Marjaana Rantama

Artist

About & Contact

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I am a freelance filmmaker, production designer and scenographer. My career consists of more than 250 various productions. Furthermore, I have written and directed my own film projects, co-produced projects as an entrepreneur and had several private exhibitions as a painter. Together with Artist Ylva Holländer we form an artistic group SIKT. SIKT makes experimental short films, music and media art with the philosophical attitude, humanism and absurd sense of humor.

Upcoming Projects

Galleria Hippolyte, Helsinki, solo exhibition Artist Group SIKT 2020

GalleriaKONE, Hämeenlinna, solo exhibition Artist Group SIKT 2021

Projects

The Clothes

Media art / short movie

The Clothes consists of an installation with two videos and a lot of ordinary clothes. The main video can also be seen as an individual short movie. The Clothes concerns the pressures of a modern woman as she is trying to fulfill the contradictory expectations of good womanhood. It also can be seen as a statement to the consuming culture, which is drowning us concretely in textile materials and our own clothes. Furthermore, the film also wants to show empathy for the often absurd aims of a human.

Production: Artist group SIKT, 2019

Die Chirurgin

The Weightlessness Trilogy

Die Chirurgin is an absurd road movie about a surgeon searching for a connection. She takes a ferry to Hamburg, a train to Paris, a plane to Houston and finally ends up on the Moon. But even in space she remains lonely. The movie ponders the problem of unobtainable.

The Surgeon is captivated about conquering the cold space even though she is longing for closeness.

Production: Artist group SIKT, 2019 (05.35)

A Night in the Park

The Weightlessness Trilogy

A Night in the Park is musical. Two astronauts from the outer space have arrived at a beautiful planet. They are looking for something they can scent but not quite explicate. They are feeling the way in the urban surrounding. Finally, they are charmed by the enchanting scent of the park. Happily, they keep on travelling in the infinite universe.

Production: Artist group SIKT, 2018 (04.07)

Juoksuhaudantie

Man’s heaven and earth

Matti Virtanen is a warehouse man for whom the family is everything. When Matti’s wife wants a divorce, he has to rebuild his masculinity. Matti identifies with the Finnish soldiers who fought in mud and mold for the independence of their homeland. Matti lives high up in a block of flats, close to the sky. At any cost Matti, too, wants a piece of the homeland with a special house that was once built for soldiers. He believes, then his wife will return home.

Production: Kinotar Oy, 2004 (1h, 53 min)

Kiss me in the Rain

A white carpet as a narrator

Maire is a remarkably wealthy woman. She is also infinitely lonely and highly alcoholic. Maire identifies with the tragedies of unknown people. The story begins when Maire finds a story about Kirsi-Mari in the magazine. Maire lights up an obsessive desire to help a young widow and a single mother. The main location is Maire’s home and its white over-all carpet. The carpet symbolizes the purity provided by wealth and that is constantly in danger to get spoiled by dirt.

Production: Kinotar Oy 2000, (1h, 41 min)

Research

How worlds are created ?

Film-makers have the privilege of creating imaginary worlds that allow us to explore the future and navigate the present. We are now living through a critical period in the history of humanity. Humanity has been brought face to face with extremely complex global problems. We must re-evaluate what we dream about and what we consider worth pursuing. We need to find new ways to conduct this self-evaluation process. The filmmakers need to re-imagine their conceptions of cinema and of themselves as authors. This is a social demand that concerns all professions, not just film production.

The starting point for my research is that art is communication that creates and shapes our lives. Questions of power are questions of authorship. In my research these questions turn into ethical and moral musings about the individual’s responsibility in a collective process. The question I pose is this: how do the power relations of the production process shape the material aesthetics and narrative of a film?

My thesis is an author-driven practice based and qualitative study. The data I use consists of a close critical reading of my own artistic work process and interviews with set designers, directors and producers that I have conducted. I also frame my research with quotes that depict film and set design. The conceptual framework comes from new materialist systems thinking, feminist economics and Focauldian analysis of power.

