The final workshop of Northern Script 2020 is moving online instead of being held in Oulu. With this move we want to ensure the safety of all competitors and equal chances of participation regardless of possible travel limitations.
We are motivated and confident in making a fantastic online workshop for the finalists. Thank you for your support!
Despite his short career and young age Artturi has done a lot in many places. He has successfully graduated from Juhana Herttua art, theatre and media based high school and from the Film & Television study program at the Arts Academy of Turku University of Applied Sciences as an editor and director. During his education and film studies Artturi was involved in 92 different AV-industry projects. After graduation the pace of productions and work haven’t slowed down.
Artturi works mainly as an editor for commercials, feature films and documentaries but has directed dozens of short films ( of which some have won awards at international festivals), several music video productions and three feature films. By commissioned work he has also slowly slipped in to the world of professional, almost daily screenwriting routine.
Artturi loves genre-content and is investing on the subject. He will be lecturing about horror film theory and dramaturgy at University of Turku fall 2020. At the moment he is working on a horror short with his team, writing a horror-drama screenplay for series and a crime feature with horror elements.
Aku Salminen is a screenwriter and artist from Turku, Finland. He has written screenplays and scripts for short films, TV-series, escape rooms and video games.
In November 2019 I took part of Northern Script in Oulu, Finland. The trip went beyond my expectations, as I in the end was announced as the winner of the script competition. Here are some words on my experience with Northern Script, before, during and after.
My story with Northern Script actually goes back to 2017, which was also the first year of the competition. As a young filmmaker in the North of Norway I was part of many Facebook groups regarding this, and I believe it was in one of those groups where info about the competition was first published. So, I wrote a script, back then, and I sent it. The script then was about a daughter visiting her isolated father in a mountain cabin, finding out her father had somewhat unorthodox extra-terrestrial hobbies, as well as a new girlfriend. But somehow, the script must have gone missing in the e-mail universe, and I never got a reply, and thus never got into the competition, and I was perhaps too shy to ask. Then, in 2018, I wanted to participate again, but simply couldn’t get the good idea down on paper, plus my final year of film studies, so there was enough to do. In retrospect, I see that it was a good thing that the script was lost in 2017, because if I had participated in the competition then, I would probably not have submitted this year, and then I would not have had any of the good experiences related to Northern Script, now and in the future.
But then came August 2019, I was done with my studies, didn’t have a job, and tried to live in a shared house in the fishing village of Henningsvær, not really knowing what to do. For some reason, I had forgotten that the competition existed, and when I suddenly remembered, there were only a couple of weeks to the deadline. So, when all my flatmates went to their jobs, unemployed/freelance me went to the café down the street to write. This time, the idea was quite clear in my head, and all I had to do was carve it out and refine it. The result of that became the script “Roskilde”, which derived from experiencing the festival of Roskilde in Denmark myself, just some weeks before. There I stepped into a universe on its own, with its own logic and expectations, and it was this that I tried to turn into writing.
A few weeks after submitting, I got the good news of becoming a participant in Northern Script 2019, and the good news that a trip to Finland was on the schedule. For me, writing and travelling are two of my main passions, so combining them is always a new dream coming true.
Refining my script as a part of the competition was also an interesting experience. Then I had not touched the script in two months, and when revisiting it, I saw both that it had its qualities, as well as details to be changed. Often, when writing I am so in the middle of it, which makes me both very critical and tired of the whole project, and I usually don’t manage to see the work with fresh eyes. Therefore, my tip to my future self when writing longer projects; let it rest a bit and see that is was not as bad as you thought, and that there is potential.
At last, the trip to Finland was at hand, a country I had never been to before. It coincided with the Oulu Youth Film Festival, which was very nice. I liked Oulu, with its lovely wooden buildings, mythical lake landscapes and surprising high levels of culture. The highlight was definitely going to Pehkolanlampi, the beautiful and big timber cabin in the woods. There we had salmon soup, and most important of all; the authentic Finnish Sauna experience. This was a wonderful experience, with all the nakedness and sweat you can imagine. It will take a long time to top this sauna experience, and I do sauna a lot.
At last, the award ceremony. There are few things that can beat the feeling of having your own name announced as the winner of a competition, any competition, but especially one within the field you wish to make your career. Winning the Northern Script is a good thing for several reasons. On a personal level, I get the confirmation and acknowledgement for my work, that I do need, even if I wish I didn’t. That someone, several people, see the potential of my work, that it has some quality and that I have something to contribute with, that is gold. A sheer confidence boost. On a more professional level, it is very valuable to be able to point to this, both that it is a very concrete thing that I have done, but also that it was noticed by other people. And this will become useful, when I inevitably will be in the situation where I have to apply for funds for my projects or apply for some sort of a job or grant.
