The only Finnish LGBTIQ film festival celebrates its 26th year this year. It has been a long 26 years of work, albeit fulfilling ones at that, during which we've had the distinct pleasure to bear witness to a significant change in the lives of LGBTIQ people in Finland. When the first festival, then called the Lesbian and Gay Film & Culture Festival, was held in 1992, homosexuality was no longer illegal nor a sickness (at least according to the official definition), but the climate was by no means overly friendly towards gay people, not to mention the other members of the alphabet soup.
While we still have a long way to go until we truly equal, it is gratifying to see how attitudes continuously change for the better, a little bit every day. The audience at the first festival might have been a little apprehensive and definitely inconspicuous when arriving at the screening locations, these days it's not that uncommon to see customers coming together with their parents to see great films.
While there has been definite progress, Vinokino is by no means obsolete; there might be a Pride week on Yle Teema and mainstream films and TV series no longer totally exclude queer characters (at least as supporting cast), films telling the actual stories of LGBTQI people are still rarely seen in Finland. We are very proud to be able to offer these films, documentaries and short films to our audiences, and with Finnish subtitling, no less.
Screening locations are Alvarium (Turku) and Andorra (Helsinki). Ticket store is now open. Welcome to the movies!