Science documentary shows the future of Finland to lie in the forest

15.1.2016 / Article
According to the production company Franck Media, “we have more knowledge and skill related to pulp-based materials than ever before. And we have more of it than anybody else”. Photo from the trailer of the science documentary ‘The future of Finland’.

The science documentary ‘The future of Finland’ aims to discover what skills will be crucial for Finland in the following decades. The first three episodes of the programme talk about forestry: about new uses for wood pulp, about renewable energy and the welfare effects of wood.

Ms. Nina Pulkkis, who has directed and scripted the documentary, is convinced of the crucial role of forestry for the future of Finland. Thanks to the rise of bioeconomy and new uses of wood, the forest sector is in transition and full of opportunities.

“We do not even know what the next step of using wood will be. In current research, disciplines meet each other in a totally new way. A microbiologist may be working together with a mathematician or a power transmission engineer.”

Pulkkis has shot thousands of hours of expert interviews and material on current research with her team in the production company Franck Media. She says promising innovations are too many for all of them to be included.

Pulkkis mentions nanocellulose as a material for human cells which can be used in treating cancer. Another of her favourite examples is pulp to produce textile fibres. Thanks to this, cotton fields can be taken into food production, which will help to relieve famine.


Clips for use in schools

Pulkkis is currently working on a section dealing with renewable carbon dioxide, showing how even the carbon dioxide coming out of a pulp mill smokestack can be reused.

“We have a great deal of know-how in Finland. Some of the topics dealt with in our documentary might seem like science fiction at the moment, but I hope people will view the programme with open minds, without preconceived attitudes,” Pulkkis says.

Science and research are based on transparency, and this is also what drives the makers of the documentary. After being shown on television, the series can be found on the project’s own website.

For the research institutes, organizations and companies involved in the project, short films based on the documentary material will be made, to be used for their own purposes.

In collaboration with the Finnish Forest Association, the film team will produce a series of video clips of a few minutes’ duration. They will be used in schools. From the autumn of 2015, bioeconomy will form part of the syllabys of Finnish basic education and upper secondary school, and the aim is to interest pupils in the new innovations and jobs in the forest sector.

The eight-part documentary can be seen on the Finnish MTV3 channel, starting on 28 February. An English-language version of the pilot episode is already available on the internet. According to the makers of the documentary, this is the largest science series ever produced in Finland.

The future of Finland – the project’s own website

Pilot episode in English





The series is narrated by Professor Howy Jacobs, famous for both his unflinching punk-rocker image and his research into mitochondrial genetics.


Anna Kauppi

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