The Forest of Babel

Short fiction

The Forest of Babel in an adventure film where three children try to save a reindeer fawn in Lapland.

Rauna-Aletta is a young Sami girl who needs help lifting a fallen tree. She enlists the help of Erdem and Ibai, two boys who speak only Kurdish and Basque. None of them share a common language, but miraculously they still understand each other perfectly. Through speaking and listening the children manage to work together, tie a rope around the tree, and release the reindeer fawn that was trapped under it.

There is a political aspect to the film, as all the children speak a European language that belongs to a people without a state. We feel Basque, Kurdish and Northern Sami, deserve recognition and respect just as much as the major European languages.

The project won the Prix Europa prize in the category Languages Through Lenses in 2010.

See the film here.

Cast: Sarelle Porsanger (Rauna-Aletta), Mahdi Hajizadeh (Erdem), Alex Casanovas (Ibai), Eugenia Carratalá (Ibai’s mother)

Directors Elina and Mike Pohjola
Screenwriter Mike Pohjola
Cinematographer Juice Huhtala
Production Designer &
Wardrobe Designer Laura Haapakangas
Sound Designer Pekka Aikio
Editor Matti Näränen
Still photographer Raimo Korpela
Producer Elina Pohjola


Arktista Vimmaa, Rovaniemi November 2010
Helsinki Short Film Festival, Helsinki (in competition) November 2010
Skabmagovat – Indigenious Peoples’ Film Festival, Inari (as part of Children programme) January 2011
Nordic Glory, Jyväskylä (in competition) February 2011
Tampere Short Film Festival March 2011
Future Shorts, Helsinki, (a short film screening) April 2011
Cre8ive8 Youth Media Production (European Youth Film screening followed by a discussion), Makedonia, May 2011
Reikäreuna Film Festival, Orivesi (in competition) September 2011
Artova Film Festival, Helsinki (in competition) September 2011