To Make a Film Just to Meet Vera (2021) is an experimental documentary about an encounter between two women, media artist Pinja Valja and model Vera Ruuska. As a child, Pinja dreamt of becoming a princess when she grows up. The main duty of the princess was to be beautiful, wear gorgeous clothes and be admired – just like a model. Pinja begins to make a documentary about Vera in order to explore her own childhood dream.
In Pinja’s eyes, Vera is like a mythical creature out of this world. But how do you make a film of someone when she refuses to show herself? The film follows the documentary project from childhood memories to fashion shoots, as getting to know Vera forces Pinja to reflect on her own identity. Through the story of the two women, the film explores representations of beauty and the performative nature of identity. It also raises the question of whether the envy of Vera’s lifestyle might be turned into an asset. Can you even be jealous of your own eyes?
The duration of the work is 16 minutes, and it will be screened once every 20 minutes, starting on the hour.
Pinja Valja (b. 1984) is a Helsinki-based media artist whose principal mediums are short films and videos. A central theme in her work is the constant flux between reality and our perceptions of truth – how cultural beliefs, psychological structures, language and empirical experiences shape the way reality appears to the individual. Valja often combines documentary elements with fiction in her work.
To Make a Film Just to Meet Vera has been kindly supported by Kone Foundation, AVEK, and Arts Promotion Centre Finland.