15 minutes





Fatu treks into the glamorous unknown during his first outing in makeup

To 18-year-old Fatu, who splits his time living between Kosovo and Finland, wearing makeup in public for the first time is a like trek into outer space – exhilarating, terrifying, uncertain and, soon enough, something there’ll be no turning back from. However, having his best friend Rai by his side, who assures him that if anyone gives him side-eye she’ll ‘literally hammer their head in’, does promise to make the trip a bit smoother.

The Finnish director Iiti Yli-Harja’s short film Blush: An Extraordinary Voyage builds an endearing and idiosyncratic world around this metaphor for Fatu’s maiden glammed-up journey to a supermarket. Using audio of the charming duo recorded before, during and after Fatu and Rai’s adventure, Yli-Harja renders them as emotive, sparkly claymation characters embarking on a flight to the Moon. It’s this lush, unforgettable visual treatment, along with the natural rapport between the two besties, that makes the short stand out from the coming-of-age film crowd. Yli-Harja does some skilful manoeuvring of her own, steering between fiction and documentary, lighthearted moments and heavy themes, without ever losing her handle on the material.

Director: Iiti Yli-Harja

Producers: Valtteri Munkki, Mikko Heino