Tom of Finland Documentary by Mies Mikkonen

Tom of Finland died in Helsinki in 1991 but was actually born in the region of Turku, Finland. Mies Mikkonen’s film documents the triumphant return of the permanent collection to Turku including some of Tom’s most iconic and rarely seen artwork.


“I gave him companionship and confidentiality.”

Tom of Finland
Finland-GB-USA 2011
Duration 10 minutes

Direction and screenplay Mies Mikkonen

TOM OF FINLAND, © 1957 Tom of Finland Foundation





Produced in partnership with Turku 2011 Foundation, Homotopia and Tom of Finland Foundation






We are proud of Mies and the work he has done.
Turku has produced a wealth of talent and is made remarkable by its people.

Artist-in-residence Mies Mikkonen

Mies Mikkonen is part of Tom of Finland Foundation’s Artist-in-Residence program. In 2011, he made a documentary about Tom of Finland.

I’m interested in creating metaphysical works where the laws of the imagination triumph over the laws of reality. I believe that art is still something that we don’t understand at all and something that probably has been very ill-defined in the past, mostly by art critics and theoreticians, whose minds are in a prison of academic rigidity. Starting from film school I’ve made movies with both fiction and documentary approaches. I’ve also taught and lectured on film, and I’m a regular writer for the Finnish exploitation/arthouse film publication Elitisti.

I have been tackling two projects both in pre-production. The primary one is an unusual documentary film I am going to direct called DREAMS OF THE BLIND. The film, utilizing multiple visual styles and to be shot on several formats, seeks to convey the experience of blind people regaining their sight and seeing inside their dreams. The film will be a very visually oriented one, with voice-over monologues spoken, and the text being based on interviews I have conducted with blind people. The end result seeks not to be a conventional movie, but more like a cinematic equivalent of the Visionary Art movement. Principal photography on the project will start later this year.

The second one is still more in development, and it is a philosophical science fiction feature film that’s to be directed by my mentor, film-maker Maria Ruotsala. So basically my regiment has been to write these two screenplays while I’m here enjoying the California sun – and doing anything else creative that pops into mind, natürlich. TOM House is a Mecca for the connoisseur and all the folks here are terrific.


Mies with his Pixelvision in TOM House.

Currently, before leaving I am creating a short film shot on TOM House for the Foundation’s collection, using the PXL-2000 Pixelvision camera, a toy camcorder from the 1980s, which records B/W moving images into audio cassettes (!). This camera was a flop in its initial release, but has developed a cult reputation starting from the early 1990s with a wildly different demographic than the one it was intended for: experimental and underground film-makers. It seems a fitting instrument to create an homage to the place where I’ve dwelled the past couple o’ months. -MMM


World premiere of Tom of Finland documentary – Turku, Finland – 29th of September

The world premiere of Mies Mikkonen’s film will be held at the Vinokino Film Festival  where it will have the priviledge of being the opening film of the festival (ahead of the feature TAXI ZUM KLO).

Ticket prices: 7/5€, lower price for members of Seta and Seta’s member  organizations.  Four tickets for 25€, when bought together.

Ticket  sales open one hour  before first screening. Tickets also sold in advance through this site from the 26th of September onwards.

Vinokino täyttää 20 vuotta, tervetuloa mukaan juhlimaan!

Turun seudun Setan järjestämä Vinokino on Suomen ainoa vain lesbo- ja homoelokuvia esittävä elokuvafestivaali. Vinokinon festivaalikaupungit 2011 ovat Turku, Helsinki, Oulu ja Jyväskylä. Vinokino on tarkoitettu kaikille hyvistä elokuvista kiinnostuneille. Ihan kaikille.

Vinokino celebrates its 20th year, join the party!

TuSeta’s Vinokino is Finland’s only lesbian and gay film festival. In 2011 the Vinokino festival cities are Turku, Helsinki, Tampere, Oulu and Jyväskylä. Vinokino is meant for all those interested in great movies. Each and everyone.

The director, Mies Mikkonen, thanks the director of photography Rami Airola, editor Katja Niemi, sound designer Petri Erkkilä, production manager Alina Peussa, Tom of Finland Foundation, Homotopia Arts-Festival and everyone connected to the film.