DOKKINO, founded by Arto Halonen, receives the State Prize for Children’s Culture

The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture has granted the State Prize for Children’s Culture to DOKKINO, which operates within DocPoint Film Festival. In its release, the ministry notes that after 15 years of diligent work DOKKINO has become the biggest documentary film event for children and youth in Europe. The festival now reaches up to 17 000 children and adolescents in 18 localities.


DOKKINO has established its own film categories for both elementary and middle schoolers. Through documentary films, the youth get to travel to different places and gain knowledge on cultural diversity. Subsequently, the festival idea and its model as a media educator have been reproduced in other European countries as well.

Being the founder and the first festival director of DocPoint, Arto Halonen took the initiative and developed the idea for children’s section of the festival in 2002.  No sooner said than done, DOKKINO launched as a side program event to the festival already in 2003, the year being only the second time the entire festival took place. The objective was to bring forth media education as an important component of the festival. Alongside regular screenings, DOKKINO has held film workshops for school pupils. In the workshops that have been running since the very first DOKKINO, the pupils get to realize their own films with the supervision from professionals in the field. The first workshop was taught by Axa Sorjanen, who was followed by other highly considered filmmakers during the next years. Already in 2004, a selection of the short films made in the workshop was broadcasted by YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

Kirsi Hatara, who started out as a production trainee for the festival, became the first producer of the whole DOKKINO when the event continued growing. The meritorious work done by Hatara and her successors have resulted in DOKKINO developing yet further.