Festival history

Skábmagovat (Reflections of the Endless Night) – is the world’s northernmost indigenous peoples’ film festival. It takes place in the village of Inari, Finland, 320 km north of the Arctic Circle. The Festival is held in January, and it is the main forum of Sámi cinema and an annual meeting place for indigenous peoples. It highlights a world and a narrative tradition that are seldom communicated by the mainstream media.

The Skábmagovat Festival aims strengthening cooperation, community and dialogue between indigenous peoples. Film is an ideal way of sharing information, feelings and world views. Movies tell about attitudes, challenges and images of today’s culture.

The small village of Inari – with less than a thousand inhabitants – offers a cosy setting for an international event.

The programme is based on the idea that each film represents indigenous peoples, and is told by them. The screen archival films pose an expection. They show how indigenous peoples were presented earlier.

The Film Festival has grown into one of the most international and multicultural winter events in Northern Finland. Skábmagovat has a great importance both locally and in the Northern Scandinavia generally. The festival has established relationships to international festival organisations and players in cinema.

The central players of Sámi culture are all situated within a kilometre of the heart of the festival: the Sámi Parliament, the Sámi Museum, the Sámi Cultural Centre, the Sámi Radio, the Sámi Handicraft Centre, the Sámi Education Institute, the Sámi Archives, and the Sámi Library.

Skábmagovat has been awarded several prizes: the Art Award of Lapland in 2007, the State Prize for Art in 2012, and the Helmi Award of Pohjolan Osuuspankki in 2018.

As its patrons, the Festival has had, for example, LL.D. Pentti Arajärvi and Ms. Jenni Haukio, both spouses of the President of Finland.