Risto Jarva Award to Blush – An Extraordinary Voyage by Iiti Yli-Harja

March 13, 2023

Finnish Film Foundation has given the 10,000-euro Risto Jarva Award to Blush – An Extraordinary Voyage, written and directed by Iiti Yli-Harja.

Iiti Yli-Harja

Iiti Yli-Harja

The short documentary animation follows the 18-year-old Fatu who is going out for the first time with make-up on. The trip to the grocery store becomes as meaningful as the moonlanding. Luckily his best friend Rai, a young woman on the spectrum of autism, is there to ferociously support him through the voyage.

The jury stated:

“Risto Jarva Award is an annual film industry award, given out by the Finnish Film Foundation and awarded to a new Finnish film that is fresh, distinctive, and original.

During the festival the jury saw films that were innovative both in format and content. The works have been striking, impressive and have opened up new viewpoints to many worlds, and even to space.

This year’s winning film is light as powder, on its surface. The story joyously utilizes sci-fi conventions, and the adventure it takes the viewer on is entertaining, grasping and profoundly moving.

Although it is glitz and glam, friendship, cheese balls and make-up, below are heavy themes: it’s about human rights, violence and even death.”

Blush – An Extraordinary Voyage premiered last fall in DOK Leipzig. It is produced by Valtteri Munkki and Mikko Heino for Side Stories. 

The Risto Jarva Jury members were filmmaker Mari Mantela, Finnish Film Foundation’s board membern Laura Kolbe and Finnish Film Foundation’s staff member, international promotion assistant Anni Asikainen.

The first Risto Jarva Award was given in 1979. The award honors the memory of filmmaker Risto Jarva (1934–1977) and it is given annually at the Tampere Film Festival.

See a list of the other winners from Tampere Film Festival:

Awarded Films 2023