LIFT announces Finnish Visiting Artist Matti Harju


Toronto, October 17, 2022—The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is pleased to announce that Matti Harju has joined us from Kouvola, Finland as a visiting artist from September 9 to December 1, 2022 as the third resident in the residency program for alumni of the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki. This residency, supported by the Academy and the Saastamoinen Foundation, is designed to provide international opportunities for alumni in the form of residency grants to prestigious residencies in New York, Maastricht, London and Toronto.

Matti Harju (b. 1978, Kouvola, Finland) is a Finnish artist working mainly with film and video. He has an MFA from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts (2021). He has made 10+ short-length films, which have been widely exhibited at film festivals and galleries, including Locarno Film Festival, Gallery Sinne, Rotterdam International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, AFI Fest Los Angeles, Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Forum des Images, Torino Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Tabakalera International Contemporary Culture Centre, Edinburgh International Film Festival etc.

Harju will be working on what he calls his “personal archive,” the generous accumulation of material that he has gathered over time. The archive serves both as an incubator for new ideas and as a source of actual material to realise those ideas with. His residency will provide him a moment to start an analytical combing through the material, to observe what kind of dialogue starts to emerge between various components. Combined with the opportunity to gather new material in this temporary environment and to learn the technical and artistic use of new tools and thus deepen and refine his own expression, Harju expects the residency will enable him to undertake three new short projects during his time at LIFT.

“It is pretty incredible to be able to spend this time in Toronto and have access to LIFT’s equipment and facilities at the same time. I have been made to feel very welcome and I like the city and LIFT very much. I will try to make the most of my limited time here.”
—Matti Harju

An in-person event with Harju will be announced later on this fall.

Matti Harju’s visit is made possible by the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts Helsinki and through support from Saastamoisen säätiö (the Saastamoinen Foundation).




The University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki) provides the highest level of education in music, fine arts, theatre and dance in Finland. Uniarts Helsinki is an international forerunner in education and research in the field of arts and strengthens the role of art as a force that reforms society. Established in 2013, Uniarts Helsinki consists of the Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy and Theatre Academy.

Saastamoinen Foundation works for the benefit of Finnish science and art. We are among Finland’s most important art buyers and enablers of scientific research. We believe in transparency, internationalisation, expertise, and continuity, and these values shape the support we offer to artists, researchers, art institutions and ground-breaking scientific projects. We are also active in other fields, and strongly support projects aimed at Finnish youth, such as the Yrityskylä learning environment, SomeBuddy and Gutsy Go. We are also one of the supporters of the Skolar Award Research Pitching Competition, which brings together researchers, artists and entrepreneurs.

The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is Canada’s foremost artist-run production and education organization dedicated to celebrating excellence in the moving image. LIFT exists to provide support and encouragement for independent filmmakers and artists through affordable access to production, post-production and exhibition equipment; professional and creative development; workshops and courses; commissioning and exhibitions; artist residencies; and a variety of other services. LIFT is supported by its membership, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Arts Foundation, the Government of Ontario and the Toronto Arts Council.


For additional information please see or e-mail Executive Director Chris Kennedy at



Friday 9 September 2022 – Thursday 1 December 2022


Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) 
1137 Dupont Street 
Toronto Ontario Canada