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Finnish documentary filmmaking has been on the rise in recent years. Nine documentaries premiered in Finland in 2010, but between 2002 and 2009, two to five docs premiered annually, according to the catalogue Finnish Documentary Films 2011, published by the Finnish Film Institute. Audience figures have also been on the rise. The most popular Finnish doc in cinemas in 2010 was Reindeer spotting- Escape from Santaland with 65.000 cinema goers. That is a massive change of attendance from previous years but during the last six years, Finnish docs rarely got more than 4.000 cinema goers and only with few exceptions.
According to the catalogue, one of the reasons for the rise of Finnish documentary filmmaking is more financial support for filmmakers. “In three years, the Finnish Film Foundation has been able to almost double its support for documentary films” (p.2). Another reason for this rise is said to be the promotion of documentary films at DocPoint, one of Finlands biggest film festivals. DocPoint attendance numbers have been increasing steadily since it´s first year in 2001. This years festival, held in January was the biggest one so far with about 32.500 guests and 148 documentary films, of which 1/4 of screenings were sold out. Next festival is scheduled 24th-29th of January 2012.
The trailer for Reindeer spotting – Escape from Santaland can be seen on the films website, but it´s only available for viewers 18 years or older. Directed by Joonas Neuvonen, the films tells the story of young drug addicts in Rovaniemi in Lapland. Jani, one of the main characters in the film dreams of going away from Rovaniemi and leave his old life behind.