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Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy’s short film program R&A Shorts brings polished gems to the silver screen from both veteran filmmakers and future stars. The short film series include a retrospective of Sápmi films and a Carte Blanche from director Katja Gauriloff. Meanwhile, 33 short films were selected for the sixth National Competition.

Altogether 163 fiction, documentary, and animated films will be screened in the R&A Shorts programme in this year’s edition of HIFF. Some of the international films coming to the festival are My Year of Dicks (the Academy Award winner for the Best Animated Short Film) screened in the FUCK IT, I’M YOUNG! series and Yann Gonzalez’s queer musical Hideous that will be seen in UNLEASH THE BEAT series.

After charming HIFF audiences last year with their latest features, directors Carla Simon (Alcarràs) and Hlynur Pálmason (Godland) return to Helsinki with their short form works. Both films are screened in the FAMILY TIES series.

– The short films continue to thrill every year with their amazing technical and narrative ingenuity and versatility. Short film screenings offer viewers the chance to lose themselves in many different worlds in just one sitting. These films not only highlight themes concerning young filmmakers, but also offer a glimpse into the future of filmmaking, says R&A Shorts programme curator Annu Suvanto.

Longer perspective to the seventh art is present in several film series. They include CARTE BLANCHE – KATJA GAURILOFF, SÁPMI GOES RETRO series curated by the Skábmagovat Festival of Indigenous Films and HANNALEENA HAURU’S CREATIVE COSMOS curated by another HIFF favourite, director Hannaleena Hauru.

The R&A Shorts program can be found here. Tickets for the short film screenings go on sale September 7 along with the rest of the festival program.

The kaleidoscopic R&A Shorts trailer directed by Mariia Solodiankina can be watched here. You can read the director’s views on film and the trailer here.

33 short films make the cut for National Competition

Showcasing the year’s best short films, R&A Shorts has selected 33 works to its National Competition. The selection jury chose the competition films from a total of 175 submissions. The full list of films in competition can be found here.

The winners of the competition are selected by the jury consisting of director Emilia Hernesniemi, actor-screenwriter Eeva Putro and director Mazdak Nassir.

The best domestic short film will be awarded the Aurora prize. It is a cash prize of 2,000 euros sponsored by Aurora Studios and Finnish Impact Film Fund. Last year’s winner was Mari Mantela’s short film Rabobesto – Or How I Saved a Monster.

Finnish Film Foundation’s Uusi aalto Award will be given to a new talent of Finnish cinema. The purpose of the award is to support the professional career of a promising new filmmaker working with the short film format and it is directed to the filmmaker’s upcoming project.

The Moving People and Images Award (the MPI Award) was established in 2021 by the initiation of filmmaker Erol Mintaş. The award, which is sponsored in turn by the Finnish Film Foundation, AVEK and Yle, will be granted to a filmmaker whose work emphasizes diversity and inclusion.

The Best Student Film Award is an accreditation to the 2024 HIFF – Love & Anarchy festival and The Finnish Film Affair industry event. The student films will also compete for other awards.

All of the 2023 competition films will compete for the Audience Award, which is a product prize given to the director.

R&A Shorts winners will be announced on Thursday September 21. The winning films will be screened at Maxim 1 on September 23 at 1:00 pm.

The R&A Shorts programme will screen as part of the 36th Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy, which will run from September 14 to 24, 2023. The entire festival program will be published next week.