Church Media Foundation Award 2024

Documentary "Do No Harm" wins church film prize at the Tampere Film Festival

Film directors Satu Majava and Joel Tainio have won the Church Media Foundation Award with their film «Do No Harm». The documentary was awarded in the domestic competition of the 54th Tampere Film Festival (March 6-10, 2024) in Finland, where a total of 37 films were included.

Markus Luukkonen, the communications manager and a member of the foundation's board from the Lahti Parish Union, served as the jury for the award.

"Compassion is humanity's superpower, and now it is needed more than ever in a long time. The protagonist of the film chosen by the Church Media Foundation experiences deep compassion and a sense of duty to help," Markus Luukkonen stated in his award justification.

The awarded film is a depiction of a Ukrainian doctor, Oksana, who resides in Finland. When the war breaks out, Oksana doesn't know what she should do. Oksana is not licensed to practice as a doctor in Finland, and there is a great need for her in Ukraine.

"As the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine begins, aid shipments start even before humanitarian chains have been established. The video camera circulates at the forefront of aid work, echoing the unpredictable rhythm of war and manages to capture the conflicts and uncertainties experienced by the helpers. However, what remains in the viewer's memory is a silent understanding that hope arises through action," Luukkonen said.

The Church Media Foundation award amounts to 1500 Euros. The award has been presented at the Tampere Film Festival to a domestic film director since 2017.

The award criteria emphasize the technical and artistic quality of films, as well as themes that invite viewers to contemplate the Christian values and ethical questions.

The Church Media Foundation was established in 2005. Its purpose, based on the values ​​of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, is to support and promote the creation, distribution, and presentation of programs dealing with religion and worldview in national media.

The International Film Festival Tampere was founded in 1968 and is dedicated to short films. In the national competition the festival presents also feature length documentaries.