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HIFF ticket sales begun with a bang on 12 September at 10 am. The huge number of customers caused the web sales to slow down especially on the HIFF website during the first hours of sales, as thousands of simultaneous transactions strained the website’s capacity. The HIFF organizers are deeply sorry for the inconvenience caused by the slow web shop.

The opening film, Abdellatif Kechiche’s Palme d’Or winner ADÈLE: CAPTERS 1 & 2 was immediately fully booked from both theatre and web sales quotas. However, it is still possible to get tickets to the screening on September 19th, when unclaimed tickets are released.

Top favourites included the auteur Wong Kar-wai’s awaited THE GRANDMASTER, as well as Noah Baumbach’s FRANCES HA, in which a young woman played by Greta Gerwig is searching for direction in her life in New York. Joss Whedon’s re-interpretation of Shakespeare’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING seems to have found its audience, as well as Pablo Larraín’s NO, with Gael García Bernal playing a young man who’s planning a political advertising campaign to end the Pinochet era in Chile.

Crowd-pleasing animations

Animation films have also been popular, and the audience has been especially interested in Hideaki Anno’s anime adventure EVANGELION: 3.0 YOU CAN (NOT) REDO and Patrice Leconte’s THE SUICIDE SHOP, in which a joyful child is born into a family selling suicide supplies, disturbing the business.  The festival favourite Takashi Miike’s samurai story HARA-KIRI: DEATH OF A SAMURAI 3D is also selling well. This year’s favourite documentaries so far have been Joshua Oppenheimer’s THE ACT OF KILLING, which critics have called the best documentary of the year, and Tom Berninger’s MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS, which follows the band The National on tour.

Film & Dinner events return with success

Launched just last year, the special screenings of the Haute Cuisine series have also been crowd-pleasers. The Film & Dinner nights culminate in Restaurant Sunn, where the menus are composed along the themes of the film of the evening.

The most popular of the Nordic films so far has been Tobias Lindholm’s A HIJACKING, a drama set in the coast of Somalia. Lindholm is known from writing the well-known TV-series Borgen.

The festival’s 470 screenings offer plenty of choice. It is still possible to get tickets for the fully booked screenings as the unclaimed tickets will be put back to sale on September 19th.