The 28th Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy takes place on 17–27 September 2015. This year Finland’s biggest film festival celebrates world cinema with more than 180 feature films and 170 short films. The new rise of independent theatres in Helsinki brings the number of festival cinemas to a record high.
Helsinki International Film Festival opens with the wise family drama LOUDER THAN BOMBS. Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s first English language film comes to Helsinki straight from Cannes, where it got a warm welcome for its in-depth view on how losing a family member affects those who are left behind. War photographer Isabella (Isabelle Huppert) dies with a secret that is like a slowly detonating bomb for the rest of the family. Central roles are played by Gabriel Byrne and Jesse Eisenberg. The film, distributed by SF Film, hits Finnish theatres later this autumn.
The Finnish Film Gala selection is Joonas Berghäll’s documentary film MOTHER’S WISH. After the director’s internationally acclaimed Steam of Life, it is women’s turn to tell their stories. The film features ten women coping with personal tragedy and motherhood. The film takes us around the world and even beyond Earth, as one of the mothers is the American astronaut Karen L. Nyberg. Nordisk Film releases Mother’s Wish in Finnish theatres on 16 October.
The Love & Anarchy Gala film is Jacques Audiard’s Palme d’Or winner DHEEPAN. The film tells the story of a newly formed family escaping the Sri Lankan civil war and trying to survive in the jungle called Europe. Former tamil tiger Dheepan (played by the real life ex-guerrilla Jesuthasan Antonythasan) searches peace as a janitor in the suburbs of Paris. His work causes him to try and pacify the relations of the local gangs. Dheepan is released in Finnish theatres on 30 October by Cinema Mondo.
The festival closes with the highly anticipated YOUTH, the new film by Italian maestro Paolo Sorrentino. Veteran actor Michael Caine shines in the visually lavish film that has the same visual splendour as the Academy Award winning The Great Beauty, but takes place in a completely different environment. Two friends, composer Fred (Caine) and screenwriter Mick (Harvey Keitel) spend their vacation in a hotel at the Swiss Alps, contemplating on their lives and what might still be in store for them. Even when handling old age and life’s experiences, Sorrentino is at the same time both hilarious and melancholic. Youth is released in Finnish theatres by Finnkino in early 2016.
The new Estonia Gala celebrates the close relations of HIFF with the contemporary Estonian cinema. The gala selection is the Estonian war film 1944 that depicts the struggles of Estonians in World War II. Occupied by both the Red Army and the Nazis, Estonians were recruited into both armies and ended up shooting at each other in the trenches. The most expensive film ever made in modern Estonia, Elmo Nüganen’s 1944 has been a big success in its homeland. The Estonian-Finnish co-production’s Finnish producer is MRP Matila Röhr Productions. The film hits Finnish theatres on 25 September and is distributed by Atlantic Film.
HIFF will celebrate the 106-year-old Maxim Cinema that was saved from being turned into a hotel by activism of a large group of film lovers. The culturally important achievement will be celebrated at Maxim with the premiere screening of TEMPLES OF DREAMS. Jouko Aaltonen’s nostalgic but also hilarious documentary film tells the story of the Finnish cinemas, cinema exhibitors and audiences of the last 100 years.
Cobain, Björk and aliens in the preview screenings
After last year’s success HIFF continues pre-festival outdoor screenings at Allas Pop Up in Katajanokka. The films shown on 4–6 September include COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK and BJÖRK: BIOPHILIA LIVE. The two films are also screened at HIFF as a part of the series focusing on music films. The series will culminate on 24 September in the screening of the new Arcade Fire movie THE REFLEKTOR TAPES on the night of its world-premiere.
Another event welcomes visitors both from Denmark and outer space. Director Michael Madsen’s documentary science fiction film THE VISIT finds out what would happen if aliens from outer space landed on Earth. HIFF gives Helsinki-based audiences a possibility to take part in the international event including a worldwide simultaneous preview screening of the film and a Q&A with film-makers streamed live from Copenhagen. Ticket sales for the 2 September event start 7 August. The Visit is released in Finnish theatres by B-Plan on 9 October.
Brew Pub Bruuveri will host a HIFF preview screening of REMAKE, REMIX, RIP-OFF: ABOUT COPY CULTURE AND TURKISH POPULAR CINEMA on 8 September. The kooky documentary tells the story of Turkish popular cinema starring the Turkish Rambo, the evil Spider-Man and the stolen Star Wars film reels.
New Helsinki cinemas join the festival
The last year has seen a proliferation of new independent cinemas and cinema concepts in Helsinki. The 28th HIFF includes three new theatres: Korjaamo Culture Factory, WHS Teatteri Union and Kino Sheryl. The newest among the lot is Korjaamo Culture Factory in Töölö. It will screen HIFF films in the second weekend of the festival 25–27 September in two cinemas that seat approximately 120 persons each. Korjaamo will be collecting ideas on the development of their cinema concept during the festival.
The 2015 festival tabloid will be published on 14 August. The complete festival programme will be published on 4 September. Presale of festival passes and catalogues begins on the same day. Single tickets will be available from 10 September.
Further information and interview requests:
Publicist Janne Sundqvist / +358-50-5464396 / firstname.lastname@example.org / hiff.fi