Helsinki fest adds local focus

Finnish films subject of sidebar

The Helsinki film festival will launch a new section devoted to local titles called Finish Film Affair.

Aimed at international buyers and distributors, the sidebar will focus on new features and works in progress, plus integrate industry panels and networking events.

There will also be screenings of latest festival films from neigboring Scandinavian countries, the Baltics and Russia.

Festival director Pekka Lanerva said the success of recent Finnish films such as “Iron Sky,” “Lapland Oddyssy,” “Mama Africa” and “Le Havre” had thrust Finnish fare into the international spotlight.

“There is so much more to discover in Finland, when this year sees a record-breaking number of nearly 40 domestic films being released theatrically,” Lanerva said.’

Helsinki festival unspools Sept. 20-30; Finnish Film Affair will run Sept. 25-27.

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