Olga - To My Friends

Paul Anders Simma, Finland / Sweden / Norway, 2013, color, DCP, 58'
Synopsis

In the Russian part of Lapland, some 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) north of Moscow, winter temperatures dip down to the negative double digits. It's as white as the eye can see here, and there's hardly a human being to speak of. Here, Olga lives in a simple dwelling under a think layer of snow. She watches over the rations and vehicles of the reindeer herders, who won't return until spring. This year, she spent 177 days by herself, with only a cat to keep her company. Olga is the only woman in the reindeer brigade, and the work isn't without its dangers. Food often gets stolen, and she once came face to face with a bear and got run over by a herd of reindeer. But Olga feels right at home here. She grew up in an orphanage, and when her mother finally got some money together and came to pick her up, she felt like a stranger in her own family. She was the only one who didn't speak Saami, the local language, and her family members are all big drinkers – alcoholism is a major problem in the Saami community. When rumors circulate that the brigade is going to be shut down, she is truly worried. If Olga loses her job and her house, what will become of her?

IDFA Awards given out in Durban, Montevideo and Sarajevo August 27, 2015 | Three IDFA Awards were handed out over the summer to promising projects pitched at three international film markets. As part of the awards, all winners will attend IDFA in November.
IDFAcademy Summer School report July 8, 2015 | Emerging filmmakers from all over the world came together for an uncharacteristically hot week in Amsterdam to work on their documentary projects with renowned tutors such as Victor Kossakovsky and Cecilia Lidin.
IBF announces May selection July 7, 2015 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has concluded the second selection round for 2015. Eleven documentary projects from countries like Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, South Sudan, Uruguay and Georgia will be supported by the fund in its classic scheme.
New Media at IDFA 2015 July 7, 2015 | For those interested in the creative potential of digital technology, virtual reality and interactive media, this year's IDFA will have more to offer than ever before.
Errol Morris central guest at IDFA 2015 June 30, 2015 | Renowned filmmaker Errol Morris will compile this year's Top 10 program at IDFA. The festival will also be screening a retrospective of Morris's work.

Twitter

IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 4 hour ago
Only a few days left to enter your project to co-production market #IDFAForum! Deadline is September 1. More: https://t.co/xtnoEAQH1z
Open
IDFAindustry @IDFAindustry 1 day ago
"Docs are an important tool for dialogue between cultures, religions, people" IDFA director Ally Derks @thekortimes https://t.co/OWsVtoOSqM
Open
VPRO Oxfam Novib de Volkskrant BankGiro Loterij Fonds 21 Fonds 21