Pikku-Kalle? (2012)

A film by: Alastair Cole, Anna Dmitreva, and Daniel Szollosi

Running Time: 13min

Languages: Finnish, Swedish, English.

Subtitles Available in: English, French


Who Is Pikku-Kalle? Are you Pikku-Kalle?

This short documentary is a film about just what it means to grow up, to tell a joke, and to be Finnish. The film scours the beautiful Finnish archipelago of Turku for the mischievous character of Pikku-Kalle, giving a insight into the satirical world of Finland, and reminding us of the naughty child that is inside everyone of us.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2012 in the Critics Week invitational section and is now touring festivals. For an online screener please contact us here.

Directors Comment:

This film was born from a fascination with Finnish humour and a month long boat journey around some of the smallest islands of Europe, in the Turku Archipelago off the south west coast of Finland. We aimed to make a film about jokes that would give us a satirical window into the language, culture, and communities of the Islands along our journey. Where does this humour come from? Could we ever really understand or translate it?

Through a portable comedy club we started to dig into this world, meeting gracious, friendly and very often hilarious islanders along the way, seeing and hearing their thoughts and jokes about everything we could have imagined: their neighbours, their language, their men, their women, death, winter, fish, saunas, sex and sailors. Our friendly Finns had many jokes to tell….some very far from repeatable.

However, we soon realised that there was something we didn’t quite understand about our joke tellers. Who was their little friend ‘Pikku-Kalle’?, the name of a trouble making character that we kept hearing in the jokes we were being told. So started a new search, not just for the jokers of the islands, but for Pikku-Kalle himself. He had to be somewhere, these islands were not huge, so surely we could find him…we took some directions, and checked maps. We scoured the forests, harbours, bars, restaurants, cow paddocks, potato farms….we found sailors, gardeners, distillers, tree fellers, farmers, boys, girls, mums and dads…which one was Pikku-Kalle? What language did they speak? Can they swim?

Produced by: Tongue Tied Films and Nisi Masa. Copyright 2012.