Lens Politica is a festival of political film and art. The main goal of the festival is to act as an initiator of debate and to offer an easily accessible forum for discussion on current social, environmental, economical and cultural topics. The festival brings the audience together with domestic and foreign filmmakers, artists and experts to discuss current issues in the society through film and art.
The programme of the festival consists of film screenings, art exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions and clubs. In addition to feature length documentary and fiction films, the festival also presents short films, media art, performances, other fine art and various forms of culture jamming. The festival is organized by the non-profit association Lens Politica ry.
The festival will take place for the tenth time from November 13th to 22nd 2015.
The films in the festival programme are selected by invitation. Filmmakers may submit their films unofficially and they will be passed on to the programming team. There is no submission form or fee, no feedback mechanism, and no guarantee that the film will be viewed.
Films for the 2015 edition of the festival can be submitted until mid-September 2015.
The festival was founded by film director and artist Alejandro Pedregal, who worked as the artistic director of the festival until 2012. Lens Politica was created as a part of his course on political film theory at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. The first Lens Politica festival was held from November 28th to December 3rd 2005.
Since 2007 the festival has been organized by the non-profit association Lens Politica ry.
Behind the festival is a number of professionals in fine arts and film. Over the years among them have been the visual artists Minna Långström, Seppo Salminen and Tuomas Laitinen as well as art historian Nina Toppila and film producer Sanna Kultanen. Media artist Hanna Ojamo worked as the artistic director of the festival from 2012 to 2013. Artist Nicolas Schevin has been responsible for the visual design of the festival for many years.
Throughout the years the festival has been visited by global political figureheads such as the American Jewish politics researcher Norman Finkelstein, activists like the performance artist Reverend Billy (Billy Talen) and the American gonzo activist Mike Bonanno (The Yes Men), as well as numerous visual artists, including Elena Kovylina, one of the most renowned figures of performance art in Russia, and filmmakers, such as the Oscar awarded Bosnian director Danis Tanović.
In 2010, Lens Politica was awarded The Aesthetic Act of The Year award by the Finnish Society for Aesthetics. The award was given for reaching an audience and enhancing the discussion on societal issues through art.