back to questions about what is Europe? How should the borders of Europe’s beginning and end be drawn? Questions that are harder to answer than you think. Today we see that the film industry is working more and more through co-productions across national borders and across continents. In the wake of the broad colonization that Europe has carried out historically, there are several interesting stories to pick up from other parts of the world.
We are happy to expand our collaboration with Umeå Teaterförening, together we give two performances of a cross-border Brazilian guest play – After the silence. A performance where filmmaker Christiane Jatahy offers us a mix of theater and film, past and present, fiction and reality. Inspired by the performance After Silence, we have chosen to influence the program with several new films about indigenous issues and their rights from different parts of the world. An example is Felipe Gálvez Haberle’s unvarnished depiction of the colonizers’ violence in the Chilean Tierra del Fuego in the film The Settlers. Charming Rap and Reindeers transports us to the northernmost parts of Sápmi, where 18-year-old rapper Mihkku Laiti lives with his family. Through the TV program Talang Finland, he charms an entire nation by going all the way to the final. The film follows his journey from the boy’s room in Utsjoki to live TV and we get to see not only his unique musical talent but also his thoughts about the future.
We are also happy to show Gunilla G Bresky’s new film We Are Still Here. A film where we get to meet the artists in the Máze group. They had all grown up in a society that tried to take away their family, language and culture. Today they are all internationally established names on the art scene but still remember the time in Máze. The director is available for a conversation after the screening.
For our documentary film prize Rödspoven, we are highlighting three films in 2023 that all touch on digital communication in our time, how it might both strengthen and complicate the relationships between us humans. Two of the films have their Swedish premiere during UEFF and an external jury makes a decision on which one wins the scholarship of SEK 10,000.
But we shouldn’t forget one important thing – apart from Umeå Film Festival celebrating 10 years, we as an organization have another big anniversary. 2023 is the year Folkets Bio Umeå celebrates 50 years as a local association. We will celebrate with a big party at Studion in Folkets Hus – and what better fits a year like this than to inaugurate the film festival with Ken Loach’s latest (and perhaps last) film The Old Oak? Let’s also not forget that the horror movie night is back on the schedule! There will also be a silent film concert with our favorite pianist Edward von Past and a sing-along to Singin’ in the Rain!
You are warmly welcome to enjoy this year’s festival! You will find us in Kulturhuset Väven, at the Bildmuseet, Västerbottens Museum and Rådhustorget in the middle of town!
– Mia Rogersdotter Gran