September 1, 2011
HIFF 2011 has the honour of welcoming several acclaimed filmmakers and international journalists as its guests. During the festival, Spanish director Icíar Bollaín, praised screenwriter Paul Laverty, German director Andres Veiel, one of the most awarded Serbian filmmakers, Dejan Zečević, and Varitey reporter Nick Holdsworth will visit Helsinki.
Icíar Bollaín was born in Madrid in 1967. Her interest in cinema can be traced back to her teenage years and her roles in films such as Victor Erice’s THE SOUTH (1983) and Manuel Gutierrez Aragon’s MISADVENTURE. For LEO (2000) she was nominated for the Goya for Best Actress.
Bollaín made her debut as a director in 1995 with HI, ARE YOU ALONE? at the Valladolid Film Festival, where she won the Best New Director award. She subsequently directed FLOWERS FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1999), AMORES QUE MATAN (2000) and TAKE MY EYES (HIFF 2003) – for which for she won seven Goyas, including Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Film. EVEN THE RAIN continues her list of original, convincing first-rate films.
A Golden Palm and nine films in collaboration with Ken Loach have won Paul Laverty recognition as one of the most acclaimed scriptwriters in recent film history. Born in Calcutta in 1957, his concern for social issues led him to work for a human rights association in Nicaragua. His experiences in Central America took him away from his law studies and inspired him to write the script for CARLA’S SONG, his first film with Loach. CARLA’S SONG was to be the beginning of one of the most prolific professional relationships in contemporary cinema. Laverty’s newest film EVEN THE RAIN cleverly explores power constructs in a deep and multifaceted manner.
Bollaín and Laverty available for interviews on September 23 and September 24
Further information and interview requests:
Mika Siltala / Cinema Mondo / firstname.lastname@example.org
Contemporary German directors have tackled their country’s recent history with films such as THE LIVES OF OTHERS, DOWNFALL and THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX. Andres Veiel follows in their path with his debut fiction feature IF NOT US, WHO?
The portrayal of Bernward Vesper and Gudrun Ensslin is based on a large amount of meticulous research and offers a previously unseen perspective into the birth of the Red Army Faction and the political instability of the 1970s. Festival guest Veiel is known best for his documentaries including THE SURVIVORS and BLACK BOX BRD (HIFF 2002).
Andres Veiel in Finland from September 19 to September 21
Serbian contemporary cinema has often been inspired by the bloodshed of the country’s recent history, the result being a bunch of rather grim films. THE ENEMY, screened in the festival’s Balkanize! series, convincingly combines paranormal elements to the last days of the tragic Bosnian War. Dejan Zečević is one of the most awarded Serbian filmmakers and has won the FIPRESCI prize for best Serbian director a total of four times.
Dejan Zečević in Helsinki from September 22 to September 25
The promising Turkish director Seyfi Teoman’s new film OUR GRAND DESPAIR has won several awards and was chosen to the Berlinale competition this year. Despite its sorrowful name, the film concentrates on friendship in a surprisingly light and even funny manner. Teoman, a veteran of commercials and short films, studied film at Lodz in Poland, and is currently shooting his new film SAINTS (Evliya).
Seyfi Teoman in Helsinki from September 22 to September 25
One of the most important films in the Orizzonti Italiani series is Aureliano Amadei’s debut feature 20 CIGARETTES (20 Sigarette). The Italian film has been awarded both at the David di Donatello Awards and at the Venice Film Festival. 20 CIGARETTES is an autobiographical story about an ill-fated filming trip to Iraq. Amadei miraculously survived a suicide bomb in which 19 Italian peacekeepers were killed.
Aureliano Amadei in Helsinki from September 21 to September 24
Mikael Buch & Nicolas Maury
HIFF is proud to present the world premiere of LET MY PEOPLE GO! Mikael Buch’s debut feature is a kitsch-farce partly filmed in Finland and written by one of France’s front row filmmakers, Christophe Honoré. Accompanying Buch at the festival is French actor Nicolas Maury, whose previous films include PARIS, JE T’AIME and HEARTBEAT DIRECTOR, a part of the festival programme in 2008.
