Love & Anarchy rules in Helsinki
by Annika Pham
22/09/2009 - Over 120 films from 43 countries are screening at the 22nd Helsinki International Film Festival - Love & Anarchy, which opened last Thursday with Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant and closes on September 27 with Jane Campion’s Bright Star [trailer].
As always, the programme put together by festival director Pekka Lanerva offers plenty of food for thought with themes such as Immigration on Film, Changing Europe and Anti-Hollywood. French, Russian and UK cinema have special sidebars, as per usual, and several Finnish films are screening for the first time, starting with Saara Saarela’s Twisted Roots [trailer], playing this Thursday as the Finnish Film Gala, ahead of its official domestic release on October 9.
One of the highlights of the festival is the competition programme of eight films that vie for the Finnkino Prize, a distribution contract in Finland. This year’s titles are About Elly (Iran), Ajami (Israel), All Around Us (Japan), Amreeka (Kuwait), Borderline (Canada), The Maid (Chile), North [trailer, film focus] (Norway) and A Year Ago in Winter [trailer] (Germany).
International guests expected this week include Spanish filmmaker Gabe Ibánez, who will introduce his thriller Hierro [trailer, film focus] in the Semi-official Selection; and Estonian filmmakers Jaak Kilmi and Kiur Aarma, who will present Disco and Atomic War [trailer] in the (Estonian) Tere eesti! sidebar. Swedish filmmaker Henrik Helström and producer Erika Wasserman, who teamed up on the contemplative Burrowing [trailer], will be on hand to present their film in the Northern Stars section.