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Abdellatif Kechiche’s ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ Opens Helsinki Film Festival

Helsinki festival to close with 'Frances Ha'

Abdellatif Kechiche’s drama romance “Blue Is the Warmest Color, ” winner of Cannes’ Palme d’Or,  is set to kick off the 26th Helsinki Intl. Film Festival – Love & Anarchy.

Fest will close with Noah Baumbach’s “Frances Ha,” a black-and-white tale of a young dancer trying to break into the New York City scene.

Finland’s biggest film fest, HIFF will showcases a record 300 films, including 160 feature-length movies.

Wong Kar Wai’s “The Grandmaster” has been selected as HIFF Gala screener. The sprawling martial-arts drama stars Tony Leung as legendary kung fu master Ip Man. The Weinstein Co. will roll out the film in the U.S. on Aug. 23.

“Blue,” which stars Lea Seydoux and newcomer Adele Exarchopoulos, will be released in the U.S. by Sundance Selects.

Both “Adele” and “The Grandmaster,” which preemed at Berlin, are repped by Wild Bunch.

Dome Karukoski’s intense drama “Heart of a Lion” will play in the Finnish Film Gala section.  Pic turns on a Neo-Nazi  who falls madly in love with a woman whose son is black.

HIFF’s Spotlight Selection will also play Gus Van Sant’s “Promised Land,”  Erik Skjoldbjærg’s thriller “Pioneer,” Finnish director Pirjo Honkasalo’s drama “Concrete Night,” based on Pirkko Saisio’s novel.

Other titles set to screen at HIFF include Joshua Oppenheimer’s chilling docu “The Act of Killing,” following members of Indonesia’s former death squads as they make a fiction film about the atrocities they have committed ; Srdan Golubovic’s “Circles,” turning on the consequences of Bosnian War crimes;  Hany Abu-Assad’s Un Certain Regard-winning “Omar,” about three youngsters planning an attack on an Israeli soldier.

The special culinary section will showcase Warwick Ross and David Roach’s “Red Obsession,”  a docu on Chinese wine enthusiasts ; and Willemiek Kluijfhout’s Dutch documentary “Mussels in Love.”

The Finnish Film Affair, HIFF’s three-day industry event, will be back for a second year on Sept. 24-26 to showcase the latest Finnish feature films. It will gather international industry players, including distributors, sales agents, TV buyers and festival programmers.

The professional forum will unveil its line-up of over 20 titles and about 10 works in progress in mid-August.

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