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Press Release: 31 July 2014
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Helsinki International Film Festival Celebrates Young Talents and Great Masters

The 27th Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy takes place on 18–28 September 2014, when more than 170 feature films and about 150 short films will be screened. This year, Finland’s biggest film festival cooperates with the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle, allowing the festival to reach Finnish homes all around the country.  

Helsinki International Film Festival opens with the electrifying WHIPLASH by young screenwriter-director talent Damien Chazelle. The debuting director took Sundance Film Festival by storm, winning both the Grand Jury Prize (dramatic) and the Audience Award. Whiplash is a story that defies expectations of the music film genre. The film, directed more like an action film or a thriller movie, is an intensive drama about the price of reckless ambition. Miles Teller plays a talented and passionate drummer, who is accepted to a prime American jazz conservatory. J. K. Simmons plays his bandleader, who also happens to be the strictest teacher at the school – a true perfectionist who demands nothing less than blood, sweat and tears from his star apprentice. The film, distributed by Sony Pictures Finland, hits Finnish theatres 23 January 2015.

The Finnish Film Gala selection is J-P Valkeapää’s THEY HAVE ESCAPED, a fierce and dreamy road movie about two teenage outcasts on the run. Seppo Manner plays a young man who meets Raisa (Roosa Söderholm), a rebelling girl living at a centre for troubled youth. The two are united in their desire to escape their violent reality and restricting rules, embarking on a rambling cross-country journey. They Have Escaped premieres in the Venice Days series (Giornate degli Autori) at Venice Film Festival. Valkeapää’s debut feature The Visitor also premiered in Venice and won the main prize at Gothenburg International Film Festival in 2009. The Have Escaped hits Finnish theatres on 17 October, distributed by SF Film.

The all-new Master’s Gala screens Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT. Marion Cotillard plays Sandra, who upon returning to her workplace after a sick leave learns that her colleagues have agreed to have her fired in order to secure their own bonuses. Sandra has exactly two days and one night to convince her colleagues not to opt for the bonuses so that she could keep her job. Cotillard gives an astonishing performance, being present in every single shot. Two Days, One Night is released in Finnish theatres on 11 November, distributed by Cinema Mondo

The festival closes with one the most anticipated films of the year, Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD. The extraordinary drama follows a six-year old boy through his childhood until he turns eighteen. The passing of time is eminent, as the cast remained the same through all the twelve years of filming. Playing the boy’s parents are Patricia Arquette and Linklater regular Ethan Hawke. Boyhood, widely dubbed the best film of the year, has met with rave reviews all over the world, and the director won the Silver Bear in Berlin. Finnkino releases Boyhood in Finnish theatres 10 October.

The Love & Anarchy Gala film is Alejandro Jodorowsky’s much-awaited THE DANCE OF REALITY, which is the surrealist director’s first film in 23 years. In this autobiographical fiction Jodorowsky returns to his birthplace, the small village of Tocopilla on the Chilean coast, where his childhood memories are reshaped into absurd metaphors. The Dance of Reality combines the original visions of a veteran cult artist with the endless curiosity of a child. The film hits Finnish theatres on 14 November distributed by Cinema Mondo.

Pulp documentary in special opening day screening and DJ performance at the opening club
After the opening film Whiplash, the night continues the musical theme with a special screening of PULP: AFILM ABOUT LIFE, DEATH & SUPERMARKETS. In this nostalgic documentary, Pulp and their front man Jarvis Cocker return to their hometown Sheffield to give their last concert as a band. Florian Habicht’s look behind the scenes at the concert is also a tribute to Pulp fans, who get to share their life stories and memories of the band. Director Habicht, producer Alex Boden and Pulp drummer Nick Banks will be present at the opening day screening. Banks will also throw a rare DJ gig at the festival’s opening club at LeBonk.

Director Mark Cousins visits Helsinki as HIFF’s guest
Helsinki International Film Festival wants to offer film experiences also to those unable to come to Helsinki to experience the festival. Through a new cooperation with the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle, Love & Anarchy films will also be shown on Yle channels, reaching audiences across the country.

As a result of the cooperation, films by director and critic Mark Cousins will be shown both at Yle’s Teema channel and in HIFF’s theatrical screenings. The director will visit Helsinki in the beginning of September as HIFF’s guest and is available for interviews 4–5 September. Cousins is known in Finland for his TV series The Story of Film, which will rerun on Teema starting from 10 September. During the autumn, the channel will also show films mentioned in A Story of Film in Kino Klassikko on Sunday evenings. HIFF will screen Cousins’ film LIFE MAY BE, in which he engages in a cinematic discussion about culture, gender roles and the creative process with Iranian actor and director Mania Akbari. The festival will also screen Cousins’ film A STORY OF CHILDREN AND FILM, where he investigates the role of children in cinema. The film will be screened on Yle Teema in September. Other films screened in cooperation with Yle will be announced in September, when the whole festival programme is released.

The 2014 festival tabloid will be published on Thursday 21 August. The complete festival programme will be published on Friday 5 September. Presale of festival passes and catalogues begins on the same day. Single tickets will be available from Thursday 11 September.

Further information and interview requests:
Publicist Kira Schroeder

HIFF press release 31 July 2014