Mika Taanila

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Mika Taanila after a screening of "Six Day Run" at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2013

Mika Taanila (b. 1965 in Helsinki) is a Finnish film director and visual artist.

His films can be categorized somewhere between the traditions of classic documentary film-making, avant-garde and video art. His most notable films are Optical Sound (2005), The Future Is Not What It Used To Be (2002)[1] and Futuro – A New Stance for Tomorrow (1998).[2]

In addition to traditional cinematic screenings, Taanila shows his works also in galleries and museum as film and video installations.[3]

Taanila has participated to numerous international group shows, such as Aichi Triennale, Nagoya (2013), Schriftfilme, ZKM, Karlsruhe (2013), Arctic Hysteria at PS.1. (2008), Shanghai Biennale (2006), Berlin Biennale (2004) and Manifesta 4 (2002). Solo shows include Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki (2013–2014), Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2013), TENT, Rotterdam (2013), Galleria Heino, Helsinki (2010), Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2008), Dazibao, Montréal (2007) and Migrosmuseum, Zurich (2005).

In the summer 2012 Taanila participated at dOCUMENTA (13) with a three channel (3 x 16 metres) video installation The Most Electrified Town In Finland (2012). The piece uses documentary footage during the construction of Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant in Finland. Taanila and Jussi Eerola have directed also a documentary called Return of the Atom which examines the construction of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant. Return of the Atom premiered in Toronto International Film Festival and won the NORDIC:DOX award at CPH:DOX festival in November 2015.

In May 2015 Taanila received the Ars Fennica award. Taanila's latest film Tectonic Plate is a cameraless feature film.

Filmography (selection)[edit]

  • Tectonic Plate (2016, 74 min, DCP)
  • Return of the Atom (2015, 109 min, DCP, co-dir. with Jussi Eerola)
  • My Silence (2013, 15 min, video)
  • Six Day Run (2013, 15 min, DCP)
  • The Most Electrified Town In Finland (2012, 15 min, 3 x HD)
  • The Zone of Total Eclipse (2006, 6 min, 2 x 16mm)[4]
  • Optical Sound (2005, 6 min, 35 mm)
  • The Future Is Not What It Used To Be (2002, 52 min, 35 mm)
  • A Physical Ring (2002, 4 min, 35 mm)
  • RoboCup99 (2000, 25 min, 35 mm)
  • Futuro – A New Stance For Tomorrow (1998, 29 min, 35 mm)
  • Thank You For The Music – A Film About Muzak (1997, 24 min, 35mm)


  • Time Machines (2013, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki) monograph for Kiasma's solo show, eds. Leevi Haapala, Kati T. Kivinen
  • Aika & aine (Time & Matter, 2006, Reel23, Amsterdam) DVD compilation of five short films by Mika Taanila.
  • Mika Taanila (JRP|Ringier, 2005) monograph for Migrosmuseum's solo show, ed. Heike Munder
  • Futuro. Tomorrow’s House from Yesterday (2002, Desura Books, Helsinki) 192-page book plus 75-minute DVD about The Futuro House. Co-edited with Marko Home.
  • The Dawn of DIMI (2002, Kiasma/Kinotar) A DVD on Erkki Kurenniemi's electronic art. Editor: Mika Taanila.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Documentary. International Documentary Association. 2006. p. 45. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  2. ^ Patton, Phil (28 July 2005). "Futuro Flashback: The Prefab From Another Planet". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  3. ^ Johnson, Ken (6 June 2008). "Cool, Hot and Finnish, With a Dose of Mythic Imagination". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  4. ^ "Entre l'ombre et la lumière". Voir. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-06.