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FESTIVALS Finland

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Hollywood meets Europe under Sodankylä's Midnight Sun

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- US writer-director Philip Kaufman on the guest list for the 28th edition of the Finnish film festival, with European colleagues Marco Bellocchio, Claire Denis and Cristian Mungiu

Hollywood meets Europe under Sodankylä's Midnight Sun

US writer-director Philip Kaufman (photo), who directed such Hollywood movies as The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), The Right Stuff (1983) and most recently the TV film, Hemingway & Gellhorn, will be among the guests of honour at the 28th Midnight Sun Film Festival, which takes place in Sodankylä, Finnish Lapland, between June 12-16.

With a 9,000 population, 35,000 reindeer and one cinema - the Lapinsuu - the little village north of the Arctic Circle is not the most obvious place for a film festival, which was exactly the reason why the founders, including Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, chose it. Kaurismäki is still on the programming committee, headed by festival director Peter von Bagh.

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On the main street Kaufman will run into Italian director Marco Bellocchio, French director Claire Denis, and Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, adding Finnish directors with films in the programme: Simo Halinen (Open Up to Me), Mika Ronkainen (Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart), Krista Kosonen (Things We Do for Love).

The international line-up is spearheaded by Romanian director Calin Peter Netzer's Golden Bear winner, Child's Pose [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Calin Peter Netzer
festival scope
film profile
]
, with German director Jan Ole Gerster's feature debut, Oh Boy! [+see also:
trailer
interview: Jan Ole Gerster
film profile
]
, Swedish director Jan Troell's The Last Sentence [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Spanish directors Pedro Almodóvar's I'm So Excited [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, and Pablo Berger's neo-silent version of Snow White [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Pablo Berger
festival scope
film profile
]
.

For the annual silent-cum-orchestra screenings, von Bagh has selected Buster Keaton's The Cameraman (1928), Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail (1929) and the Oulu Symphony Orchestra conducted by Timothy Brock. The festival's house band, Cleaning Women, will deliver music for Silents with Sounds, a programme of early comedies, and Neil Brand for a special Laurel & Hardy selection.

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