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HIFF announces gala films and sub-festival L&A Shorts

Finland’s biggest film festival celebrates its 30th anniversary by screening The Square, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, the world premiere of The Punk Voyage (Tokasikajuttu) and Call Me by Your Name as gala films. Short films get their own sub-festival L&A Shorts, which brings a record amount of short films to the festival.

The 30th HIFF will start its anniversary celebrations with Call Me by Your Name as its Opening Gala Film. The festival hit of both Sundance and Berlin is a beautiful story of first love under the scorching Italian sun. 17-year-old Elio finds his life changed when his father hires Oliver, a handsome American, as his assistant at their family villa.

The warm and nostalgic film is director Luca Guadagnino‘s (A Bigger Splash, 2015) break-through as one of world’s top directors. The fantastic cinematography has brought the film comparisons to Moonlight (2016) and The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza, 2013).

The Love & Anarchy Gala has been the place for radical, often shocking films at the HIFF. This year’s selection comes straight from the Cannes competition. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a scary, weird and dark thriller about a family facing an impossible choice.

The film stars Nicole KidmanColin Farrell and Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk) as the mysterious young stranger. The Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ previous film The Lobster (2015) was one of the big hits of the 28th HIFF.

The last punk band and Palme d’Or

When the last real punk band in the world calls it wraps, there’s going to be lots to see. The Finnish punk band with disabled musicians, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, comes back to the screen only to call it quits.

HIFF is proud to present the world premiere of The Punk Voyage (Tokasikajuttu). It is J-P Passi and Jukka Kärkkäinen’s sequel to their acclaimed documentary The Punk Syndrome (2012). The film follows the band from European rock clubs to the Eurovision Song Contest and towards their inevitable end.

The Closing Gala Film of the festival is Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner The Square. The film is a hysterical satire set in near future Sweden. It takes the satirical mechanics of Östlund’s previous film Force Majeure (2014) to whole new levels.

The Square has an international cast led by the amazing Dane Claes Bang with Hollywood stars Elisabeth Moss (Mad MenThe Handmaid’s Tale) and Dominic West (The Wire).

Short Films and Sami Blood

Inspired by the rising profile of short films both in Finland and internationally, this year’s HIFF sees the first edition of its sub-festival Cut to the Chase – L&A Shorts. The five-day-event will be organised from 20th to 24th of September, during which approximately 200 short films are screened.

With a special focus on Nordic film makers, L&A Shorts will showcase two short film retrospectives among other things. The artists of these selections are the Swedish director Amanda Kernell and the Finnish writer, visual artist and director Rosa Liksom.

HIFF will also screen Kernell’s debut feature film SAMI BLOOD (Sameblod, 2016), the Swedish film that turned into a cultural event that brought almost 200 000 Swedes to cinemas. Sami Blood is the coming-of-age story of a 14-year-old Sami girl living in the 1930s racist atmosphere. The director Amanda Kernell will be one of the festival’s international guests.

The audience of L&A Shorts will get to vote for their favorite Finnish short film, which will win a prize sponsored by Elisa Kulma.

The 30th HIFF cinemas are Savoy Theatre, Kinopalatsi, Andorra, Dubrovnik, the recently renovated Kino Engel, Korjaamo Kino, cinema Orion and WHS Teatteri Union in Helsinki, as well as Kino Tapiola in Espoo.