‘And Then We Danced (2019)’ is one of the popular films in the program. Picture: Cinema Mondo

The 32nd Helsinki International Film Festival – Love and Anarchy opens its doors in Helsinki on Thursday, September 19.

For the next 10 days, cinemas all around the city will be a cinephile’s paradise, catering to all tastes. The festival features the best and most applauded films from this year’s festival circuit, as well as plenty of up-and-coming filmmakers, experimental cinema, documentaries, quirky oddball indies, and everything else in between the wonderful and the weird.

The films are arranged in a wide variety of categories, most notably regional: from Latin American cinema to Scandinavian and East-European cinema. Thematically, many documentaries will focus on climate change, while a significant emphasis is placed on music. There will be plenty of biopics to see, from Miles Davis and Aretha Franklin to Leonard Cohen and David Crosby, while one of the festival’s most prominent guests will be Warren Ellis, film composer and member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. He will be presenting Arno Bitschy’s film This Train I Ride, for which he wrote the music.

The festival attracted other prominent guests, especially from the Scandinavian and Central European region. Among these, Danish director Lone Scherfig will receive the Nordic Flair Award and present her new film, The Kindness of Strangers.

The festivities kick off with Gurinder Chadha’s Blinded by the Light (UK, 2019) at 18:00 in Bio Rex, which will also serve as the Festival Centre for the duration of the festival.

Follow Finland Today for film reviews, as well as interviews with HIFF’s international guests.


  • Jan Artiček lives in Helsinki and he writes about politics, culture and films. His hobbies include long epic novels, old Hollywood cinema and basketball.