Heikki Aho (filmmaker)
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Heikki Taavetti Aho (1895–1961) is viewed as a pioneer of Finnish documentary film. Aho worked with Björn Soldan (1902–1953) through their film production company Aho & Soldan (1925–1961) the Finnish documentary film tradition was born. Aho & Soldan was founded in 1925 in Helsinki, largely to enable a visual image of Finland as a newly born nation, and was active until 1961.
Awards and publications
They produced more than 400 documentary films, being the largest such producer in the 1930s in Finland, as well as the movie JUHA (1937) directed by Nyrki Tapiovaara and based on the book by their father, the Finnish author Juhani Aho. Numerous films, such as the “Finland Calling”-films from 1932 onwards as well as the films 1927, 1945, and 1961, about the family's friend, the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, have been shown internationally.
Aho & Soldan Lifetime Achievement Award, which´ criteria include a remarkable life's work and contribution to the Finnish creative documentary film and a successful long-lasting career as a documentary film director, is given by Docpoint, the annual Helsinki documentary film festival.
They were members of the ABISS-group (Aho, Brückner, Iffland, Setälä, Soldan) in the 1930s, focusing on “New Photography” inspired by the Bauhaus. They focused on documentary photography as well as artistic photography and created thousands of pictures.
Their photographic work has been published in numerous magazines over several decades and has been displayed through a number of exhibitions such as at Helsingin Taidehalli, Helsinki 1930 and 1984, Salong Strindberg, Helsinki 1930, Alvar Aalto´s The Finnish Pavilion at The 1939 New York World's Fair, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki 1987, The Finnish Film Archive, Helsinki 1992 and Musée d´art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg 1999. Similarly, their films are shown regularly at film festivals in Finland as well as abroad.
Several books featuring the work of Aho & Soldan have been published throughout the 1930s – 1950s in different languages.