Kaisa Astikainen

Kaisa Astikainen (born 1982) is a Helsinki-based filmmaker and producer.Heart of the Landis her directorial debut. Astikainen has studied film production in the Aalto University,School of Arts, Design and Architecture/ ELO Film School Helsinki in Finland.She has made additional studies in Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, and IFS Filmschule Köln in Germany, and participated to EU Media’s ENGAGE 2013-project development workshop. Astikainen has worked in the Finnish film and TV-industry for 10 years, and produced several short films. Her second latest film The Inspection (directed by Reetta Aalto, 2015) recently won the honorary mention at the Helsinki Short Film Festival, and premiered in the Finnish TV.The idea for the Heart of the Land documentary was found close: Astikainen filmed her own parents, as they struggled with the decision to retire and let go of their dairy cattle. ”At first I didn’t identify myself as a director, but this was a story that no one else could’ve told –it was simply too personal and this way impossible to give away for somebody else to direct. With this film I wanted to pay a tribute to the work of my parents and grandparents.I wanted to film the turning point of the family: The end of the dairy cattle means also the end of the tradition in the family. On a time where small farms are fastly displaced with big milk production units –factories even -, the film shows the dairy farm life how it once used to be.”Astikainen established her own production company Toivola-filmi Oy (Toivola Films Ltd.) in January 2016. The Heart of the Land is the debut film of the company.