Activist Artists Management Signs Hanna Västinsalo, Filmmaker Behind Venice Prize-Winning Sci-Fi Drama ‘Palimpsest’

EXCLUSIVE: Activist Artists Management has signed Hanna Västinsalo, the Finnish writer-director whose debut feature, Palimpsest, won an HFPA Special Prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival. The emerging filmmaker will now be represented at the company by Bernie Cahill and Jon Kanak.

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Västinsalo was awarded a prestigious Biennale College Cinema grant to make Palimpsest, a sci-fi story about two elderly roommates who are randomly selected for a gene therapy trial that makes their bodies younger while keeping their memories intact. Following her win with the film at Venice, she was selected to participate in the HFPA and Film Independent’s residency program in Los Angeles. 

Västinsalo’s previous work includes the shorts Man Under Bride and Wombsong, which were respectively nominated for Best VR Story at Venice 2020 and Best Virtual Reality Film at the 2019 NYC Independent Film Festival. The filmmaker enrolled in the the AFI Conservatory’s directing program after earning her Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of Helsinki, and has thus far seen her work receive awards and grants from the Finnish Film Foundation, Finnish Culture Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Oskar Öflunds Stiftelse and Finlandia Foundation.

Other notable clients of the full-service music and talent management firm Activist Artists Management, founded in 2018, include actors Ken Watanabe and David Alan Grier, screenwriter Terry Rossio, White Collar creator Jeff Eastin, the Oscar-winning media company Lion Forge Animation (Hair Love), the Southern Poverty Law Center and Human Rights Watch.

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