As soon as I found out about the monthly Doc Lounge screening in Turku I knew I wanted to be part of it. This is mainly because I am a documentary fanatic and actively want to contribute to bringing documentary film to diverse audiences. So I got involved, and- since becoming the project manager for Doc Lounge Turku this spring season 2017- I am now principally responsible for directing our events.
When I say ‘our’, I mean the enthusiastic group of volunteers that I am part of. We are a versatile team of people who are also members of DocTurku. Our shared passion for documentary film motivates us to organise events and we are excited to be an acknowledged association in Turku. DocTurku was founded as a supporting organisation for arranging Doc Lounge in Turku, and to provide a more local platform for those interested in documentary film. Essentially, DocTurku’s aim is to share the experience of watching documentary film together in an open environment that stimulates audiences.
Doc Lounge Turku provides quality documentary film screenings in the centre of the city. We saw that there was a need for this, because Finnkino does not offer so many opportunities to see documentaries. The environment we show the films in is important because we want people to feel comfortable and confident to socialise and discuss. With this in mind, we have regularly been hosting our screenings at Bar Ö. This venue has the perfect atmosphere: it is intimate, cosy and welcoming.
Doc Lounge Turku’s next event is on Tuesday the 16th of May, when we will be screening the Finnish documentary Hobbyhorse Revolution (2017) by Selma Vilhunen. This funny and moving film tells about Finnish teenagers with growing pains, who discover their own voice and talent through riding and making hobbyhorses.
While we often show documentaries from all over the world, we also want to support the national and local documentary scene here in Finland. Hobbyhorse Revolution premiered at the Tampere Film Festival, where several DocTurku members had the opportunity to see this refreshing documentary. Now we are bringing the film to Doc Lounge Turku, so that local audiences also have a chance to enjoy it.
At every documentary screening we also try to organise something additional that contributes to the theme of the film. In the past spring season, for example, we were able to arrange a Skype conversation with Karin Steinberger, one of the directors of the documentary The Promise (2016). For the screening of Raving Iran (2016), which is about the underground and illegal techno scene in Iran, we collaborated with TYEMYY (Turun Yliopiston Elektronisen Musiikin Ystävien Ystävät) and had local DJs playing techno after the film finished. For our Hobbyhorse Revolution event we have invited an active participant in the Turku hobbyhorse scene to answer questions after the documentary.
In offering these different and unique events, we hope to inspire and initiate new ways of thinking among our audiences. Documentary film can address complex issues that raise many questions. There are no right or wrong answers, but they can show you new perspectives and make you aware of different views. Let’s share our impressions, open a conversation and enjoy documentary films at the coming Doc Lounge events!