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The Helsinki International Film Festival’s 25th Anniversary Year begins today, Thursday 20th of September, with Benh Zeitlin’s acclaimed BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. The producer of the film, Dan Janvey, will be present at the screening to answer questions from the audience.

A new important guest was also confirmed to HIFF at the last minute. The awarded director and screenwriter of the festival Closing Film RUST AND BONE, Jacques Audiard, arrives to Helsinki for the final weekend of the festival and is present at the Gala Screening of his film, which closes the entire festival on 30th of September, 6:30pm at Bio Rex.

A number of unclaimed tickets have been released for sale for many of the festival screenings. Limited amount of tickets are available now for the festival Opening Film, Closing Film, Gala Screening of Killer Joe and the premiere of The Marshal of Finland. Tickets can be purchased online and at the Lasipalatsi Bio Rex box office. Tickets for Kinopalatsi and Finnkino screenings can be purchased from those theatres.

The first festival weekend offers a lot of events on top of film screenings

HIFF and Etnosoi present a festival club on Friday September 21st at Dubrovnik. Live music is provided by Shava, a Finnish-bhangra group which represents global ethnic music of the new decade. More information can be found from the festival events page.

On Saturday, September 22nd at 2pm Kalle Kinnunen interviews skate-documentary THIS AIN’T CALIFORNIA producer Ronald Vietz at Elisa Studio. THIS AIN’T CALIFORNIA is a stunning collage of the creative youth culture in 1980′s DDR where skateboarding was forbidden and having fun frowned upon. More information can be found from the festival events page.

Future Shorts event, which combines a screening of short films and a traditional club into one event, takes over Dubrovnik on Saturday, September 22nd from 9.15pm. More information can be found from the festival events page.