Katja Gauriloff

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Katja Gauriloff
Katja Gauriloff at the Göteborg Film Festival in February 2017
Born (1972-12-06) December 6, 1972 (age 46)
  • filmmaker
  • director
Years active1998–present

Katja Gauriloff (born December 6, 1972[1]) is a Finnish-Skolt filmmaker, director, and one of the owners of the Finnish production company Oktober.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Gauriloff was born in Inari to a Finnish father and a Skolt Sámi mother. Although Gauriloff is of Skolt Sámi heritage on her mother's side, she grew up in Rovaniemi, far away from the main areas the Skolt community lives in around Lake Inari.[3] As she did not grow up in an environment where Skolt Sámi was spoken and it was not spoken at home, she did not learn the language.[4] In spite of this, Gauriloff has developed a strong identity as a Skolt and has explored her heritage through two of her documentaries. In 2016, the cultural association of the Skolts Saaʹmi Nueʹtt and the Skolt village meeting named her Skolt of the Year for her work on Kaisa's Enchanted Forest.[5]

From 2000 to 2004, she studied directing at the Tampere University of Applied Sciences at the School of Art and Media.

Professional career[edit]

Gauriloff began her career in the film industry in 1998.


Two of Gauriloff's documentaries, A Shout into the Wind and Canned Dreams, have been awarded Finnish State Quality Support for cinema productions (Finnish: elokuvataiteen laatutuki). In 2013, Gauriloff and Joonas Berghäll directed the documentary Voimanlähde about four women and their fight against breast cancer for the Pink Ribbon campaign by the Cancer Foundation of Finland (Finnish: Syöpäsäätiö).[6]

A Shout into the Wind[edit]

A Shout into the Wind was not only Gauriloff's debut film, it was her first film about the Skolt Sámi community. The film documents the struggles of a Skolt family near Sevettijärvi to preserve their traditions in today's world. At first, it was difficult to find funding for the film and it looked like it would not be produced at all.[7] The Finnish Film Foundation and the Promotion Centre For Audiovisual Culture AVEK originally declined requests to fund the movie, but National Geographic gave Gauriloff a seed grant from its All Roads Film Project.[7][8] The world premiere of A Shout into the Wind was screened at National Geographic's All Roads Film Festival in 2007.

Canned Dreams[edit]

Gauriloff's next documentary, Canned Dreams is a full-length film that follows the making of a can of ravioli through the entire chain of production, concentrating on the individuals contributing to its production.[9] Unusual for this type of documentary, it was even shown in commercial movie theaters in Finland and Denmark. In addition, it was shown at the DocPoint Documentary Movie Festival in Helsinki, Finland and was selected to be shown in the Culinary Cinema programme at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival.[9][10]

Kaisa's Enchanted Forest[edit]

Gauriloff's documentary about the friendship between her great-grandmother Kaisa Taisia Gauriloff, a Skolt Sámi storyteller, and the Swiss writer Robert Crottet premiered at the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä, Finland in June 2016.[3][11]

Feature films[edit]

In 2017, it was announced that Gauriloff would be directing her first full-length fiction feature film, the film adaptation of Sofi Oksanen's Baby Jane.[7][12] The movie premiered on International Women's Day 2019.[13]


Gauriloff and her movies have won numerous awards both at home in Finland and around the world.[1][14][15] 2016 saw Gauriloff win multiple awards, mainly for the movie Kaisa's Enchanted Forest, which was the first Sámi film ever to not only be nominated for a Jussi Award (Best Sound Design and Best Documentary), but to also win one, which it did for Best Documentary.[1][15] In addition to winning a Jussi, Kaisa's Enchanted Forest was awarded a Golden Dove at Dok Leipzig in the International Competition for Animated Documentary.[16] To round out the year, Gauriloff was named the Skolt of the Year by the Skolt Sámi Language and Culture Association Saaʹmi Nueʹtt and the Skolt community council.[1][5][14] In 2017, Gauriloff received the Skábmagovat Prize for her work.[14][15] The same year, Kaisa's Enchanted Forest continued to win awards, this time, the Grand Prix at the Northern Character movie festival in Murmansk.[17]


