Statement: I am extremely touched and honoured to be able to attend the Side by Side festival and to present the films about Tove Jansson and Tuulikki Pietilä . These two artists travelled around the world and especially Europe and they filmed during many decades their life and travels, but never did it in Russia. So I feel that now the two of them finally are also visiting St Petersburg.
It is not so long ago that homosexuality was also in Finland regarded as a crime and disease, and Tove and Tuulikki lived most of their adulthood through these times in our country. They were artists dedicated fully to their work, but enjoyed parties with their friends and a lively social life. But to travel abroad, away from the intolerant atmosphere of Finland or to live during the summers on their small island in the Finnish Gulf gave them the freedom to be themselves, together.
It was an enthralling time for Riikka Tanner and myself to edit the tens of hours of the 8 mm films shot by Tuulikki, in close cooperation with her and Tove.
They were both great film lovers, true cinephiles, especially Tuulikki, and the months we spent together discussing and planning the editing process were unforgettable to us. Tuulikki had bought the small Konica camera on their first trip to Japan in 1972 and after that she practically never left the camera.
It was part and parcel of her artistic endeavor, and she took it as seriously as her work as a graphic artist.
Tove wrote in several of her short stories about the camera and the filming process, and was an eager "assistant" during the shooting