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The 28th Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy ended on September 27th on a high note with the closing gala screening of Paolo Sorrentino’s YOUTH. Finland’s biggest film festival got over 61 000 visitors for the second year in a row.

Helsinki International Film Festival ended with the sold out closing gala screening of Paolo Sorrentino‘s YOUTH. The festival programme included a record amount of movies, among them over 190 feature films and over 180 short films from more than 70 different countries. During the 11 days of the festival there were almost 500 screenings of which one fourth were sold out. On Sunday at 5 PM there were 61 000 tickets sold to the festival’s screenings.

– It has been a pleasure to see what an interestthe audience has in quality filmmaking from different parts of the world. The first festival day was quiet because the strike stopped all public transportation, but despite of that we got as big an audience as last year, the artistic director of the festival Pekka Lanerva says.

HIFF had the honour of hosting more than 50 filmmaker guests including the US indie helmer Alex Ross Perry, the British director Peter Strickland and the Japanese anime virtuoso Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Perry’s films can be seen during October on television on Yle Teema.

Alongside the opening film LOUDER THAN BOMBS and the closing film YOUTH, the festival’s audience favourites included MOTHER’S WISH, DHEEPAN, SICARIO, VICTORIA, MR. HOLMES, DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, MISS HOKUSAI, DOPE, EXTRAORDINARY TALES, VIRGIN MOUNTAIN, RAMS, BABAI, LIZA, THE FOX-FAIRY, CRUMBS, WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE, TAXI TEHERAN, THE ASSASSIN, TALE OF TALES, MEN & CHICKEN and EDEN. The Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’ THE LOBSTER was the biggest surprise favourite gaining almost 2 000 admissions to its screenings.

HIFF industry sidebar Finnish Film Affair continues to grow

The fourth Finnish Film Affair presented domestic films to international buyers and trade press. HIFF’s three-day industry sidebar was attended by a record number of more than 300 accredited film professionals from Finland and abroad. For the first time FFA awarded a film project showing international potential with the Best Pitch Award. The first instalment of the award was won by Elli Toivoniemi‘s Once I Was a Dragonfly. The Works in Progress section got an enthusiastic welcome by the international buyers, especially Katja Gauriloff‘s Baby Jane, Selma Vilhunen‘s VarpuAleksi Mäkelä‘s Love Recrods and Juho Kuosmanen‘s The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki.

Audience Award to Pablo Larraín’s THE CLUB

The HIFF Audience Award was won by the Chilean director Pablo Larraín‘s THE CLUB. Voting was organised by HIFF and the National Audiovisual Institute. The winning film tells a psychologically sharp story of a group of priests displaced by the Catholic church who have to come face to face with their past because of an unexpected visitor. The Club will be screened in Orion cinema five times: 6.11., 10.11., 22.11., 24.11. and 28.11.

HIFF tours Finland

Some of the HIFF films have been screened during the festival in Malmitalo, Vuotalo and Bio Grand Vantaa. The HIFF tour continues after the festival in the following locations:

MALMITALO, HELSINKI: 1.10. Liza, the Fox-Fairy
VUOTALO, HELSINKI: 28.9. Flocking, 5.10. Pulpettikino 1
STOA, HELSINKI: 22.10. Pulpettikino 1
HANASAARI, HELSINKI: 28.9. Underdog
BIO GRAND, VANTAA: 30.9. Life in a Fishbowl
LOGOMO/KINOKOPLA, TURKU: 6.10. Liza, the Fox-Fairy
HANGON ELOKUVAJUHLAT 30.10.–5.11.: No One’s Child, Life in a Fishbowl

HIFF films on Yle’s channels

Some of this year’s HIFF films can also be seen after the festival on television on Yle’s channels:

5.10. Ida’s Diary, Yle Teema
7.10. Docventures: Going Clear, TV2
10.10. Ida’s Diary, Yle Teema (rerun)
25.10. Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll, Yle Teema klo 21
2.11. For Kibera!, TV1
7.12. The Seamstress, TV1

In addition Yle Teema will televise Lina Mannheimer‘s THE CEREMONY in November. Teema’s Uusi Kino will show later the HIFF’s short films from the FRESH FROM FINLAND series.

The 29th Helsinki International Film Festival will be organised on September 15th – 25th 2016.

Picture: Pauli Haanpää