Films past

The 2023 Sámi Film Festival In-Person & Virtual

2-9-2023 THROUGH 2-12-2023
Credits: Staffan Widstrand/

Virtual: THU—February 9 through SUN—February 12
Virtual Pass $25 ($20 ASF Members and NNM Members)
In-Person: SAT—February 11—1-5 PM
*In-person screenings $20 ($15 ASF Members)

The 5th Annual Sámi Film Festival returns this February exploring Sámi stories through film in a must-see hybrid event taking place both in-person and virtually!

Presented as a partnership between the National Nordic Museum in Seattle and Scandinavia House in New York, the Festival will take place virtually from February 9-12 and in-person at both venues on February 11, 2023. The program includes a variety of contemporary Sámi documentaries, short films, and panel discussions with the filmmakers, and in 2023, the Sámi Film Festival will feature the selections of guest curator of film and acclaimed director Katja Gauriloff.

Gauriloff, a Skolt Sámi filmmaker and co-owner of the production company Oktober, was recently awarded the Finnish Film Affair’s top prize for Je’vida, the first film shot in the Skolt Sámi language.

The Sámi Film Festival originated as a partnership between the National Nordic Museum and Pacific Sámi Searvi in 2018. Since that time, it has become an onsite event drawing audiences from the East and West Coasts and an online event sharing Sámi film with a global audience. See the full lineup below.

All films in the lineup will screen in-person at Scandinavia House on Saturday, February 11 from 1 to 5 PM. A schedule of the screenings will be added at a later date; check back for more details.

When the screening sessions has begun, to watch films, go directly to the film festival portal here. Sign in using the Passholder Login with your email used to buy the pass (and using the password created when you purchased your pass). Read an FAQ here.


Tystnaden i Sápmi (The Silence in Sápmi)
Dir. Liselotte Wajstedt | 2022 | Feature Documentary | 72 min


The Silence in Sápmi  explores taboos which have affected indigenous women for generations. Sexual abuse is not only an indigenous phenomenon, it is universal and concerns all of us. Silence is a survival strategy for many, either when it comes to coping with the unimaginable committed, or for those who are in the same community as both victim and perpetrator. But the young women in this film –Marion and Ida– with their own personal stories of surviving sexual abuse, are not to be silenced anymore.

Boso me ruovttoluotta (Breathe Me Back To Life)
Dir. Sunna Nousuniemi | 2022 | Short Documentary | 24 min


Boso mu ruovttoluotta is director Sunna Nousuniemi’s personal story about the aftermath of sexual violence they experienced in their home community. Through a diary-like short documentary, we see glimpses of Sunna’s life as it has been disrupted by the trauma and a legal process linked to it. The past can’t be altered, however, as Sunna’s family, ancestral lands and gift from a friend help them to keep pushing forward to a new chapter in life.

Šaamšiǩ (Great Grandmother’s Hat)
Dir. Anstein Mikkelsen, and Harry Johanssen | 2021 | Documentary | 60 min

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For a long, long time — perhaps since the dawn of time — the Pasvik Sami managed their small borderless area in harmony with nature. Then Norway, Russia and Finland divided the area between them, and mining and power plants changed the landscape and the river. On the Norwegian side, their language and culture were almost obliterated — but they never managed to eradicate the East Sami genes.

Sire and the Last Summer (Sire ja dat maŋemus geassi)
Dir. Liselotte Wajstedt | 2022 | Short Fiction | 15 min 

Sire och Biete_600

In 1916 Sire Marainen was suffocated by a goiter at the age of 35 during their time in the mountains. She was pregnant at the time. In this film by Liselotte Wajstedt about her Máttaráhkku (great-grandmother), we follow Sire’s everyday life, until her final moments. We are a part of her little world and get to see how big that little world can be, and how rich it is in emotions, sounds and memories, as she must focus on the small details. Sire reminds us of life, not death.

Unborn Biru
Dir. Inga Elin Marakatt | 2023 | Short/Horror |19 min 


A pregnant widow steals silver from a dead body in order to survive and feed her daughter. But the silver is cursed and has consequences for all of them, including the unborn.

Dir. Ann Holmgren | 2022 | Short | 5 min 

Háldi still 3 photo by Ann Holmgren

Háldi focuses on the unity and power of female relations in Sami tradition and mythology.

The Sámi Have Rights (Sámiin leat rievttit)
Dir. Elle Márjá Eira and Mai-Lis Eira | 2019 | Short | 11 min 

The Sámi Have Rights consists of three stories — February 6th 1981The Sámi Have Rights and Don’t Fuck With Me — that form a trilogy of Norway’s shame against Sámi people.

Dir. Marja Viitahuhta | Music: Ánnámáret | 2022 | Music Installation | 3 min 

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A video installation for the experimental joik music of Sámi musician Ánnámáret.

Dološ niegut (Ancient Dreams)
Dir: Marja Viitahuhta | Music: Ánnámáret | 2022 | Music Video | 3 min

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Memories and documented imagery of reindeer herding and nomadic ways of life mix with contemporary herding of reindeers in Dolos Niegut, an experimental music video to a track by Ánnámáret, Ilkka Heinonen and Turkka Inkilä from the album Nieguid duovdagat.

About the Curator

Award-winning director Katja Gauriloff is well-known for her influential films. Her films have received awards at various festivals around the world. Her films Canned Dreams and Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest have both been part of the Berlinale festival selection. Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest opened the Berlinale NATIVe section in 2017. Additionally, Katja Gauriloff has been awarded the Finnish National Film Awards (Jussi) for the best documentary film in 2016. Gauriloff is currently working on her second fiction feature Je’vida which will be the first Skolt Sámi language feature film in history. Gauriloff lives and works in Rovaniemi, Northern Finland.


The 5th Annual Sámi Film Festival is presented in partnership with The National Nordic Museum in Seattle.


Additional support has been provided by the International Sámi Film Institute.

isfi_logo_2048x858_black ISFI Logo

Munch Cinema at Scandinavia House