At the closing gala of the Finnish Film Week (Sept 20-26), producer Riina Hyytiä was named Producer of the Year for Johanna Vuoksenmaa’s divorce comedy 21 Ways to Ruin a Marriage (21 tapaa pilata avioliitto).
The comedy is the first Finnish feature by a female director to exceed 400,000 admissions, which only four films have achieved in the last 25 years.
Organised for the fourth time as part of the Helsinki International Film Festival-Love & Anarchy included 24 domestic productions introduced by the filmmakers.
It included previews of Ulrika Bengts’ Lärjungen (The Disciple - Finland’s submission for the Oscars), Rax Rinnekangas’ Luciferin viimeinen elämä (The Last Life of Lucifer), Pekka Lehto’s Luciferin viimeinen elämä (The Surrealist and His Naughty Hand), Dome Karukoski’s Leijonasydän (Heart of a Lion) and Pirjo Honkasalo’s Betoniyö (Concrete Night).
More awards for industry professionals went to:
Director of the Year Simo Halinen for Kerron
The Finnish Film Affair, the industry strand of the 26th Helsinki International Film Festival, has returned for a second year and is highlighting the diversity of features emerging from the country.
“In the past Finnish directors would tell local stories to local audiences; now they try to find their place in international cinema,” said Sara Norberg, executive director of Hiff and Ffa.
“The Finnish Film Affair will illustrate this ‘movement’ and the current diversity of Finnish films.”
The three-day event, which wraps tomorrow, includes 250 film professionals, comprising sales agents, buyers, festival programmers and press. This figure includes 60 international representatives – up from 35 at last year’s inaugural event.
The programme includes 30 Finnish films, both recent and upcoming releases. It also features the presentation of 16 works-in-progress, of which eight will be pitched by the filmmakers, at the Finnish Film Foundation’s Kino K-13.
This year’s event boasts an expanded guest list of sales agents, buyers and festival programmers, including representatives from Zdf/Arte, Celluloid Dreams, Wild Bunch, Hanway, Tribeca, Palm Springs, Rotterdam and Locarno. About 200 industry experts will attend.
“The first edition introduced the Finnish Film Affair to international decision makers,” said Sara Norberg, executive director of the Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy, which launched the event. “We’re very proud that the success of last year’s works-in-progress and the positive buzz around the event has attracted even more interest from the international industry.”
The new films to be screened include Toronto-bound titles Concrete Night by Pirjo Honkasalo and Heart of Lion by Dome Karukoski, in addition to other festival selections such as Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart by Mika Ronkainen and Alcan Highway by Aleksi
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