PRIMAL THERAPY – Santtu Salminen (Finland, 2021) 19′

A middle-aged man on the verge of a burnout seeks new energy through a very special form of self help therapy.

Generation XYZ – Audience Award – Tampere Film Festival 2022

Director – Santtu Salminen

Santtu Salminen is a Finnish screenwriter and director based in Helsinki. He grew up around theatre and acting, and gravitated towards filmmaking through photography. Santtu studied filmmaking in Metropolia UAS, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 2021. During his studies he wrote multiple screenplays and directed them, while simultaneously working in the camera department in various short films, tv-series, and commercials. His award winning graduation film PRIMAL THERAPY (2021) marks his directorial debut. Santtu deals with topics such as masculinity, neoliberalism, and human-nature relationship through comedy, as he feels that laughing upwards to people in power positions offers unique angles in dealing with societal problems.

Director Statement

Primal Therapy is a film about basic human needs, our society’s disconnection from those needs, and toxic masculinity’s role in the equation. Our society’s development is fixated on economic growth, which pushes individuals towards heightened productivity and creates an ideal for economic success. The film comments on self-help culture, which usually seeks ways to find balance, efficiency and strength, in order to become more successful. Can we find fulfilment through capitalist society’s ideals of success, or do we have to look beyond those ideals – take the methods back to the roots?