Tampere Film Festival evolved from Tampere Short Film Days, a cinema event held in Tampere in the late February 1969. The man behind the idea for the event was a local film aficionado Ilkka Kalliomäki.
The Short Film Days turned out to be a success and encouraged the organisers to carry on. The first Tampere International Short Film Festival took place the following year, 1970, with the kind support of the Ministry of Education, the Finnish Film Foundation and the City of Tampere. In 2010 Tampere Film Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Tampere Film Festival is the oldest short film festival in the Nordic countries. Its main focus since the 1970s has been to organise national and international short film competitions as well as to provide an international meeting place for film professionals and enthusiasts. Film market, started in 1992, has become an important viewing place for professionals and today it includes over 4000 films. The festival also aims to promote short film sales and international co-operation in the field of culture, as well as to cherish the tradition of a locally significant cultural event.
Internationally, Tampere Film Festival has been held in high regard since the very beginning. Later, appreciation for the festival grew in Finland as well. Tampere Film Festival promotes young, up-and-coming filmmakers and also attracts a large young audience. The festival has always striven to remain ideologically neutral and open, and its sole commitment is to showcase high standard cinema, regardless of the social system it represents.
In the early years, the number of films screened at Tampere Film Festival exceeded a hundred. By the mid-1990s, the number of screenings had reached and surpassed the hundred mark, while the number of films hovered around 500. Since the beginning of the 21st millenium, the number of screenings has been a stable 120. Both the national and international competitions have increased their success. In 2012, over 4500 films were submitted to the competitions.
Over the course of four decades, Tampere Film Festival has been able to re-invent itself and remain relevant and interesting, regardless of the fact that the organisation of the festival has always been characterised by a scarcity of financial means. Tampere Film Festival is an event with international, national and local aspects. Our aim is to maintain these strengths as we continue to develop the festival in the future.