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Creative
Documentary Films

Koko Production was founded in 2017 by a director–producer–screenwriter Mina Laamo, a visual artist with two decades long experience working in film.

She is known for creative documentaries Sorrow Tamers (Surunkesyttäjät, 2022), Becoming Me (Matka minuksi, 2015) and The Pests (Tuholaiset, 2007). In her own films she has explored grief, the sense of inadequacy, and fear of otherness – emotions we do not wish to encounter in ourselves. In addition to documentary films, she engages in cooperation with Pia Andell, who is Laamo’s co-artist in the media art installation Four Trick Pony, exhibited at the Turku Art Museum 2020–2021.

Mina Laamo graduated from the Aalto University majoring in Documentary Film. She also obtained another Master of Arts degree, majoring in Comparative Literature and Gender Studies, from the University of Helsinki.

She lectures and writes about documentary filmmaking with enthusiasm and passion.

FILMS

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A Nature Documentary on Dying Birds 

(Luontodokumentti kuolevista linnuista)
IN DEVELOPMENT / FINLAND / CREATIVE DOCUMENTARY / APPROX. 60’

In my lifetime, approximately 600 million nesting birds have vanished in the European Union. 

 

About half of the sparrow population is gone – a total of 247 million birds. Half of the bird species in Finland are endangered or near threatened. Thanks to the bird-counting efforts of thousands of birdwatchers, birds are the most studied species group in Finland. Their state reflects the vitality of nearly all habitats.

Some of the major causes for loss of biodiversity include climate change and habitats being destroyed and degraded by humans.  

This documentary film explores the question of why knowledge is not enough. Why are people not realising the gravity of loss of biodiversity and the sixth mass extinction happening around us? Experts, thinkers, conservationists, and futurists discuss what could bring about change in the way people think and act: Why are we so feverishly against change? Why do we come up with excuses when we should roll up our sleeves and get to work? Should our approach to the world, environment and ourselves be fundamentally different?

More info: climatestorylabnordic.org/

climatestorylabs.org

SCRIPTWRITER & DIRECTOR

Mina Laamo

DIRECTOR OF CINEMATOGRAPHY

Cristal Alakoski

Jarkko Virtanen

EDITOR

Tuuli Kuittinen

SOUND DESIGN

Janne Laine

IMPACT PRODUCER

Riitta Ryhtä

PRODUCER

Mina Laamo

PRODUCTION COMPANY

Koko Production

SUPPORTED BY

KONEEN SÄÄTIÖ

AVEK TAIKE

TJNK KMS

SELECTED TO BE PART OF

The Climate Story Lab Nordic

2023-2024

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In the Borderland

(Työnimi: Raja)
IN PRODUCTION / FINLAND / CREATIVE DOCUMENTARY / APPROX. 60’

In the summer of 2021, the municipality of Parikkala is getting ready for the opening of an international border crossing to Russia, scheduled for 2024. Financially, the project has major significance for the small border town.

 

Everything changes overnight in February 2022 with Russian tanks rolling over the Ukrainian border.

 

The fruitful that has been established with the neighbour country over decades is wasted in an instant. The border will not open, it will close.

This film follows the everyday life of people in Parikkala between the old and new era, when world politics escalate and change the life of the town and its people as well their thoughts on the border and Russia, the country on the other side. Local newspaper editors, business owners, members of the city council, border officials and other people in the area are faced both with a new kind of future that is unknown to them and the heavy historical baggage. They must redefine their relationship with Russian and their home region as Russia’s neighbour.

SCRIPTWRITER & DIRECTOR

Elina Hyvärinen

DIRECTOR OF CINEMATOGRAPHY

Jarkko Virtanen

EDITOR

Nikke Bagge

SOUND DESIGN

Janne Laine

PRODUCER

Mina Laamo

PRODUCTION COMPANY

Koko Production

IN CO-OPERATION WITH

Yle / Jenny Westergård

SUPPORTED BY

SES AVEK

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Sorrow Tamers

(Surunkesyttäjät)
2022 / FINLAND / CREATIVE DOCUMENTARY / 66’

An art-house-documentary film about individuals, who have decided to face the sorrow as it exists to them. Sorrow always shakes up the life we used to know, and everything is changed. Changed how? You do not know, unless you fearlessly step into the world of grief and, without fearing the change, step out in due course as a new, transformed version of yourself.

 

Life is learning how to let go before death, the ultimate momentum of letting go.

 

Shot on film, the short episodes of individual stories form a larger story of the finite nature of life and the intrinsic need of human beings to reach out to each other, even when it is not possible.

Read more: Modern Times Review

 

Effects used in the film from Freesound.org under the Creative Commons 0 License (CC0 1.0) and the following effects under the Attribution License (CC BY 3.0): • thatjeffcarter: We Listen - melody / https://freesound.org/people/thatjeffcarter/sounds/141865/ • OSFX: Standing above a reactor / https://freesound.org/people/OSFX/sounds/420538/ • Mat397: Polyflute pad / https://freesound.org/people/Mat397/sounds/485078/ • striptheband: Ambient Groove 002 / https://freesound.org/people/striptheband/sounds/52020/ • YleArkisto: An aeroplane, passenger plane, propeller aircfaft, DC-3, Dakota, taxing, taking off / https://freesound.org/people/YleArkisto/sounds/256049/

SCRIPTWRITER & DIRECTOR

Mina Laamo

DIRECTOR OF CINEMATOGRAPHY

Päivi Kettunen F.S.C.

EDITOR

Tuuli Kuittinen F.C.E.

SOUND DESIGN

Janne Laine

CREATIVE PRODUCER

Pia Andell

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Atte Karttunen

PRODUCER

Mina Laamo

PRODUCTION COMPANY

Koko Production

IN CO-OPERATION WITH

Yle / Jenny Westergård

SUPPORTED BY

SES AVEK KMS TAIKE

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Four Trick Pony

2020 / FINLAND / DOCUMENTARY INSTALLATION / ENDLESS

Four Trick Pony is a video installation constructed of the personal film and video archives of two documentarists. The work uncouples itself from the bonds of documentary cinema, the tradition of narrativity, and the logic of causality.

 

Unique at every moment, it never repeats the same twice. Prominent elements in the footage are experientiality, transitoriness, moment, attention, observation and awakening. 

 

The initial impetus for the work was the artists’ realisation of the ever-present demand for stories. Four Trick Pony is their way of exploring what happens when narrative is rejected. What alternative ways are there to tell about the world we live in? Do we always need a story, or can its fundamental purpose – reaching out emotionally to other people – be served also without a narrative?

The exhibition:

Turku Art Museum, Finland

27 Nov 2020 – 21 Mar 2021

turuntaidemuseo.fi/en/nayttelyt/andell-laamo

SCRIPTWRITERS & DIRECTORS 

Pia Andell

Mina Laamo

SOUND DESIGN 

Janne Laine

PRODUCERS 

Pia Andell

Mina Laamo

PRODUCTION COMPANIES

Koko Production

Of Course My Films

SUPPORTED BY 

AVEK TAIKE

DISTRIBUTION

AV-arkki

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