Filmmaker Pirjo Honkasalo
Pirjo Honkasalo (1947, Helsinki, Finland) is known for her uncompromising aesthetics and poetic imagery, which she uses to highlight social themes.
Honkasalo is not only a director but also a camera woman, editor, producer, screenwriter and actress. In her films she frequently crosses the boundary between fiction and documentary - one of the topics covered during her masterclass in 2010, when she presented her Top 10 as guest of honor of IDFA and a retrospective was dedicated to her work. After studying cinematography at the art academy in Helsinki, she did a postgraduate course at Temple University in Philadelphia. The first film of hers that was shown at IDFA, Atman (1997), won the Joris Ivens Award. This film is, along with Mysterion (1991) and Tanjuska and the 7 Devils (1993), part of her 'trilogy of the sacred and the satanic'. In the masterpiece The 3 Rooms of Melancholia (chosen in 2007 as one of the audience favorites of IDFA's first twenty years) Honkasalo follows Russian and Chechen children who try to survive in wartime. In 2014 she participated in the theme program The Female Gaze at IDFA, about a 'female look' in documentaries and in 2017 in the Camera in Focus program.