Cannes Film Festival 2017
Last year Teppo Airaksinen’s film got Cannes Short Film Special Distinction, beating 8 other works of the the highest standard worldwide. Finnish director says: ‘The output of my short film Katto (in English The Ceiling) at Festival De Cannes in May 2017 was a turning point in my life’. What is more, Teppo’s name became known not only in Finland (the motherland of the director), but also for connoisseurs of cinematography all over the world. This film captured attention of everyone either jury of the festival or the audience that was present at the Selection and made them watch this film without stop to the end. As far as Teppo concerned, he thinks that The Ceiling made a splash because of its ingenious plot. In addition to this, he adds, ‘the first 10 seconds are important and in our film those 10 seconds are very intriguing’.
After the festival the director started to be recognized on the streets and received good opportunities for development in the sphere of filmmaking. The whole week in Cannes was amazing and informative for Teppo. ‘It was great to meet all the other filmmakers and have discussions on various topics with them’. The Finnish director hopes to go to Cannes again with his feature film. Nevertheless, there are some problems yet, for instance, ‘now it is a little bit easier to get funding for future projects, however, it’s still hard enough’, Airaksinen stresses.
Off course, the director is responsible for all the film, though film process include more than just one person, as it is all based on collaboration and teamwork. Teppo Airaksinen shares, ‘I try to be very specific when telling my vision to others. And I also strive to encourage them to work free and happy. They know that they can trust me in order I can support them.’
The script of the Ceiling has an extremely interesting history of creation. It was the idea of Teppo’s screenwriter Melli Maikkula. She had a feeling that her ceiling came down when she got divorced. Thus that incident really made her write the script. Furthermore, there are some symbols in the film, for example, the descending ceiling symbolizes the feeling that the characters of The Ceiling have during the plot. Teppo Airaksinen says: ‘Something is pushing protagonists and pressing on them somehow’.
Obviously, there were some difficulties while trying to bring the script of The Ceiling to life. A few problems appear during the process of shooting and the biggest challenge for Teppo was to find a balance between fantasy and reality. He considers: ‘The ceiling of course is almost like a bit of fantasy, but I wanted the film to have this very realistic look. It was hard to find the balance.’
The preparation for the production was fast and easygoing. The most of the funding came from the Finnish film institute and Finnish broadcasting company YLE. Teppo’s team got the money very early, so it was easy to begin the production.
“You can’t think about the audience too much. And short films are easier because the expectations moneywise are not so important as in feature films.