So, my Northern Script Experience is over, for now, but it wont be long until I tap into it again. In June, I get to go to NUFF, the Nordic Youth Film Festival in Tromsø, which was the award. Perhaps the script will also travel on, I hope so, although I do not quite know how yet, as I am more into writing films than making them these days. I had a good time with the Northern Script, and I hope it continues and becomes more known than it is, because it is a very marvellous opportunity and I would not be without it.
Thank you, to Northern Script, to Oulu, to Pehkolanlampi, and to all the kind people I met in Finland.
For the first time in competition history, the winner is Norwegian. 23-year-old Marianne Lauritsen won the competition with a script called Roskilde.
The winning script is located in the Roskilde festival in Denmark. The story is about different relationships like friendship and one night stands described from a female point of view. As a reward, Lauritsen will get an entrance to the film workshop held by Nordic Youth Film Festival in Tromsø next summer.
The winning script caught the jury’s attention by its precise perceptions of its topic.
The winning script caught the jury’s attention by its precise perceptions of its topic. The script is bold and insightful, poetic, too, its characters and dialogue carefully crafted and believable and the story brilliantly narrowed down to a very specific space and time and particular repetitive moments.
The script manages to capture that point in young adults’ life, when what you really want is still a bit of a blur, but the capacity to pose as if you’re on top of the game, however, has already developed to its fullest. With its choice, the jury wishes to encourage others, too, to write about what they know about the best.
-Jury members Reetta Aalto and Mikko Peltotupa
The final event of Northern Script was held in Oulu, Finland 21. – 23.11.2019. Northern Script is organized by Finnish Metka Centre for Media Education together with Oulu International Children’s and Youth Film Festival (FI), Nordic Youth Film festival (NO) and Barn- och ungdomsfestival (SWE).
Northern Script 2019 will have a change in jury. Director-screenwriter Reetta Aalto will replace Kirsikka Saari. Unfortunately, Saari had to cancel her trip to Oulu.
Reetta Aalto (born 1976) is a Helsinki-based filmmaker, who writes and directs both fiction and documentary films. She is one of the seven director-writers of the episodic film Force of Habit (2019) and known also for her documentary film Grey Violet – Odd One Out (2017), which premiered at Hot Docs International Film Festival and the awarded internet hit animation Pussy for
Beginners (2015). As a director her selected filmography includes the Prix Europa nominee tv-miniseries Paradise (2010) and the short films Fingerling (2018), The Inspection (2015) and Girls’ Night (2008). Currently she is developing a feature length comedy and writing her debut
novel, which will be published in spring 2020.
This year Northern Script made a new record with 30 participants. Free journalist and media education specialist Maija Puska will read through all the scripts. Maija has studied scriptwriting and creative writing in Finland and has been writing films and commercials. As a writer, Maija is mostly interested in the themes of youth and media culture. She loves cats.
All the participants will receive short feedback about their scripts and the best six writers will receive longer feedback and a possibility to improve their scripts. The best six writers will be invited to Oulu into a scriptwriting workshop at the end of November.
Copywriters and podcasters Essi Pulkkinen and Jukka Ahola worked as a pre-selection jury in Northern Script competition in 2018. They red all the scripts and chose the best scripts and writers to take part in the second round of the competition. They made an extra effort to make sure that all the scripts were judged as equal as possible.
Essi and Jukka also met the finalists in Oulu during Oulu International Children’s and Youth Film Festival. During the meeting, they recorded a podcast episode about the competition. They talked (mostly in Finnish) with finalists and discussed writing, receiving feedback and meeting in Oulu. Listen here what they have to tell about the competition (mostly in Finnish) :
Kirsikka Saari is a screenwriter and a director based in Helsinki. She was Oscar-nominated for the short film Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?. She has written a script for a feature film Stupid Young Heart (dir. Selma Vilhunen), which won the Crystal Bear in the Berlinale 2019. She has written many scripts for TV-series and directed several short movies. Her latest short film is Super Comfort. Kirsikka Saari is a founding member of Tuffi Films.
Northern Script jury member Mikko Peltotupa is the winner of Northern Script 2017. Nowadays he is studying screenwriting at the Aalto University in Helsinki. He has worked as a copywriter, journalist and as a packer in a cheese factory. At the moment he is working with a short film about a teddy bear suffering insomnia.
He encourages all to participate in Northern Script because the competition has taught him how to improve your thinking and texts. He says the experience Northern Script gave him was immeasurable.
You can read Mikko’s thought about the competition more here (in Finnish).