Arto Halonen is internationally awarded fiction and documentary film director and producer, who is known for socially strong -stance subjects.
As a tribute to his work, Halonen was awarded with the Finland Prize in 2005, the highest annual cultural prize given by the Minister of Education and Culture of Finland. Halonen also received the City of Helsinki Culture Prize in 2010, being the third filmmaker in history to receive this award. He won the award soon after the critical and box office success of his first dramatic feature Princess. The film reached an audience of more than 300 000 viewers in Finnish cinemas and it became one of the most financially successful Finnish feature films within the last decade, winning multiple international awards as well. Halonen’s latest feature film, the darkly comic A Patriotic Man premiered in 2014 and so far its distribution rights have been sold to 25 countries. Renowned US critic Harlan Jacobson chose the film for his prestigous Talk Cinema tour of major American cities for private subscribers, and the film was well received among the US audience and critics.
Halonen’s documentary films, such as White Rage (2015), Shadow of the Holy Book (2007) and Karmapa Two Days of Divinity (1998) have won several significant awards all over the world. Shadow of the Holy Book was also nominated for an European Film Academy Award for Best Documentary of the year.
Halonen has won the Humanitarian Award of the European Union in 1998. In addition to this, Halonen has been granted the Finnish National Mental Health Prize and the Civil Action Prize of the Finnish Federation for Social Welfare and Health, making him the first one in the cultural field to receive the prize. Halonen is the founder and the first festival director of DocPoint, Helsinki Documentary Film Festival. During Halonen’s tenure, DocPoint became the biggest documentary film festival in the Nordic area and one of the top documentary film festivals globally.