The Fantastic is a film about encountering the unknown and the relationship between imagination and reality. The film is built on interviews with exiled North Koreans, who describe what they imagined the outside world to be like, based on their experiences of watching smuggled western fiction films.

Alternating documentary footage and visual effects, the film raises the question of how reality is defined and what we wish to believe in. The Fantastic reverses the set-up where westerners are peeping in on the everyday life of the closed-off state. In this film, it is the North Koreans who direct their curiosity at the outside world and imagine what life in Western countries is like.

“An aesthetically distinctive and consistently illuminating essay about the impact of cultural creations upon the human psyche.”

– Excerpt from the Modern Times Review, Neil Young, 04/2020

Premiere at DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival (FI) on January 28th 2020.The film had its International premiere at Visions du Réel and North American premiere at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and has been since screened at over 40 festivals.

The film has won eleven awards: Main Prize in the National Competition and the prize of the Youth Jury at Tampere Film Festival (FI), awards for Best Documentary and Best of Fest at Aesthetica Short Film Festival (UK), award for Best Nordic Film at Minimalen Short Film Festival in Trondheim (NO), Prix du Jury Hybride at Festival Silhouette (FR), Main Prize at International Competition at VideoEx (CH) and awards for Best Short Documentary at MakeDox Creative Documentary Film Festival (MK) and DOKER Moscow International Documentary Film Festival (RU),  Festival de Cine de Huesca (ES) and DokuBaku (AZ).

Watch the film at Yle Areena (available only in Finland).

Director, Writer, Cinematography, Editor | Maija Blåfield
VFX | Olli Leppänen
Sound Design | Olli Huhtanen
Music | Tuomo Puranen
Produced by Maija Blåfield, Häivekuva