/ Press releases

The 31stHelsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy is organised from September 20thto 30th, 2018. Spike Lee, a true trailblazer of American and more specifically African-American cinema, is the festival’s honorary guest. Other main guests include legendary director of German cinema Margarethe von Trotta, Australian cult director Stephan Elliott and German-French-Iranian filmmaker Emily Atef. The collaboration between HIFF and Yle will continue this year in the form of French cinema.

Love & Anarchy is honoured to bring highly accomplished filmmakers to Helsinki this year. HIFF’s honorary guest is the Academy Award winning American director Spike Lee, who will be holding a masterclass at the festival. HIFF will screen Lee’s hugely popular new film BLACKKKLANSMAN in addition to DO THE RIGHT THING (1989), the biggest hit of the second edition of the festival. Spike Lee’s visit is organised in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Finland and BlacKkKlansman actor Jasper Pääkkönen.

The Grand Old Lady of German cinema Margarethe von Trotta will be attending the festival. Besides Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders, she is one of the most important directors of New German Cinema. Von Trotta will bring to Helsinki her new documentary SEARCHING FOR INGMAR BERGMAN, in which a number of filmmakers discuss the Swedish maestro’s influence on their own work. Von Trotta’s visit is organised in collaboration with the Hanaholmen cultural centre.

Stephan Elliott, whose colourful comedy THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT was one of the hits of HIFF 1994, will be joining us all the way from Australia. The director, whose work has brought LGBTQ+ themes into mainstream cinema, will be introducing his new film SWINGING SAFARI. In addition, Priscilla will be shown as a special drag screening as part of the new Love & Anarchy Trailblazers section.

Director Emily Atef brings her film 3 DAYS IN QUIBERON from Berlin to Helsinki. The film, which won most German Film Awards at the Lola-Gala in April, is a recreation of the legendary film actress Romy Schneider’s iconic interview.

At the end of the festival, the R&A Shorts sidebar will welcome the performance art group LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner, which includes Hollywood star Shia LaBeouf. The festival presents the trio’s new film #TAKEMEANYWHERE. The visit is organised in collaboration with the Finnish Institute in London. 

From the margins to the front

It is very important to Helsinki International Film Festival to showcase works by women and non-binary people. This year, 40.5% of all films presented at HIFF, one third of feature films, and almost a half of the short films are directed by women.

HIFF has always wanted to amplify voices not often heard. A variety of voices will be celebrated in the new Hear Me Roar! selection. HIFF will screen MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A., a documentary about the artist M.I.A., RBG, a film about the feminist trailblazer, judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as well as GIRL, a drama about a teenage trans girl.

As usual, HIFF will be the first to screen the autumn’s best theatrical releases. These include Lebanese Nadine Labaki’s CAPERNAUM (Finnkino), a neo-realistic fable about a street kid, and THE RIDER (Cinema Mondo) directed by Chloé Zhao, one of the most promising American indie directors. HIFF will also screen Erik Poppe’s U – JULY 22 (Nordisk Film, October 19th) and Aneesh Chaganty’s thriller SEARCHING (Disney, November 2nd).

Bordertown, Godard, and other Yle gems

HIFF will take part in Yle Teema’s season of French cinema by screening Jean-Luc Godard’s glorious LE MÉPRIS (1963) in the new Love & Anarchy Trailblazers section. Several films produced or co-produced by Yle will be shown at the festival. One of them is CINEMA DADAAB, a new documentary by Kati Juurus, which is set in a cinema at the world’s second largest refugee camp. Furthermore, Anja Kofmel’s CHRIS THE SWISS is an animated documentary about the director’s cousin, who died in the Yugoslav Wars.

The second season of the television series BORDERTOWN, one of the gems of Nordic Noir, will be shown on Yle in October. HIFF will be screening the first two episodes of the second season.

Yle Teema will be showing several HIFF films this autumn. Among them are Agnès Varda’s festival hit Faces Places (HIFF 2017), Graduation (HIFF 2016) by Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, Mia Hansen-Løve’s Things to Come (HIFF 2016) and Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake (HIFF 2016). Teema Film Festival will show A PARIS EDUCATION, which screens at this year’s HIFF.

Besides Yle, this year HIFF is partnering with Finnkino, Väestöliitto – The Family Federation of Finland, Helsinki Design Week, LIFT, UPS, Korjaamo Kino and Savoy Theatre, among others.