The festivalgoers praised the Happy Bubble private screenings and are longing to get back to the cinemas.

 Organized as a nationwide online festival and private Happy Bubble screenings in Helsinki’s cinemas, Season Film Festival’s online programme’s favourites were documentaries about the punk icon Poly Styrene POLY STYRENE: I AM A CLICHÈ, Victor Kossakovsky’s GUNDA and Josephine Decker’s writer story SHIRLEY. The cinema longing audience very much appreciated happy Bubble private screenings. 

The biggest hits of Season Film Festival’s online programme were SHIRLEY with Elisabeth Moss’ stellar portrayal of writer Shirley Jackson, documentaries POLY STYRENE: I AM A CLICHÈ and GUNDA as well as the cathartic pandemic drama THE PINK CLOUD. In addition, the event received exhilarating feedback from the audience, who took the festival’s Happy Bubble screenings as their own. “Both the online and private cinema screenings were a huge pleasure to organize for our audiences with our partners in Finland and abroad. Being able to share happiness through films has been an absolute thrill”, says Anna Möttölä, the executive director of HIFF – Love & Anarchy association. 

Just before the festival, the Covid-19 restrictions were loosened for many industries, but cinemas must remain closed in Helsinki till the end of May. “The longing to be back in cinemas is tremendous. Organising private screenings is absolutely better than nothing, but not at all a sustainable solution for event organizers, cinemas or distributors”, says programme coordinator Outi Rehn. “The cinemas and the whole cultural industry must be allowed to move towards normality the same way as other industries. Cinemas have excellent circumstances and know-how to organize screenings safely”, Rehn continues. “The audience asked us many times: how is this possible? And we had to tell them that unfortunately, we don’t have a proper answer”.

The Happy Bubble screenings showcased new films that are waiting for their wider cinema distribution. 34th Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy brings films from Season Film Festival’s online programme to the silver screens 16.–26.9.