/ Press releases

– For the next eleven days Helsinki turns into a cinematic heaven as the 31st edition of Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy takes over the city’s silver screens
– Five films compete for the HIFF Audience Award

The 31st edition of HIFF begins today with the sold-out Opening Gala screening of Pawel Pawlikowski’s COLD WAR. The winner of the Best Director Award at Cannes is a love story set in Cold War era Europe. The ticket sales of the festival have started on a high note. Audience favourites include the visit of the legendary American filmmaker Spike LeeBoots Riley’s comedy SORRY TO BOTHER YOU and the absurd action film MANDY. Some of the sold-out movies will get additional screenings at the festival.

Helsinki International Film Festival is proud to present its first national competition. Cut to the Chase – R&A Shorts national competition features 32 Finnish short films competing for the R&A LIFT award. Altogether HIFF screens 164 feature films and 191 short films during the 11 days of the festival

Filmmaker guests at the festival
The guests available for interviews during the first festival weekend include the Italian D’Innocenzo Brothers with their mob film BOYS CRY, the director of the Yuletide zombie high school musical ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE John McPhail, Brazilian director of CENTRAL AIRPORT THF Karim Aïnouz and the director Malene Choi who brings to Helsinki her hybrid docu-fiction THE RETURN about the experiences of people who were adopted as a child.

Next week’s guests include THE GUILTY star Jakob Cedergren, the director of the French comedy SEXTAPE Antoine Desrosières, the director Emily Atef with her multiple award winning 3 DAYS IN QUIBERON and the Australian director Stephan Elliott who visited the 7th HIFF with his film THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT (1994) and will now present that cult film and his new work SWINGING SAFARI at the festival.

The festival also welcomes a newly announced guest: director Lance Daly presents his historical drama BLACK ’47 set in Ireland’s Great Famine of 1847. Daly will be in Helsinki and available for interviews from 27th to 30th of September.

HIFF Audience Award 
The five films competing for the HIFF Audience Award are BIRDS OF PASSAGE, DAUGHTER OF MINE, THE HEIRESSES, PETRA and SORRY TO BOTHER YOU. The audience can vote for their favourite at the National Audiovisual Institute’s website (www.kavi.fi/hiffkilpailu). The winning film will be shown as the Film of the Month at Cinema Orion in November.


Welcome to the festival!