Finland's 'Love & Anarchy' Film Festival Draws Record Crowd
Finland's annual film bash, Love & Anarchy -- more formally known as the Helsinki International Film Festival -- wrapped a record-breaking 26th edition Sunday.
An "exceptionally wide program" that included 180 full-length and over 160 short films from more than 50 countries and 470 screenings, drew 58,000 visitors.
Industry sidebar, the Finnish Film Affair, doubled to 300 its number of international filmmakers, sales agents, distributors, festival officials and guests, with debates, panels and works-in-progress on show.
Public screenings in the FFA's Spotlight section attracted 4,000 viewers with a Finnish gala film screening of Heart of a Lion, Dome Karukoski's study of a neo-Nazi who falls in love with a woman who has a child from an earlier relationship with a black immigrant, and Pirjo Honkasalo’s monochrome film noir Concrete Night.
In a festival that remains all about audience, the most popular films included sell-out screenings of opening film, Abdellatif Kechiche's Cannes sensation, Blue Is the Warmest Color and a gala showing of Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster.
Other audience favorites included Joshua Oppenheimer’s acclaimed documentary The Act of Killing - Director's Cut, which had two screenings in addition to the three originally planned.
The festival closes late Sunday with a sold-out screening of Frances Ha by Noah Baumbach.
The audience award winning film was Pablo Larrain's No, starring Gael Garcia Bernal as the ad man who plans a TV campaign to end the Pinochet dictatorship.