MFF star Sunna Nousuniemi all the way from from Finland

Sunna Nousuniemi in her Sámi regalia at the powhiri at Raukawa marae

Sámi national, Sunna Nousuniemi, from Finland, has been in Ōtaki for a month on a peer exchange with the Maoriland Film Festival, assisting with pre-festival organisation. Sunna was the indigenous festival producer for Skabmagovat Film Festival in her homeland and showcasing some of the films from the northern film festival.

The Skabmagovat festival is held in small village in winter, its trademark setting in an outdoor snow cinema set in a forest, where the air temperature is minus 30o Celsius! There are two indoor cinemas, too, for the four day festival.

Next year they hope to feature Maori films and introduce the Sámi people to our Maori culture.

Skábmagova — Reflections of the Endless Night is an Indigenous film festival that has been running for 18 years in my home town Inari. At the festival we screen Sámi films and we also have international spotlights on other indigenous cultures. This year the festival spotlight is on Navajo people and our main guest will be Blackhorse Lowe who attended Māoriland Film Festival in 2014. The focus of Skábmagovat is on only indigenous films and the films are shown in their original language, mainly with English subtitles.

The Sámi people cover the Arctic regions of Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia.