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Aftersun-elokuvan päähenkilöt Sophie ja Calum makaavat sohvalla

The theme of the first ever R&A Spring Break festival is ‘On the Edge of New’. The opening film will be Aftersun by Charlotte Wells, which has taken the film world by storm, and will have its Finnish premiere at the festival. The full programme will be published on 22 March, when tickets go on sale. 

The first-ever R&A Spring Break will look to the future of cinema from 12-16 April 2023. The spring film festival will now be more closely linked to its autumn sibling, HIFF. The R&A Spring Break is an opportunity to immerse yourself in quality cinema, immerse yourself in a topical theme, celebrate and take risks. 

HIFF – Rakkautta & Anarkiaa Association, the organiser of Finland’s largest and most important international film event, has been running the Spring Festival since 2007, when the Artisokka film festival (originally called Nainen vai Artisokka) was taken over by the association. Artisokka was born around the issue of women and grew over time into the Season Film Festival, a new film festival focusing on new films and serving as an airing place for new indie films. From 2020 to 2021, the Season Film Festival was held in a limited format and partly online due to the corona pandemic. Last year, the festival was on hiatus, which also allowed for the development of a new festival. The R&A Spring Break, on the other hand, always focuses on one curated theme. In addition to new films, older films are also included. This thematic focus will also allow for interesting cross-artistic and cross-disciplinary collaborations in the future. 

The theme for 2023 is on the edge of something new, which means new creators, utopias and breakthroughs. How can cinema play a role in creating new futures? The theme will create hopeful, surprising and daring glimpses of the future. 

“R&A Spring Break, built around the theme, is a good match for our main festival, where the joy comes from the abundance of films. It allows us and the audience to discover new connections between different films, other art forms and social phenomena”, comments Anna Möttölä, Executive Director of HIFF. 

The festival opens with Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun

An example of an exciting new generation of filmmakers is Scottish director Charlotte Wells (b. 1985), whose debut feature Aftersun will deservedly be seen as the opening film of the first ever R&A Spring Break. The film, which won an award at Cannes and received rave reviews, will have its domestic premiere at the festival. It is a portrait of the fading of memories, grief, parenthood and growing up. Young father Calum (Oscar-nominated Paul Mescal) and 11-year-old daughter Sophie (Fransesca Corio) embark on a modest package tour. Days filled with sun, pool and togetherness are captured on Sophie’s video camera cassette. Twenty years later, when the adult Sophie looks back on their holiday together, the memories are tinged with a strange melancholy. Who was Dad really? Cinemanse, the film’s domestic distributor, will release Aftersun in cinemas on 14 April 2023.