July 24 – 28, 2024

Arno Rafael Minkkinen discusses his acclaimed artistic career and his decision now to turn to film.  He will discuss and show clips of  DRAW ME A DREAM, the title of Minkkinen’s first feature length film now in development with the Inland Film Company in Helsinki.

DRAW ME A DREAM is the title of Arno Rafael Minkkinen’s first feature length film now in development with the Inland Film Company in Helsinki. Locations and timeframes extend from 1915 Koivisto to 1939’s Winter War with Russia to Helsinki under fire and to the American Dream roller-coaster the Korhonen family faces in 1950’s Finntown and 60’s Bay Ridge in Brooklyn. DRAW ME A DREAM is the story of its youngest, Aku Korhonen, a girl crazy, now Finnish American boy—shunned by his beautiful mother (frontline nurse in the Winter War) for his unsightly, cleft-palate facial deformity. But Aku must also struggle against his (cavalry soldier) father’s vision for him to serve God. Escaping Brooklyn across the Verrazzano to Wagner College, heaven surrenders to earthbound desires. But will the mother and son’s cleft ever heal? Not without love stitched into his scars.

Minkkinen, a Guggenheim Fellow and Pro Finlandia awardee, is the screenwriter and director of the semi-autobiographical, 80% fact – 80% fiction, magical realist immigrant saga. An eight-minute demo video shot in Finland and screened at Lincoln Center’s Dance on Film Festival accompanies the PowerPoint of visual backstories in the development of the script. Highlights of Minkkinen’s 55 years in photography—from 30 countries and 30 American States—will also be part of the presentation. A beautiful, 36-page view booklet will be freely available while supplies last or sent to interested attendees upon request.

Presenter Bio:
Arno Rafael Minkkinen, knighted in Finland for his service and work in photography, has exhibited in well over 200 museums and galleries around the world. Eight monographs of his self-portraits in the landscape and urban settings have been published with the latest titled Minkkinen, winner of the German Photo Book Prize in gold for 2020 and Photo Book Award Jury Prize in Finland (2021). Beginning in 1970, his work in self-portraiture is one of the longest, non-stop chronologies in the history of the genre. Minkkinen is Emeritus Professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, docent at Aalto University in Helsinki, and National Honored Educator of the Society for Photographic Education. All photographs courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York.