Pirjo Honkasalo

Director, cameraman, screenwriter

Pirjo Honkasalo is a highly established director, cinematographer and screenwriter who has won countless awards for her work. She directed several feature films in the 1970s and 80s together with Pekka Lehto, such as Flame Top, which was screened in competition at Cannes in 1980. In the 1990s she continued to work alone and turned to feature documentaries, directing the prize-winning The Trilogy of the Sacred and the Satanic (Mysterion, Tanjuska and the 7 Devils and Atman). She has also directed the stunningly beautiful The 3 Rooms of Melancholia, a story of how Russian and Chechen children were psychologically affected by the war in Chechnya. In between her documentaries she returned to feature fiction and directed Fire-Eater, which won a prize at Locarno (where it opened the festival) and also won the AFI Grand Prix at Los Angeles. She was then invited to Japan to direct a film in Tokyo, resulting in Ito – A Diary of an Urban Priest. Her latest feature fiction Concrete Night opened in Toronto at the TIFF Masters Series. She has had well over 30 retrospectives of her work worldwide, acted as a member of several international juries and runs international master classes. She has an honorary doctorate from the Aalto University and is a member of the American Film Academy.