Films by Scottish and Finnish school kids screened at Finland’s most prestigious Film Festival
12.06.2018 | Audiovisual culture

Teenagers from St Joseph’s Academy in Kilmarnock, Scotland and Aleksanteri Kena school in Sodankylä, Finland have sent video-clips from their lives to each other over a few months. The result was screened at the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodanlylä, Finland on Tuesday 12th June.   

Project coordinator Mirja Koponen from Highlight Arts is very impressed with the Breaking the Ice films.

“We were curious how this type of personal penpal-style communications works in today’s environment saturated by media.”

The project taught valuable skills, such as how to work under pressure, says 16-year-old Aino Keronen from Aleksanteri Kena school.

“We started it at the end of the school year, while we were in the middle of exams and other important school work. Keeping up with the busy schedule gave us skills to handle pressure, and they will probably come helpful in future as well.”

Teacher Heather Kirkwood from St Joseph’s Academy describes the project as eye-opening. Despite the obvious differences like the weather and reindeer versus goats, her group found they a lot in common with the Finns.

“The fear of bullying, the sense of loneliness and isolation it brings, really resonated with our young people, and while they made very silly comedy sketches about it, they really appreciated the chance to talk about their own experiences,  and discuss something that far too many people have first-hand experience of.”

When she asked the students to reflect on the project, they also wanted to add something important:

“Reindeer, they felt they had to give a shout out to the reindeer.“

The project was initiated and partly funded by the Finnish Institute in London. More information:



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