Paula Vesala receives the first ever Espoo Ciné Award

The 32nd Espoo Ciné International Film Festival finished on Sunday, August 29 with an award show, in which Paula Vesala received the festival's titular award.

After bringing quality European films to cinemas for over 30 years, Espoo Ciné founded the festival's titular award this year. The award is given annually to an agent who advances the Finnish film culture toward a diverse European point of view. The award is worth 1000 €. In the first year, the jury consists of the members of the Espoo Ciné board.

The Espoo Ciné award was presented at the sold-out screening of the festival's closing film Herself in Kino Tapiola on Sunday, August 29. The award was given to Paula Vesala, and it was presented by Alma Pöysti. The award show can be viewed on Espoo Ciné's Facebook page.

"The award honors the values, which have guided the festival and its programme from the start," tells Espoo Ciné's Chairman of the Board, Timo Kuismin. "Advancing film culture is currently facing a particularly diverse challenge, not only in Europe, but also worldwide. The fight against the pandemic with its limitations and uncertainties harms art and culture events in particular."

The jury describes Vesala as a tireless defender of film culture throughout the pandemic and the unjust guidelines and limitations. She is also an inspiring example of diversity that crosses the borders of art forms: she rose to fame as a rock musician, but has a degree in dramaturgy. She has been awarded for her lyrics with both Juha Vainio and Reino Helismaa awards. To film audiences, she is familiar as a sensitive actor, nominated for a Jussi award for her role in Selma Vilhunen's Little Wing – and also recently impressing in Jenni Toivoniemi's Games People Play.

Image: Camilla Hanhirova