The Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy has announced its programme. The Cannes Grand Prix-winning concentration camp drama THE ZONE OF INTEREST is presented as the Masters Gala film. The freshest film smorgasbord in the country also has Pedro Almodóvar’s new shorts as well as heaps of winners and audience favourites from the world’s major film festivals.
HIFF adds another gala to its roster. THE ZONE OF INTEREST that caused quite a stir and won the Grand Prix at Cannes is screened at the new Masters Gala. In the film, Jonathan Glazer (e.g. Under the Skin, Season FF 2015) provides a scathing portrayal of everyday evil and fascism via the family life of Rudolf Höss, the commander of the Auschwitz concentration camp. The German star Sandra Hüller (Toni Erdmann, 2016) gives a striking performance as the family matriarch.
The R&A Shorts programme is complemented by two newest short-form works by Pedro Almodóvar. Seen in Cannes this year, STRANGE WAY OF LIFE featuring Hollywood stars Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal as gunslingers and former lovers is a queer western that bears the unmistakable touch of its director. It is screened in tandem with Almodóvar’s intense lockdown short THE HUMAN VOICE (2021) starring Tilda Swinton.
Cinematic manna rains from film heaven with 141 feature films. The most coveted new outings include SHOWING UP by the U.S indie maven Kelly Reichardt, French-Senegalese Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s BANEL & ADAMA which was the only debut effort in this year’s Cannes competition and Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s ABOUT DRY GRASSES that earned Merve Dizdar the Best Actress Award at Cannes.
Among the international festival favorites are the Bollywood-meets-martial-arts genre-blending POLITE SOCIETY, The Estonian Orthodox monk kung-fu slugfest THE INVISIBLE FIGHT helmed by the HIFF favourite Rainer Sarnet, and the rockumentary KISS THE FUTURE about the attempts of U2 to raise worldwide awareness of the horrors of wartime Sarajevo.
Filmmaker guests from around Europe
HIFF welcomes among its main guests the French director Catherine Corsini, whose latest film HOMECOMING made waves in the Cannes competition. The Danish documentarist Lea Glob brings to Helsinki her work APOLONIA, APOLONIA for which she followed the contemporary artist Apolonia Sokol’s life for 13 years.
Filmmakers behind several contenders for the Nordic Council Film Prize are also visiting. They include the director Frederikke Aspöck and screenwriter-main actor Anna Neye from EMPIRE, the Danish satire about the Nordic colonialist history.
You can read more about the HIFF filmmaker guests here.
Kaurismäki in English and intimate choreography
The HIFF programme features an exceptionally wide array of best new Finnish films. The cream of the crop is naturally Aki Kaurismäki’s FALLEN LEAVES that was recently voted the Best Film of the Year by the International Federation of Film Critics. The festival provides the non-Finnish-speaking audience with a possibility to see this gentle tragicomedy with English subtitles.
Other Finnish highlights of the programme are Selma Vilhunen’s FOUR LITTLE ADULTS, Tia Kouvo’s FAMILY TIME, Kaisa El Ramly’s debut feature film GETAWAYS & DREAMS, and the world premiere of the sensual German-Finnish co-production POWER OF LOVE starring Saara Kotkaniemi and Nicola Perot.
To coincide with the screening of Power of Love, the festival organizes a panel discussion about the work of intimacy coordinators at the HIFF festival centre in Bio Rex Lasipalatsi. This year’s festival also features Saturday morning coffee sessions with filmmakers.
The 36th Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy is held September 14–24. The entire HIFF programme can now be found on this website. Sales of festival passes have also begun. Single ticket sales will start a week from now on Thursday, September 7.