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The 2021 Sámi Film Festival: Short Films

October 30, 2021—1:00 pm3:00 pm

This October, the 4th Annual Sámi Film Festival explores Sámi values, visions, and stories through film in a must-see hybrid event taking place both in-personal and virtually! Presented as a partnership between Scandinavia House, National Nordic Museum, and the Pacific Sámi Searvi in Seattle from October 28-31, the program will include a variety of contemporary Sámi documentaries, short films, and panel discussions with the filmmakers. 

Screening at Scandinavia House on October 30 at 1 PM, the Short Films screening will present the filmsEat, Sleep, Feed, Repeat (Borrat, Biebmat, Báibmat, Ballat, dir. Aslak Paltto, Finland, 2020); Thank You Lord (Gittu Gittu, dir. Elle Sofe Sara, Norway, 2019); Dimples of Tundra (Guorga – duoddara modjegobit, dir. Katja Gauriloff, Finland, 2020);  Shelter (Suodji, Marja Helander, Sápmi/Finland/Norway, 2020); Deattán (Tomi Lampinen, Finland, 2020); On the Run (Moai báhtaretne, Liselott Wajstedt, Sweden, 2020); and Ealát (Elle Marja Eira, Sápmi/Norway, 2021).

Select films from the Short Films screening package are also available for Virtual Screening from Thursday, October 28 through Sunday, October 31; get passes here. The Short Films screening at Scandinavia House will be followed by a presentation of the feature film Eatnameamet – Our Silent Struggle (dir.  Suvi West) at 3 PM. A panel discussion will also take place; check back here for more details closer to the date.

Tickets to the in-person screening must be purchased in advance online at the link above; film screenings will take place in Victor Borge Hall. All attendees are required to present proof of vaccination upon arrival in compliance with New York State government; read more here. Attendees are required to follow all Scandinavia House safety protocols, including wearing masks during the program and observing social distancing rules in signage. Please read our full safety protocols here.

Virtual tickets will be available from Thursday, October 28 through Sunday, October 31, with all films available for viewing on a virtual cinema screening platform throughout this period. To download viewing instructions and an FAQ, please click here.

Support has been provided by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York and The Consulate General of Sweden in New York, with institutional support provided by the Pacific Sámi Searvi and International Sámi Film Institute.

About the Films

Borrat, Biebmat, Báibmat, Ballat / Eat, Sleep, Feed, Repeat 
Short film/Drama | 2020 | 4 minutes | Aslak Paltto | No dialogue 

The reindeer herder is experiencing his hardest and longest winter ever, and is forced to feed the reindeer to keep them alive. All the days are the same: feeding, herding and refueling. The reindeer herder cannot take a break until the snow melts; nevertheless, something drives him ahead.

Gittu Gittu / Thank You Lord 
Short film/drama | 2019 | 6 minutes | Elle Sofe Sara | In North Sámi with English subtitles

Giitu Giitu is a visual short film about the Læstadian trance in Sápmi.

Guorga – duoddara modjegobit / Dimples of Tundra 
Short film/drama | 2020 | 4 minutes | Katja Gauriloff

Time and place lose their meaning when a man searching a lost yoik in the highlands has a discussion with The Father, The Sun. What is the face I will inherit if the dimples of tundra fail to provide the forgotten words?

Suodji / Shelter 
Short film/drama | 2020 | 4 minutes | Marja Helander

An adaptation of an old story from Utsjoki, Sápmi, Shelter is based on the legend of how Ovllá-Ivvár Helander — a relative of director Marja Helander — decided to fool Death during the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. Today as we face similar threats, the film’s protagonist walks in Ovllá-Ivvár´s footsteps. But at the end, who is really who?

Short film/drama | 2020 | 8 minutes | Tomi Lampinen

Why do we have nightmares? What brings on these and other heavy feelings? This short film tells a story about the Deattán — one possible reason behind nightmares.

Moai báhtaretne /On the Run 
Short documentary | 2020 | 3 minutes | Liselott Wajstedt | In Swedish/Sápmi with English subtitles

At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in Sweden, director Liselott Wajstedt wants to return to her home and family in Kiruna — but all unnecessary travel is discouraged, and the Prime Minister asks for common sense. A text message dissolves the knots in this personal and reflective film about the pandemic’s division of friends and families.

Short documentary | 2021 | 32 minutes | Elle Marja Eira| In North Sámi with English subtitles

“As long as the reindeer exist here, so do we.” Through filmmaker Elle Márjá Eira’s eyes, we follow her family in different seasons with their reindeer herd in this film about living and surviving in Sámi reindeer husbandry during strange times.

About the Directors

Marja Helander  (b. 1965) is a Sámi photographer, video artist and filmmaker with roots both in Helsinki and Utsjoki. In her work, she has studied various themes including her own identity between the Finnish and the Sámi culture. Since 1992, Helander’s work has been exhibited in two dozen solo exhibitions and over 50 group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Helander was awarded the Risto Jarva Prize for her film Eatnanvuloš lottit, Birds In The Earth at the 2018 Tampere Film Festival, and has been selected as the curator for the 2019 Mänttä Art Festival exhibition.

Based in Guovdageaidnu, Elle Sofe Sara is a choreographer and director who works at the intersection of filmmaking, dance and theater. Her works regularly shed light on the social, political and cultural peculiarities and challenges of the Sámi People. She is the festival profile at the Arctic Arts Festival in Harstad in 2020 and 2021, and in 2019, she won the Moon Jury Award for her short film Ribadit at Imagine Native Film Festival in Canada. Elle Sofe is also one of four talents in Talent Norway’s filmmakers program and founder of Dáiddadállu/ Sámi artist collective in Guovdageaidnu.

Elle Márjá Eira is a multi-talented artist from Kautokeino who has recently received attention at major international industry festivals for her work as a film music composer and filmmaker. As a musical artist she performs works at the intersection of joik, electronic and Indigenous music, with a presence, rawness and ingenuity that transcends language barriers. She is also a member of the band Snoweye with Lucy Parnell and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin, Them Crooked Vultures). Elle Márjá is from a reindeer herding family in Kautokeino and belongs to Reindeer District 26 – Lákkonjárga. She was a winner of Arctic Talent 2015 and the recipient of a GramArt scholarship in 2019. 

Katja Gauriloff is a Skolt Sámi film director and screenwriter. Her documentary films A Shout into the WindCanned Dreams and Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest have been awarded the State Quality Support for cinema productions in Finland, and her films have been screened and awarded at various festivals around the world. Gauriloff has been awarded for the Finnish National Film Awards (Jussi) for the best documentary film in 2016. Her first fiction feature Baby Jane, based on a novel by award-winning author Sofi Oksanen, was released 2019. Gauriloff is currently working on her second fiction feature Je’vida which is set in Sàpmi.

Liselott Wajstedt is a Swedish North Sami filmmaker and multimedia artist whose work spans film and video, collage, painting, photography, sculpture, textiles, and installation. Her experimental moving image body of work comprises over two dozen shorts and feature-length films. Among her films are A Sami in the City (2007), Sami Daughter Joik (2008), A Soul in a City (2011), Kiruna Space Road (2013), The Lost One (2014), Kiruna the drift blockBromsgatanKvarteret Ortdrivaren and The Girl Kiruna (2020), and  Silence in Sapmi ( 2021).


The 3rd Annual Sámi Film Festival is presented a partnership with The National Nordic Museum in Seattle.


Support has been provided by the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York and The Consulate General of Sweden in New York, with institutional support provided by the Pacific Sámi Searvi and International Sámi Film Institute.


October 30, 2021
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm