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The Love & Anarchy festival inspired audiences back to cinemas

The 33rd Love & Anarchy film festival was capped by a sold-out screening of the Australian indie hit BABYTEETH. Despite limited capacity, the biggest film festival in Finland gathered approximately 29 000 visitors to cinemas in the metropolitan area. HIFF and the National Audiovisual Institute’s audience competition winner was the Korean thriller BEASTS CLAWING AT STRAWS. HIFF films will be screened in the metropolitan area in the festival’s Love & Anarchy Afterglow screenings starting on Monday, around Finland during the Love & Anarchy Tour, in Yle’s channels and in Kino Regina.

The 33rd Love & Anarchy festival finished on Sunday with a sold-out screening of the closing film, the Australian indie hit BABYTEETH. Finland’s biggest film festival got an astounding 29 000 visitors to screenings and festival events. The number is around half of that of an average year, even though the capacity of the cinemas was limited to about 30 %. The festival’s online content also attracted a wide audience. The films and events screened online were watched by nearly 5 000 viewers altogether. Especially popular was the masterclass held by HIFF and Finnish Film Affair’s Nordic Flair Award winner, the foley artist Heikki Kossi. During the eleven festival days, around 140 feature films, as well as over 170 short films were shown in about 560 screenings, almost half of which were sold out.

At the festival, the audience was particularly interested in American indie films. This year’s most popular Love & Anarchy films were Melina Matsoukas’ hard-hittingly topical QUEEN & SLIM, Eliza Hittman atmospheric take on abortion law NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS, Alma Har’el’s debut feature with an autobiographical screenplay by Shia LaBeouf, HONEY BOY, Trey Edward Shults’s touching American indie WAVES, the Korean thriller BEASTS CLAWING AT STRAWS, the fierce EMA by Chilean master Pablo Larraín and Joe Talbot’s debut feature THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO.

The hottest of the films that will be in distribution were Bong Joon-ho’s classic MEMORIES OF MURDER, Hamy Ramezan’s debut feature ANY DAY NOW and Benh Zeitlin’s new film WENDY.

Love & Anarchy had international visitors from Estonia. THE LAST ONES director Veiko Õunpuu and A YEAR FULL OF DRAMA’s director Marta Pulk and subject Alissija-Elisabet Jevtjukova were present at their films’ screenings to greet the audience. Of Finnish filmmakers, Hamy Ramezan (ANY DAY NOW), Hannu Karpo (KARPO), Teemu Nikki (NIMBY), Hannaleena Hauru (FUCKING WITH NOBODY), the makers of LOST BOYS and the festival hit directors Lotta Petronella (SJÄLÖ – ISLAND OF SOULS) and Minna Dufton (BIG VS SMALL), all presented their films at the festival.

Love & Anarchy Shorts gave out awards

The National Competition of the short film event Cut to the Chase – Love & Anarchy Shorts was won by Iiti Yli-Harja’s documentary REAL MEN. The decision was made unanimously by the jury, who described the animation as touching and sincere and respectful of the sensitivity of the young men at its centre. The award, sponsored by Helsinki Casting, is valued at 1 500 €. The Uusi Aalto award, given to a new Finnish talent was given to Sawandi Groskind for the film WHERE TO LAND. The first winner of the student award was Lauri-Matti Parppei’s film THE LAST DAY. Honourable mention of the jury was given to Laura Rantanen’s short documentary ON HOLD. The audience voted Uzair Amjad’s short film PAPER PROMISES as its favourite.

The festival’s audience competition winner was BEASTS CLAWING AT STRAWS

HIFF and the National Audiovisual Institute’s audience vote winner was the Korean thriller BEASTS CLAWING AT STRAWS, where a fired cleaner, a mistreated escort and a customs worker in debt get a less-than-legal chance at getting rich. South Korean Kim Yong-hoon’s debut feature is a devilish thriller that balances between black comedy and Hitchcockian suspense. The winning film will be shown as Kino Regina’s film of the month in November.

The festival goes, the films remain!

Gems of the Love & Anarchy festival can still be seen after the fact. The Love & Anarchy Afterglow screenings start in cinemas in the metropolitan area on Monday 28 September. Taking place all over Finland, the Love & Anarchy Tour presents the nominees for the Nordic Film Council’s prize from Sweden (CHARTER), Norway (BEWARE OF CHILDREN), Denmark (UNCLE) and Iceland (ECHO), Poland’s Oscar nominee CORPUS CHRISTI, as well as School Kino short films. The HIFF films can be seen in cities inluding Helsinki, Kuopio, Mariehamn, Tampere, Turku, Vaasa and Vantaa. More information on the tour and the films can be found on the festival website at hiff.fi/kiertue.

Love & Anarchy films will be seen in Yle’s channels as well. At least ECHO, LADY TIME and SJÄLÖ – ISLAND OF SOULS will be seen on television during this year.

Finnish Film Affair presented Finnish cinema to international buyers

For the ninth time, Finnish Film Affair presented Finnish cinema to international industry experts. The event’s best fiction project award was won by Taneli Mustonen’s horror film in development, The Twin, and the documentary award given for the first time was given to Tania Moilanen’s project The Mission. Other films that were received well at the event were Alina Rudnitskaya’s Trans Syrian Express, Teemu Nikki’s take on Snot & Splash and Aku Louhimies’ Lapland War.

The 34th Love & Anarchy film festival will be held on 16–26/9/2021.

A warm thank you to all who participated, see you next year!