Emergency Calls awarded at 28th Braunschweig International Film Festival

From the Finnish Film Foundation


The Finnish short film Emergency Calls (Hätäkutsu) by Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen has won the Leo competition for best combination of sound and image in short film at the 28th Braunschweig International Filmfestival. Directors Hannes Vartiainen, Pekka Veikkolainen and sound designer Joonatan Portaankorva are the first Finns to win the jury award, which comes with the prize money of 2.000 EUR.

The international jury comprised of David Serong (editor Cinema Musica, Germany’s film music magazine), Jan Verbeek (media artist), and Andreas Wirwalski (film journalist). The jury gave the following statement when awarding Emergency Calls:

Between life and death – whether it is an international maritime disaster or an individual fate in private homes: An emergency is never made without a reason. Based on real emergency calls, the Finnish filmmakers Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen together with their composer Joonatan Portaankorva create an atmosphere, that lets the audience experience these exceptional existential situations. 

In combination with seemingly real dialogues between the persons in need and the emergency control center, documentary and alienated image material as well as a non-emotionalising, the tension impending sound track, true events are made comprehensive through the extensive post-processing.

The sinking of the Baltic ferry Estonia, a highway mass collission or a woman who unexpectedly gives birth to twins – all these events receive a meta-real and universal meaning.

We, the LEO jury, award the Leo 2014 to Emergency Calls for its exceptional composition of media excerpts of our reality and a postproduction referring to a metaphysical level. A perfect work that consequently pursues its central theme and that leaves the audience with a feeling of forlornness and security at the same time”.

Emergency Calls has been touring the festivals extremely successfully lately. The other awards the film has won in the last month include Under 35 Prize at INVIDEO, Milan and Best Short Documentary Prize At 9th International Short Film Festival Vilnius. Emergency Calls is also nominated for the EFA award for the best European short film.

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.