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HIFF is honoured to welcome Dan Janvey, the producer of the film occurrence of the year: BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. New Yorker Dan Janvey arrives in Helsinki to introduce the long-awaited HIFF Opening Film.  Janvey is a member of the Court 13 Pictures production company based in New Orleans. Court 13 describes itself as “a grassroots, independent filmmaking army,” that attempts to challenge academic rules and conventional codes of filmmaking.

The praised BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD is Court 13’s first feature film production. The film directed by Benh Zeitlin has won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, the best first feature film Golden Camera Prize at Cannes and the FIPRESCI prize, granted by an international jury of film critics. Court 13 has previously produced Zeitlin’s short film GLORY AT SEA.

”Court 13 Pictures represents an artistic fire hazard that stands to torch any parts of your brain that still cling to the concept of ’normal’.” (Animation World Network Magazine.)

Another director hailing from New York is director-screenwriter Adam Leon (b.1981), who won the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW with his first full-length film GIMME THE LOOT. Leon’s debut film paints a fresh and rugged image of New York’s graffiti scene and the lives of young Bronxites. GIMME THE LOOT will be screened at HIFF as part of the Indie Jewels theme. The film saw its premiere at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard series. The acclaimed short film KILLER is Leon’s previous piece.

Other festival guests include Stefano Sollima, the Italian director of A.C.A.B., a film that has raised a lot of discussion, and Nordic talents such as Mads Matthiesen, the director of the awarded film TEDDY BEAR. As HIFF celebrates its 25th anniversary and looks into the future, the festival is happy to host many young and rising filmmakers who knowingly challenge the conventional way of filmmaking.

Introductions of guests will be published on hiff.fi on Friday, September 6th. HIFF will announce more guests next week.

Image from the film Beasts of the Southern Wild