Family Time


Family Time

Tia Kouvo

Audience Award

Christmas time is family time. The children arrive. Doors open. Doors close. For Ella and Lasse’s daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren, the annual family gathering at their grandparents’ house is an obligatory event and a well-established ritual. Outside, they are surrounded by a winter wonderland. Inside, disinterest, grievances and simmering tensions set the tone. Every movement, every role is meticulously rehearsed. »You’re already on the bottle? It’s not even 11 o’clock!« Lasse drinks so much he can barely hold a spoon. Ella bravely tries to maintain a semblance of cheerfulness. The daughters long for deeper connections but squabble about trivial things.

This sharply observed family study is both profoundly sad and hilariously funny; respectful but not afraid to delve into the darker sides of family relationships. In a sequence of calm shots captured by a fixed camera, the audience becomes immersed in this family scene. Shots through doorways and window frames explore the rooms, expose glances and gestures and define the line between familiarity and escalation. Language plays a secondary role. While the first part of the film dissects family structures, the second focuses on the dynamics between the couples. We get to know the protagonists once again, before they part ways after the holidays and return to their everyday lives. Family Time is a humorous and astute analysis of the complexities of family life and intergenerational patterns that will be very familiar to many.

Guest: Tia Kouvo

Director / Script

Tia Kouvo


Jesse Jalonen


Okku Nuutilainen

Sound Design

Jorma Kaulanen


Sveinung Nygaard


Tom Wenzel, Leena Uotila, Elina Knihtilä, Ria Kataja, Jarkko Pajunen, Elli Paajanen


Aamu Film Company, Jussi Rantamäki, Emilia Haukka


Vilda Bomben Film Ab, Film i Väst, Fredrik Lange, Kristina Börjeson


The Match Factory

Tia Kouvo

Director and screenwriter Tia Kouvo studied social psychology and then film directing at the HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design. Family Time is her feature film debut and is based on the short film of the same name, which was also her graduation film in 2018. The short film earned her awards at the Love & Anarchy Film Festival and Tampere International Film Festival. Kouvo lives in Gothenburg and works in Sweden and Finland. She developed her distinctive, observational style in her earlier films, including the award-winning Chat with Me and We Retired People. Her latest short film, Hollywood, is currently in post-production. She is a participant of the Torino Feature Lab 2021 and the Nordic Film Lab 2021.

Films by Tia Kouvo
We Retired People 2018 | Growing Pains 2018 | Doubter of Spring 2016 | Chat with Me 2014 | Rio Rita 2011