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MFA Film

August Joensalo

Foto: Louise Hollerup

Space is Quite a Lot of Things

Duration: 11:25 minutes

Short Synopsis:
Curiosity about a world without gender sets a journey through a world of jellyfish and disco uncles, creating space for four trans people to share how they relate (or not) to their own gender, imagine visions of their own queer utopia, and reveal whether gender can be felt in your toes.

Biography of the director:
Anniina Joensalo is a Helsinki based film director and writer known for films such as Nukkuva sotilas (Uneton48 winner) and Filia (Haugesund, Nordisk Panorama 2019).
Joensalo uses film as a medium for creating relatable utopias for queer and trans people. They are graduating from their MFA at HDK-Valand in 2021.


Anniina Joensalo


Artist Statement:
Anniina Joensalo is a film director whose interest in filmmaking launches from a quest to imagine and build trans utopias on screen. They aim to find ethical ways to represent queer bodies on image, with a special focus on trans narratives. Through their practice, they propose alternative ways of being and existing in this world – ways that fall outside the binary of language, bodies, and identities. With narration, they want to challenge the assumptions and assignations constantly given to bodies by the spectators viewing them.
In their graduation film Space Is Quite a Lot of Things they visualize a trans utopia as being told by four trans people. The filmmaker’s curiosity about a world without binary gender sets a clear question: How do trans people experience (or don’t) their own gender? The film sets on a journey to explore four visions of the subjects’ own queer utopia. Is gender a feeling? Where is this feeling? Can you feel it in your toes? Your belly? Or maybe it glows from inside like a fire? Does it move? Does it sometimes disappear? Through a gentle and loving lense, Joensalo creates a soft aesthetic that reflects their caring approach to filmmaking and the people portrayed in the narrative. Because really, this is just a film about a bunch of friends cuddling and talking about their feelings.