Mirva Huusko
“Studying film in Stockholm is very different to studying film in Helsinki. Not only was I a beginner in Helsinki, film studies was also only a part of the theatre department at University of Helsinki. It is not even possible to have film studies as a major there.”
 
“After graduating from the theatre programme at my high school in Helsinki, I started going to a film club and soon became a real film freak.”
 
When her big interest in cinema had awakened, Mirva took some courses in film studies at the University of Helsinki, but after two semesters she moved to Stockholm.
 
“Studying film in Stockholm is very different to studying film in Helsinki. Not only was I a beginner in Helsinki, film studies was also only a part of the theatre department at University of Helsinki. It is not even possible to have film studies as a major there.”
 
In Stockholm the Department of Cinema Studies is located at Filmhuset on Östermalm. The building also houses the cinematheque, the Swedish Film Institute and a large film studio. After several years as a student at Stockholm University – except film, Mirva has studied Italian and Scandinavian languages – she now attends the international masters’ programme in cinema studies.
 
“I am very satisfied with the education. There have been several interesting courses, especially when Tom Gunning from America and Richard Dyer from Britain were here as guest professors. Gunning’s course was on X, and Dyer’s on film noir. Recently I took an interesting course on Post Colonialism and Film, which was very engaging.”
 
At the moment Mirva is in the final phase of writing her master’s thesis.
 
“My thesis is dealing with fantasies. Among other things, I analyze the Stanley Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut in relation to the theorist Theresa de Lauretis’ ideas about fantasy and cinema. In a few days I will hand it in, so right now I am completely stressed out!”
 
Alongside her studies at Stockholm University, Mirva has done an internship and some extra work.
 
“I did my internship at the Finnish Cultural Institute, where I was responsible for their cinema activities. And I have done extra work at a company called Millennium Media, in particular with their TV channels Silver and Showtime. This summer I will work there as a production coordinator.”
 
But Mirva’s dream is to work with film distribution.
 
“To reach this goal I think it would be necessary to take some courses in project management or something similar, something more practical. I might do it this autumn.”
 
After six years in Stockholm, Mirva says she feels like a true “Stockholmer”.
 
“Helsinki is quite closed. There exist small scenes that are fun, but the city is too small and lacks opportunities. Stockholm is much more interesting. Even if it is a bit more expensive than Helsinki, it is beautiful, clean and cool. I wouldn’t have stayed for six years if I didn’t like it here. I don’t think I will be able to say ‘Ciao Stockholm’ and leave.”
 
Interview and text: Jonas Holmberg