Fiction films[edit]

  • The Last Day of His Life, 2003
  • Pei'vv paast, 2004
  • Baby Jane, 2019


  • Sincere intentions (Northern Sami: Buorit áigumusat), 2004
  • A Shout into the Wind (Finnish: Huuto tuuleen), 2007
  • Canned Dreams (Finnish: Säilöttyjä unelmia) 2011
  • Voimanlähde, 2013
  • Kaisa's Enchanted Forest (Skolt Sami: Mannu mieʹcc Kaiʹssi, Finnish: Kuun metsän Kaisa), 2016


  1. ^ a b c d Katja Gauriloff at Elonet (in Finnish)
  2. ^ "Katja Gauriloff - Director". Oktober. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Wesslin, Sara (November 7, 2014). "Elokuvantekijä Katja Gauriloff palaa kolttasaamelaisille juurilleen" (in Finnish). Yle Uutiset. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  4. ^ Jokimies, Paula (January 31, 2012). "Taustapeili: Vieraana Katja Gauriloff" (Radio program) (in Finnish). Yle Areena. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Kuun metsän Kaisa -elokuvantekijä Katja Gauriloff on Vuoden koltta 2016" [Kaisa's Enchanted Forest's Filmmaker Katja Gauriloff is Skolt of the Year 2016] (in Finnish). Lapin Kansa. October 31, 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  6. ^ "Roosa nauha -kampanjalle tehty dokumentti antaa rintasyövälle kasvot" [Documentary made for the Pink Ribbon campaign] (in Finnish). Region Norrbotten. November 24, 2017. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Sundqvist, Janne (February 14, 2017). "Saamelainen elokuvaohjaaja Katja Gauriloff Berliinin elokuvajuhlilla: Olen ikuisesti ulkopuolinen" [Sámi film director Katja Gauriloff at the Berlin International Film Festival: I will always be an outsider] (in Finnish). Yle. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  8. ^ "National Geographic's All Roads Film Project Brings Together New Voices and First Stories in Fourth Annual Festival of Film, Photography, Live Music". National Geographic. September 28, 2007. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Rossing Jensen, Jorn (February 9, 2012). "Finnish dish for Culinary Cinema - a can of ravioli, by Gauriloff". Cineuropa. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  10. ^ Virtanen, Leena (January 24, 2011). "Säilykkeen tarina on nyt purkissa" (in Finnish). Helsingin Sanomat. p. C2.
  11. ^ Juntti, Maija-Liisa (June 18, 2016). "Kuun metsän Kaisa oli kolttasukunsa vahva nainen – Katja Gauriloffin elokuva kertoo ohjaajan isoisoäidistä" (in Finnish). Yle Uutiset. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
  12. ^ Pesonen, Mikko (April 5, 2017). "Sofi Oksasen Baby Jane valkokankaalle" [Sofi Oksanen's Baby Jane to the screen] (in Finnish). Yle. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  13. ^ Torikka, Xia (March 1, 2019). "Gauriloff bagadan Baby Jane filbmateahteriidda 8. beaivve – čájehuvvo maid Ohcejogas ja Avvilis" [Gauriloff's Baby Jane in movie theaters on the 8th – showings in Utsjoki and Ivalo too] (in Northern Sami). Yle Sápmi. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c "Skábmagovat Prize to Katja Gauriloff". Skábmagovat. January 28, 2017. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  15. ^ a b c Guttorm, Susanna (January 28, 2017). "Skábmagovat-palkinto ohjaaja Katja Gauriloffille – viimeisin elokuva Jussi-ehdokkaana" [Katja Gauriloff wins Skábmagovat Prize – her latest movie up for a Jussi Award] (in Finnish). Yle. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  16. ^ "Award winners 2016". Dok Leipzig. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  17. ^ "Kuun metsän Kaisalle pääpalkinto Murmanskissa" (in Finnish). Amusa Kulttuuritori. November 28, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2018.

External links[edit]