My goal is to produce new concepts and thinking that arise from a set designer’s operative perspective. In order to have a dialogue that creates something new we must be able to communicate our thoughts to others and surrender ourselves to generative listening.

I am working on a doctoral dissertation for the Department of Film, Television and Scenography at Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

Curriculum vitae

13 feature films, over 40 shortfilms and TV-productions, more than 20 theater designs, aproximately 150 designs for TV-commercials.

Latest projects

2020 Topics of Weightlessness, exhibition in Gallery Hippolyte, Helsinki, Artist Group SIKT

2020 Dream of Life, short movie/media art work, Artist Group SIKT

2019 Villiä ja Viileetä, Group Exhibition of Finnish Painters’ Union, Porvoo, SIKT
2019 Galerie bij de Boeken, Netherlands
2019 Die Chirurgin, short movie/media art work, Artist Group SIKT
2018 A Night in the Park, short movie/media art work, Artist Group SIKT
2018 Matchen, set design, short movie, dir. Pia Andell
2016–2017 A documentary about sailor’s families, script writing and pre-production

Production Design for feature films(selected)

2005 Unna ja Nuuk, dir. Saara Cantell
2003 Juoksuhaudantie, dir. Veikko Aaltonen
2001 Rakkaudella, Maire, dir. Veikko Aaltonen
1993 Ripa ruostuu, dir, Christian Lindblad
1991 Il Capitano, dir, Jan Troell

Short movies and TV-series

2015 Kirjat ja valokuvat, short movie, dir. Pia Andell
2014 Kristuksen morsian, TV-feature, 80 min, dir. Kari Paljakka
2010 Göringin sauva, documentary, dir. Pia Andell
2001,2003 Kivi ja kilpi, TV-serie, two seasons, dir. Joona Tena

Scenography for theater

2017 Den Älskande, The Swedish Theatre in Helsinki
2000 Tukkijoella, Mikkelin Theater
1996 Miehen kylkiluu, Lappeenrannan City Theater

Other work experience

2017– Editor of Lehtiset, the periodical on film culture
Published by the Union of Film and Media Employees Finland.
2007–2012 Lecturer of film and television design, 5 year fixed term position.
Aalto University, Department of Film, Television and Scenography (ELO)
2008–2011 The vice dean of ELO
2011–2012 The quality controller of ELO
2008–2012 The head of the Scenography-school ELO
1998–2018 Visiting lecturer in various Finnish film- and media schools.
The field of study is the creative and collaborative process of filmmaking.
1995–2000 Entepreneur: production design, visual and concept design for corporate events
1999–2000 Scenographer, Mikkeli City Theater

Education

Doctor of Arts, Aalto University, Department of Film and Scenography, graduation 2021

1991 Master of Arts, University of Industrial Arts (Aalto/ARTS)

1983 – 84 Turku Academy of Fine Arts, painiting
1983 Savonlinna Art High School

Resent positions of trust

2019 – 2022 Member of the audiovisual board in Arts Promotion Centre Finland

2019 Member of the Finnish Oscar jury

2018 Member of the European Production Designers Association ARTSCENICO

2018 Member of the Finnish Oscar jury

2017 Member of the Finnish Oscar jury

2016 Member of Jussi jury

Scholarships since 2000

2019, Svenska Kulturfonden, project grant, Artist Group SIKT

2019, Frame, traveling grant, Artist Group SIKT

2018, City of Porvoo, working grant

2018, AVEK, 2019, project grant, Artist Group SIKT

2017, The Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike), project grant

2016, AVEK, project grant /Avanton Productions

2016, Finnish Film Foundation, working grant, script writing for a documentary film

2016, Aalto ARTS, traveling grant, presenting my research in a conference in Australia

2015, AVEK, working grant, script writing for a documentary film

2014, Aalto ARTS, traveling grant,presenting my research in a conference in Taiwan

2014, Aalto University/The laboratory of Systems Thinking, traveling grant, Pafos-seminar

2013 AVEK, project grant

2012, Aalto ARTS/ELO, traveling grant, presenting my research in a conference in Austria

2002 – 2004, The Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike), 3 – year artist grant