Mikael Buch & Nicolas Maury in Helsinki from September 22 to September 24
BEHIND BLUE SKIES is award-winning director Hannes Holm’s newest feature and a part of the Nordic Exports series. Holm, a guest at this year’s HIFF, is known for his youth film ADAM & EVE. Based on a true story, BEHIND BLUE SKIES is a strong and sympathetic crime story spiced up with teenage hormones and Swedish sparkle. The main role in the film is played by the newest star of the Skarsgård family, Stellan’s son Bill.
Hannes Holm in Helsinki from September 15 to September 18
The disappearance of the final cut of German director Cyril Tuschi’s documentary KHODORKOVSKY just days before its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival was widely covered in the Finnish media. Tuschi believes that the theft was linked to a Russian campaign against its critics. The critically acclaimed KHODORKOVSKY is a part of the Politics! series.
Cyril Tuschi in Helsinki from September 15 to September 18
KNUCKLE, a part of the Watch Me, I’m Irish series, is a ruthless, testosterone-filled documentary that has already thrilled audiences at the Sundance Film Festival. Irish director Ian Palmer followed and filmed the feuding of Irish Traveller families for 12 years. The brutal KNUCKLE is Palmer’s directorial debut.
Ian Palmer in Helsinki from September 16 to September 19
Risteard ”Richie” Ó Domhnaill
The Irish director Risteard Ó Domhnaill filmed his documentary THE PIPE over a period of five years. This touching story is about the people of Rossport who insistently fight for their village against Shell, which strives to build a gas pipe on their land. Ó Domhnaill’s first feature length documentary has been rewarded and praised around the world for its strong message and beautiful cinematography. THE PIPE is screened in cooperation with Greenpeace.
Risteard Ó Domhnaill in Helsinki from September 24 to September 25
GRAVEYARD KEEPER’S DAUGHTER is a depiction of modern-day Estonia and its problems through the eyes of a child. The film is festival guest Katrin Laur’s second full-length feature. Laur’s debut film, RUUDI (2006), won awards at both the Warsaw Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival.
Katrin Laur in Helsinki from September 15 to September 17
Arvo Kukumägi, one of Soviet Estonia’s best-known actors, had managed to drink his career into oblivion by the beginning of the new millennium. KUKU – I WILL SURVIVE, directed by festival guest Andres Maimik and Kaidi Kaasik, is not a conventional portrayal of an actor. It is, instead, a revealing journey into the complicated relationship between art and alcohol. KUKU – I WILL SURVIVE is a part of the Tere Eesti! series.
Andres Maimik in Helsinki from September 16 to September 18
Journalist and film critic Nick Holdsworth is head of the Eastern European Bureau of Variety and a foreign correspondent for The Sunday Telegraph, The Hollywood Reporter and a number of other English-language titles.
Holdsworth’s interests include social issues and based in Moscow, he is an expert on contemporary cinema of the former Eastern Bloc. Holdsworth has a 20 year experience in journalism, in addition to which he has written two books and directed the documentary THE KYRGYZ ICE-CREAM SELLER: TRAINING FOR CHANGE IN CENTRAL ASIA (2009). He has served as a judge at several Central and Eastern European film festivals. During his visit in Helsinki, Holdsworth is interested in seeing and hearing about new Finnish cinema.
Nick Holdsworth in Helsinki from September 24 to September 25
Paul D. Dasilva
Journalist Paul D. Dasilva represents Screentrade Media and also works as a freelancer. Dasilva is especially interested in the state of short and documentary film and the Finnish film industry. Screentrade has established a reputation for getting to the heart of industry matters, among them the digital debate, film piracy and screen jumping, is read by industry players. Screentrade is also one of the few magazines to concentrate both wholly and exclusively upon exhibition and distribution.
Paul D. Dasilva in Helsinki from September 18 to September 24
Further information and interview requests:
Press coordinator Henna Raatikainen
(+358) 44 268 7564