Academy of Moving People and Images is a platform in Helsinki for mobile people – those who have arrived in Finland for different reasons, be they immigrants, asylum seekers, students, or employees. AMPI aims to design a new learning model and a sustainable pedagogical platform where people from different backgrounds can contribute to the film industry and initiate change. AMPI is now seeking ten new participants for the year 2020.
AMPI is founded and directed by the internationally recognised and award-winning film director Erol Mintas; and curated and produced by the visual artist and curator, Elham Rahmati. Both are based in Helsinki.
What does the program offer?
AMPI’s program offers a one year fee-free intensive and hands-on filmmaking program taught by mobile and Finnish film industry professionals. The program includes a variety of workshops in which the participants will acquire and exchange knowledge about the various tools of filmmaking such as directing, scriptwriting, editing, lighting & cinematography, acting, producing, sound recording & editing, and film & critical theories. The participants will get familiar with how to work within the local and global film industry, how to network, how to apply for grants, etc.
With the full support of the Academy and its resources, the participants get to make their short films under the guidance of mobile filmmakers and Finnish film industry professionals, performing all the essential roles necessary to realise their films. AMPI supports its participants’ short films by providing the filming equipment and their transportation. The participants are taught and encouraged to find creative ways in which they can make their films with no or very low budget.
The stories we wish to tell
From horror films to comedy-dramas, the participants in AMPI are free to write any stories they wish. The participants are taught and encouraged to recognise the misrepresentation of minorities and marginalised people in the society they are living in and to be critical towards stereotyping, exotification, vilification, or any other form of othering in the film industry.
For the year 2020, the participants are asked to experiment with and explore the manifold of creative challenges and possibilities of one-location only films. The short films should be a maximum of 10 min.
An Academy that reflects the current world we are living in
The Academy of Moving People & Images does not have a space of its own. It is also moving, in keeping with the philosophy of its platform: moving people, moving images, moving spaces of learning. The Academy operates within the space of its many collaborators such as Goethe-Institut Finnland, The Finnish Film Foundation, GAP, HIAP, Design Museum Helsinki, Museum of Impossible Forms, Third Space, Caisa, Istituto Italiano di Cultura Helsinki, University of Arts Helsinki, Theatre Academy and Publics. Through this constant mobility, the participants get to know the Finnish art scene and surround themselves with a dynamic creative network.
What has AMPI achieved so far?
The project was kicked off in January of 2019 with an Open Call. The 12 selected participants started their intensive workshops in April and are currently producing their short films. With the guidance and mentorship of AMPI’s team of scriptwriting lecturers, the participants wrote their scripts by the end of June and moved on to pre-production in August. At the moment, they are busy producing their short films with the guidance of AMPI’s team of directing and cinematography lecturers at their film sets. In November and December, they will work on their post-production. AMPI’s first public screening will take place in January 2020.
In 2019, AMPI has developed other collaborators such as Helsinki Vocational Adult Institute, Stage and Theatre Technology /Make-up. The students of the Institute collaborate with our participants on their films by being their makeup artists on set. Another collaboration has been established with the University of Arts Helsinki, Theatre Academy who work with AMPI by creating connections and networks among their students and participants of AMPI and helping them in the casting process.
Apart from the main program, with the support and collaboration of Goethe-Institut Finnland, Museum of Impossible Forms and Aalto University-Critical Cinema Lab, AMPI co-organized masterclasses with Heiny Srour and Nora Fingscheidt and took the participants on a study trip to Filmverkstaden in Vaasa to learn about analogue film.
AMPI has also curated four field-specific one-week workshops in November and December 2019. This new initiative is called AMPI Advanced and is meant for the further training of mobile filmmakers who already have some experience with filmmaking. The participants are chosen and invited from the many applications that were received for the open call in January 2019. The workshops are for scriptwriting, directing, lighting & cinematography and acting. AMPI Advanced is supported by AVEK.
You can check out our team of lecturers, collaborators and advisors here on our website.
The Academy is searching for new students now
Each year, a group of twelve mobile people who are currently residing in Finland will get selected by the director and curator of the Academy in dialogues with the board of advisors and lecturers. The participants don’t need to have a background in cinema. However, it is important that they have a passion and aspiration for filmmaking and cinema as a medium. Production experience is not a prerequisite for getting admitted but is welcome. Everyone from a wide spectrum of backgrounds is encouraged to apply. Having a passion for cinema and filmmaking and the determination to choose it as a career path is what is valued the most at AMPI.
AMPI’s workshops involve a minimum of 60 hours and a maximum of 90 hours of participation per month. Participation and attendance to the workshops are of utmost importance. The program is intensive and time-consuming. Therefore the participants are required to make AMPI a priority for the year.