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The 30th Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy celebrates the best films of the year between September 14th – 24th, 2017. The festival brings the most anticipated releases from around the world to Helsinki. This year’s filmmaker guests include Cannes artistic director Thierry Frémaux, Jonas Carpignano, who brings his new film from Cannes to Helsinki, and Naoko Ogigami, an admirer of Finland. Lene Cecilia Sparrok, the leading actress of the Swedish hit film Sami Blood will also attend the festival. To celebrate the anniversary of L&A, Yle will broadcast festival favourites on television and on Yle Areena.

To honour the 30th anniversary of the Helsinki International Film Festival, Thierry Frémaux, the director of the Institut Lumière of France and the artistic director of the Cannes Film Festival, will be attending the festival to introduce his film LUMIÈRE! (2016). It is a love letter to early cinema pioneers Auguste and Louis Lumière. The silent film collage, compiled and narrated by Frémaux, features some of the earliest existing films. It features street scenes from different parts of Europe, the United States and the French colonies, the reportedly first tracking shot in the history of the cinema as well as the first martial arts film. Thierry Frémaux will attend the festival on September 22nd–23rd. LUMIÈRE! will open in cinemas on October 6th and is distributed by Cinema Mondo.

Italian-American director Jonas Carpignano will present his film A CIAMBRA (2017) at the festival. The film, which had its world premiere at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, returns to the small Romani community in Calabria, Italy, also featured in Carpignano’s first feature film Mediterranea (HIFF 2015). A Ciambra has been praised for its realistic depiction of people living in the fringes of society. The fact that the cast appear as themselves adds to the authenticity. Jonas Carpignano will attend the festival on September 21st–23rd.

The festival welcomes Japanese director Naoko Ogigami, whose comedy Kamome Diner (2006) was an audience favourite in both Finland and Japan. Ogigami’s new film CLOSE-KNIT is a warm and gentle story about family, acceptance – and knitting. Iranian Ali Soozandeh, who lives in Germany, will present his debut film TEHRAN TABOO which uses animation to illustrate sexual taboos in the lives of the Iranian youth. Naoko Ogigami will attend the festival on September 20th–23rd and Ali Soozandeh on September 15th–18th.

Sami actress Lene Cecilia Sparrok, the star of SAMI BLOOD, is attending L&A and filling in for director Amanda Kernell who unfortunately has had to cancel her visit to Helsinki. Sparrok will be in Helsinki on September 14th–17th. Cinema Mondo releases Sami Blood in theaters starting September 29th.

Best films from around the globe!

L&A proudly presents three new feature films that oppose the Russian censorship. As the name suggests, LOVELESS by Andrey Zvyagintsev is a shivering tale of a loveless family in a loveless society. A GENTLE CREATURE, which competed in Cannes with Loveless, is a bloodcurdling portrayal of a woman desperately trying to find her husband from the prison system of Russia. Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa’s film gradually builds to mirror the current times and the history of the Russian society. The third film about Russia, CLOSENESS by Kantemir Balagov, is a fierce portrayal of ethnic violence in Russia’s North Caucasus at the turn of the century.

As usual, Asian films are well represented in the L&A repertoire. The Asian buffet of the festival serves some Korean action (A DAY, THE AGE OF SHADOWS) and arthouse film (Hong Sang-soo’s ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE), the Chinese “Pulp Fiction of anime” (HAVE A NICE DAY) in addition to two new feature films from Japanese masters SABU (MR. LONG, HAPPINESS) and Kiyoshi Kurosawa (BEFORE WE VANISH, DAGUERROTYPE).

Cinematic merits distinguish also British maestro Sally Potter’s THE PARTY, an erotic thriller L’AMANT DOUBLE by François Ozon who visited Finland this spring, Brazilian Kleber Mendonça Filho’s AQUARIUS and Estonian Rainer Sarnet’s NOVEMBER, a Tribeca winner. Egyptian film is represented with two feature films: Mohamed Diab’s socially critical CLASH and crime film THE NILE HILTON INCIDENT. 

From Ai Weiwei to AIDS activists 

As always, L&A offers sneak peaks of the best films ahead of their theatrical release in Finland. Arriving directly from the competition at the Venice Film Festival, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s HUMAN FLOW is a heart-rending depiction of the global refugee crisis. Another Venetian treat is THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, 2008). It is a bittersweet drama of an individual fighting the local police. Both films will be distributed by Nordisk Film.

Many of this year’s most talked about films address differences and divergences. THE BIG SICK is a cheerful comedy about love conquering cultural obstacles. The film is based on the true story of Pakistani-American stand-up comedian Kumail Nanjian (Silicon Valley). The winner of the prestigious Grand Prix award at Cannes, BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE) portrays AIDS activists’ battle against negligence in 1990s France. The Big Sick will be brought to cinemas by Finnkino on September 29th, whereas BPM (Beats Per Minute) will premiere in early 2018 and will be distributed by Cinemanse.

Yle Teema to broadcast L&A films nationwide

Yle, the official partner of the Helsinki International Film Festival, will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the festival by broadcasting L&A hits from previous years nationwide between September 13th and 23rd. The films include LOVE AND ANARCHY (1973), the very film that gave the festival its name, THE REFLECTING SKIN, which created a sensation at the 1990 festival, last year’s audience favourite LES COWBOYS as well as Andrey Zvyagintsev’s LEVIATHAN. Teema’s Elävä Arkisto will broadcast reports from the history of the festival. In addition, Yle will host free discussion panels featuring both Finnish and foreign guests at Dubrovnik on September 19th, 21st and 22nd. The festival will also premiere Leea Klemola and Kaarina Hazard’s three-part television series LOVE & ORDER (Myrskyn jälkeen), which will be shown on Yle TV1 and Yle Areena at a later date.

The new Festival Centre (from September 7th onwards) is located at Yrjönkatu 27, in the premises of the Amos Anderson museum. The Festival Centre provides information and acts as the main ticket office of the festival.

In addition, this year all festival tickets are sold on the hiff.fi website and at festival venues. Finnkino no longer sells Love & Anarchy tickets through their ticketing system.