The programme of Season Film Festival is out! The festival brings the freshest voices from around the world to the silver screens of Helsinki. Four days of premieres, new films from festival favourites and the most anticipated feature films of the spring. Held for the 8th time, Season Film Festival shows 20 feature films and 12 short films in a total of 41 screenings from the 26th to 29th of March.

Season Film Festival kicks off the spring of quality cinema with the year’s greatest indie-romance. The festival’s opening film, BABYTEETH (2019), is Shannon Murphy’s bittersweet portrayal of first love. Milla is terminally ill with cancer and falls, to her parent’s anguish, for the reckless small time drug dealer Moses. Despite its serious theme, the film is filled with humour, colours and the youthful lust for life. The leading role is beautifully played by Australia’s rising star, Eliza Scanlen (Little Women, 2019, Sharp Objects, 2018).

The Sundance shocker PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (2020) closes the festival! In this thriller of the #metoo era, 30-year-old Cassie (Carrey Mulligan) gets an opportunity to get revenge on the ones that have done her wrong in her youth. The first feature film by Emerald Fennel, the showrunner of Killing Eve, is sure to leave no one cold!

New films to blow your mind! 

The first-ever held Season Gala celebrates the new voices of cinema and one of the films featured is a new milestone for the African-American contemporary cinema – QUEEN & SLIM (2019). The extremely topical road movie burrows into the soul of the US and snatches the audience along for the ride as Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, 2017;  Black Panther, 2018) make their escape through the Southern parts of the country. This spellbinding romance is directed by Melina Matsoukas, known for her  achievements in Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade (2016), and the film’s soundtrack truly pays respect to the past and present of black music.

Alma Har’el’s visually striking and heart-breaking HONEY BOY (2019) represents the crème de la crème of American indie films. The script written by actor Shia LaBeouf is based on his own childhood shadowed by his abusive father. LaBeouf makes his most compelling role yet playing his own father. The film was awarded at the Sundance Film Festival which helped establish Har’el as one of the upcoming stars of American cinema.

Women filmmakers and narratives are once again at the core of the festival. The impactful Sherry Hoffman-helmed A REGULAR WOMAN (Nur eine Frau, 2019) gives a voice to the victim of an honour killing, which shocked the whole Germany in 2005. Chilean Pablo Larraín’s EMA (2019) daringly oscillates between the borders of morality, as it tells about the hedonistic escape of a dancer stuck in a relationship at a standstill. Different kinds of female narratives are also featured at the screening of NORDIC SHORTS: FEMINIST VISIONS.

Over half of the directors are women

Out of all the festival’s films screened during spring, 72 % are directed by women. 60 % of the feature films and 92 % of the short films are directed by either women or by male-female collaborations. 

The masterpiece YOU WERE NEVER REALLY THERE will be screened in collaboration with Yle’s Naisten maaliskuu (Women’s March) programme. The film is masterfully  directed by the Scottish Lynne Ramsay and stars Joaquin Phoenix at the prime of his career.

On Thursday the 26th of March, WIFT Finland, Womarts and Season Film Festival will be holding the Shattering Glass Ceilings seminar, with topics about women in leading positions in creative industries and alternative ways to fund independent cinema. The seminar is free of charge.

You can now buy your Season Film Festival tickets here. The festival is held in Helsinki from the 26th to 29th of March 2020 at Korjaamo Kino Bio Rex, Finnkino Maxim and Cinema Orion.