Sami Kuokkanen
Photo: Sami Kuokkanen

Selma Vilhunen

Acclaimed Finnish filmmaker Selma Vilhunen (b. 1976) has rapidly gained international success with her feature films, shorts and documentaries. One of Vilhunen’s signature traits is an ability to capture big, fundamental emotions using small, subtle gestures.

In 2014, Vilhunen received an Academy Award nomination in the category ‘Best Live Action Short Film’ for her festival hit Do I Have to Take Care of Everything? (2012), the second Finnish film in history to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Her fiction feature debut Little Wing (2016), both written and directed by Vilhunen, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and went on to play at more than 50 festivals around the world. It received wonderful reviews and was, among many prizes and nominations, awarded the Nordic Council Film Prize 2017.

Vilhunen’s most recent documentary, Hobbyhorse Revolution (2017), premiered at the Tampere Film Festival and won the main prize in national competition, the Risto Jarva Main Prize and was also the winner of ‘Best Documentary’ at the 2018 Jussi Awards.

Her latest feature, Stupid Young Heart (2018), a warm and raw drama about suburban teenagers, won The Best Pitch Award at the Finnish Film Affair and had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was very well received.

Awards

Berlin International Film Festival, Finnish National Prize, Jussi Awards, Nordic Council's Film Prize, Jussi Awards Nominee, Jussi Awards Nominee, BUFF International Film Festival Nominee, BUFF International Film Festival Nominee, Tampere International Film Festival, Cinekid Amsterdam, Cinekid Amsterdam, Gothenburg Film Festival Nominee, Tampere International Film Festival, Jussi Awards Nominee, RiverRun International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival Nominee, Hamburg Film Festival Nominee, Finnish Film Affair, Rome Film Fest, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival Nominee, Academy Awards Nominee, Aspen Shortsfest, Aspen Shortsfest, Manhattan Short Film Festival Nominee, Tampere International Short Film Festival, Tampere International Short Film Festival See full list
Berlin International Film Festival (Best Film, Generation Section) Germany – Hölmö nuori sydän 2019
Finnish National Prize 2018
Jussi Awards (Best Documentary Film) Finland – Hobbyhorse Revolution 2018
Nordic Council's Film Prize – Tyttö nimeltä Varpu 2017
Jussi Awards Nominee (Best Direction) Finland – Tyttö nimeltä Varpu 2017
Jussi Awards Nominee (Best Script) Finland – Tyttö nimeltä Varpu 2017
BUFF International Film Festival Nominee (The City of Malmö Children's Film Award) Sweden – Tyttö nimeltä Varpu 2017
BUFF International Film Festival Nominee (ECFA Award) Sweden – Tyttö nimeltä Varpu 2017
Tampere International Film Festival (Grand Prix National Competition) Finland – Hobbyhorse Revolution 2017
Cinekid Amsterdam (Honourable mention) Netherlands – Tyttö nimeltä Varpu 2017
Cinekid Amsterdam (Best Children’s Film Audience Award) Netherlands – Hobbyhorse Revolution 2017
Gothenburg Film Festival Nominee (Dragon Award Best Nordic Film) Sweden – Tyttö nimeltä Varpu 2017
Tampere International Film Festival (Risto Jarva Main Prize) Finland – Hobbyhorse Revolution 2017
Jussi Awards Nominee (Best Film) Finland – Tyttö nimeltä Varpu 2017
RiverRun International Film Festival (Audience Choice Award Best Narrative Feature) US – Tyttö nimeltä Varpu 2017
Palm Springs International Film Festival Nominee (New Visions Grand Jury Prize) US – Tyttö nimeltä Varpu 2017
Hamburg Film Festival Nominee (Michel Award) Germany – Tyttö nimeltä Varpu 2017
Finnish Film Affair (The Best Pitch Award) Finland – Hölmö nuori sydän 2017
Rome Film Fest (Golden Camera Taodue Award) Italy – Tyttö nimeltä Varpu 2016
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival Nominee (Sleepwalkers Jury Prize) Estonia – Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa? 2014
Academy Awards Nominee (Best Short Film, Live Action) US – Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa? 2014
Aspen Shortsfest (Best Comedy) US – Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa? 2013
Aspen Shortsfest (Audience Recognition) US – Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa? 2013
Manhattan Short Film Festival Nominee (Best Short Film) US – Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa? 2013
Tampere International Short Film Festival (Finnish Short Film Over 30 minutes) Finland – Ponitytöt 2008
Tampere International Short Film Festival (Finnish Short Film Under 30 Minutes) Finland – Minun pikku elefanttini 2003
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Filmography

Related news

‘Stupid Young Heart’ wins Berlin Film Festival’s Crystal Bear for Best Film

Berlin International Film Festival’s Youth Jury Generation 14plus has chosen Stupid Young Heart, directed by Selma Vilhunen, as the winner of the 2019 Crystal Bear for ‘Best Film’. The Generation 14plus jury consists of members of the same age as the intended target audience of the movies they choose between. The jury motivates their choice of Stupid Young Heart thusly:

“[Stupid Young Heart] takes up topics that are above all of great relevance for our age group. It examines motivations behind the current political shift towards the right and xenophobia in our society. With its combination of humor, seriousness and emotion, this film tells the story of a romantic relationship between two adolescents who experience little consistency in their lives. The radical coming-of-age of the protagonists is constantly overshadowed by the confrontation with racism and the search for identity.”

Photo: Lehtikuva/Markku Ulander

Selma Vilhunen awarded the Finnish National Prize

The Ministry of Education and Culture has awarded director Selma Vilhunen the Finnish National Prize. Vilhunen is one of eight artists and groups to receive the award, granted in acknowledgement of a significant artistic career, achievement or promising breakthrough. The prize has been awarded since 1993 and amounts to EUR 24.700.

“With this year’s National Prize we wish to honor solid artistic know-how. These artists represent long-standing competence in, and impact on, the Finnish art field,” says Minister Sampo Terho.

Photo: Sami Kuokkanen

Selma Vilhunen joins Salomonsson Agency

Acclaimed Finnish filmmaker and Oscar nominee Selma Vilhunen has rapidly gained international success with her feature films, shorts and documentaries. Her fiction feature debut Little Wing (2016) played at more than 50 festivals around the world, received wonderful reviews and was, among many prizes and nominations, awarded the Nordic Council Film Prize 2017.

Vilhunen’s most recent documentary, the praised Hobbyhorse Revolution (2017), was the winner of ‘Best Documentary’ at the 2018 Jussi Awards and her latest feature, Stupid Young Heart (2018) had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was very well received.