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The future of HIFF – Love & Anarchy, one of Finland’s most significant film festivals, is under threat. HIFF is now calling on its audience to help. 

The effects of the pandemic era, an unstable cultural environment and rising costs have harmed the Finnish cultural sector, and the future of HIFF – Love & Anarchy, one of Finland’s most important film festivals, is now under threat. The drop in audience numbers compared to pre-pandemic festival years has been drastic. Although audiences have increasingly returned to the festival, the recovery is slow. 

This autumn, Love & Anarchy set its post-pandemic audience record with 51 000 visitors. Before the pandemic, the number was over 60 000. At the same time, the festival has had to make long-term investments, such as invest in staff resources as well as a new website and ticket shop, the fruits of which are yet to be reaped this year.

Love & Anarchy is now calling on its audience for help. The situation is serious, but a plan to remedy it is already underway. The association has already taken cost-saving measures, including staff furloughs, and is exploring possible additional funding. However, in addition to this, HIFF urgently needs the help of its public and is calling on all friends of cinema and culture to join the campaign. The Save Love & Anarchy campaign aims to raise 45,000 euros by the end of the year. All profits from the campaign will be used to cover the losses incurred by the festivals during the recent unusual years. Everyone can now make a difference to ensure that HIFF lights up the silver screens of Helsinki for years to come.

The campaign kicks off on Monday 27 November at Bio Rex Lasipalatsi with a day/an evening of support screenings featuring two highly anticipated pre-previews and one beloved classic. The Holdovers (2023), set in the Christmas spirit of the 1970s, brings together once again the dream team of Alexander Payne and actor Paul Giamatti. The film’s title refers to the unfortunate students of a prep school who are forced to spend Christmas at school, under the scornful eye of their teacher (Giamatti). Kaouther Ben Hania’s ambitious Four Daughters (2023) is a radical hybrid of fiction and documentary that won the Golden Eye Award for Best Documentary at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. The evening will conclude with In the Mood for Love (2000), a melancholic and compelling love story by the HIFF favourite Wong Kar-Wai. The film has never been screened at HIFF before.

There are three types of tickets available for the support screenings, and you can support with either 25 €, 40 € or 100 €. Corporate partners can show their support with sponsorship packages. The campaign will run until the end of the year and you can follow its progress on the association’s social media channels and website. Show tickets and sponsorship products are now on sale on the festival website. You can also buy a digital Christmas greeting in the online shop in support of the festival.

HIFF – Love & Anarchy is the cornerstone of Finnish film culture, which has been bringing the world’s best films to Finland since 1988, creating a more fun Helsinki and promoting film culture. HIFF has been the first in Finland to showcase the best of Asian cinema, including Hayao Miyazaki’s Ghibli Studio, the cutting edge of the new American indie darlings, and the new wave of European cinema from France to Romania. Over the years, the festival has hosted directors such as John Woo, Spike Lee, Baz Luhrmann, Katsuhiro Otomo and actors such as Tilda Swinton and Timothy Spall. The association, and especially its crown jewel, the autumnal Love & Anarchy Festival, is an invaluable platform for film lovers, filmmakers and distributors alike.

HIFF would like to thank most warmly all the partners who have already joined the campaign: Amos Rex / Rex Events, Eventio, Punavuoren Folio, Cinemanse, Cinema Mondo and Finnkino.

Get your support screening tickets here.

Featured image: Jacky Law