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Gustav Deutsch's Tampere: Films, history, museums

Director Gustav Deutsch and festival director Jukka-Pekka Laakso at the festival centre.

Austrian director Gustav Deutsch meets me at the festival centre of the 44th Tampere International Short Film Festival. There is a group of students listening to a lecture about the festival, guests arriving, people working behind the guest info desk and others just relaxing and enjoying themselves.

– I like it. It is a nice atmosphere and everything seems to be under control, Deutsch says.

Deutsch has visited Tampere Film Festival before and was happy to be invited again. This year his visit was a special one because it was the first one with his partner and collaborator Hanna Schimek.

– Hanna knows Tampere only by what I've told her about my previous visits, and now I'm giving her a little tour. This morning we have already visited The Finnish Labour Museum Werstas, a very well made and accessible museum, where you can understand a lot about workers' movement, industrialization and the development of human rights and women's rights.

Deutsch explains that he seems to be learning more every time he visits Tampere, especially about the history. The film festival itself is well set into the city's industrial history: the venues are mostly in old red brick factories.

– You can see this development in festivals in other industrialized areas as well: when industries go down and factories close, buildings are filled with other content, often art, Deutsch says.

Tampere Film Festival screened Deutsch's "Shirley – Visions of Reality", a film based on 13 paintings by Edward Hopper. Deutsch and Schimek also gave a masterclass to show and discuss the film.

– We like to show what is behind all this iconic quality of Edward Hopper's paintings and why so many other artists base their work on his work. He is an outstanding artist, Deutsch explains.

A film festival is also a chance to meet colleagues around the world, and Tampere is no exception.

– In the opening of the festival I had, for example, a very nice talk with the German film maker Jochen Kuhn and the Namibian director Joel Haikali. So yes, something international is happening in Tampere, says Deutsch.

Tampere Film Festival: www.tamperefilmfestival.fi

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