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The 30th Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy ended on Sunday with a sold-out screening of Cannes Palm d’Or winner THE SQUARE. Finland’s biggest film festival gathered more than 60 000 visitors, passing last year’s attendance. The audience award goes to Naoko Ogigami’s CLOSE-KNIT. A selection of festival films can be seen in the HIFF tour, YLE’s tv channels and cinema Orion after the festival.

The 30th anniversary celebrations of the Helsinki International Film Festival culminated on Sunday with a sold-out screening of Ruben Östlund’s THE SQUARE. Finland’s number one film festival brought more than 60 000 visitors to cinemas, festival clubs and side events, surpassing last year’s attendance. During the 11 days of the festival 175 feature films and 190 short films were screened in more than 500 screenings of which one fifth were sold out.

– It is a great pleasure to notice that after 30 years that the passion of our audience to see the most ecclectic and weird movies has not disappeared. There are always new generations of movie fans who are excited about what is happening in workd cinema, the artistic director of HIFF Pekka Lanerva says.

HIFF had the honor of hosting dozens of filmmaker guests including the winner of the festival’s first ever Nordic Flair Award, Danish actor Pilou Asbæk, the executive director of the Cannes Film Festival Thierry Frémaux with his film LUMIÈRE!, the director of DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE Jon Nguyen and the Japanese director Naoko Ogigami with her film CLOSE-KNIT.

Alongside the opening and closing films CALL ME BY YOUR NAME and THE SQUARE, the festival’s audience favourites included Naoko Ogigami’s CLOSE-KNIT, a look at the Twin Peaks director’s visual art DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s refugee documentary HUMAN FLOW, Susan Johnson’s CARRIE PILBY, François Ozon’s L’AMANT DOUBLE, a depiction of Indian women’s lives LIPSTICK UNDER MY BURKHA, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s LOVELESS, the late Harry Dean Stanton’s last starring role LUCKY, British director Sally Potter’s THE PARTY, Martin McDonagh’s THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, Yorgos Lanthimos’ THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER, punk documentary PUNK VOYAGE and the Swedish film competing for the Nordic Council Film Prize SAMI BLOOD.

HIFF’s first Cut to the Chase – R&A Shorts sub-festival awarded Johannes Östergård’s short documentary TARFALA as the best Finnish short film. R&A Shorts gained altogether more than 2 400 visitors. The screenings of Finnish short films were especially popular.

Audience Award to Naoko Ogigami’s CLOSE-KNIT

The HIFF Audience Award went to Japanese director Naoko Ogigami’s CLOSE-KNIT. Best known as director of the international hit KAMOME DINER (2006), Ogigami’s latest film is a warm story of acceptance and one of the first Japanese mainstream films to have a transgender character in a leading role. CLOSE-KNIT will be screened five times in cinema Orion in November: 4.11., 7.11., 19.11., 22.11. and 24.11.

Love & Anarchy on tour and TV

The Love & Anarchy Tour brings a selection of festival favourites to over 15 locations after the festival. The tour films include among others the audience award winner CLOSE-KNIT, the Nordic Council Film Prize Nominee HEARTSTONE and a selection of short films from the R&A Shorts programme. During the tour, HIFF films will screen among other places in Turku, Oulu, Kuopio, Hanko, Kauhava and Vaasa. The tour schedule can be found at the HIFF website hiff.fi/kiertue.

A selection of films from the 30th HIFF programme will be shown on Yle’s TV channels. Among many of the Finnish films, the documentaries DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE and LUMIÈRE! will be seen on Yle Teema in March 2018.

Finnish Film Affair presented domestic films to international buyers

The sixth HIFF industry sidebar Finnish Film Affair presented domestic films to international buyers and journalists. The three-day event awarded a film project showing international potential with the Best Pitch Award sponsored by the Finnish Film Foundation. The winner was director Selma Vilhunen with her project Stupid Young Heart. Also other works in progress presented in the FFA are highly anticipated. Projects that gathered special interest included such titles as the sci-fi western Theia by Mari Mantela, horror film Carcass by Mare Jatkola and crime drama Brooklyn King by Olli Koivula.

The 31st Helsinki International Film Festival will be organized on September 20th–30th, 2018.

Thank you! See you next year!

Further information:
Publicist Janne Sundqvist
+358 50 5464 396