Espoo Ciné International Film Festival (4th to 13th May) and the children’s and youth’s festival Junior Ciné (4th to 9th May) present 87 feature films and 26 short films in more than 200 screenings around Espoo. Main guests arriving at the festival are the Swedish director and casting director Katja Wik and German director Stefan Westerwelle among many Finnish talents. Festival screenings and seminars offer meeting points across generations, nationalities and different narrative voices.
Katja Wik in Espoo 4–6 May
Swedish director and casting director Katja Wik (b. 1987) arrives in Espoo with her debut feature film The Ex-Wife (Exfrun). Wik was responsible for the casting of several Roy Andersson films in addition to Ruben Östlund’s Tourist prior to combining her skills with Östlund’s producer Marie Kjellson. Kjellson & Wik has produced the short film Committee (dir. Jenni Toivoniemi) together with Finnish Tuffi Films. The power duo’s first feature film The Ex-Wife is a deliciously feisty satire about relationships and marriage from the points of view of girlfriend, wife and the ex-wife.
Katja Wik is present at the The Ex-Wife screening in Louhisali on Saturday the 5th May and answering audience's questions.
Stefan Westerwelle in Espoo 4–5 May
German director Stefan Westerwelle (b. 1980) has directed short films and two feature films, of which the documentary While You Are Here was also his graduation work at the The Academy of Media Arts Cologne. Matti & Sami und die drei größten Fehler des Universums (2018)is his third feature film and the first children’s film. Co-produced with the Finnish production company Aamu stars Finnish actors Tommi Korpela and Eero Milonoff. The film opens the second edition of children’s and youth’s festival Junior Ciné.
Westerwelle is present at the opening ceremony of Junior Ciné on the 4th May at 12.30 pm in Kino Tapiola and at the audience screening of the film in Louhisali on Saturday the 5th May at 1 pm. Saturday’s screening is part of Family Day’s programme.
Premiére of Memory of Ingmar Bergman 7th May
Jörn Donner’s new documentary Memory of Ingmar Bergman (Minnet av Ingmar Bergman)is completed right on time for Bergman’s centenaries. Film’s Finnish premiére is at the Espoo Ciné IFF. Prior to the film’s screening in Hanasaari there’ll be a discussion (in Swedish) mastered by the journalist Johanna Grönqvist.
Monthly Bergman discussion (in Swedish) with Jörn Donner and Rafael Donner in Hanasaari on Monday 7th May from 5pm–5.45pm, screening starts at 6 pm. Please book free tickets from: Hanaholmen.fi
Finnish Film Gala in Louhisali on the 8th May
Short films get a lot of attention at this year’s festival both in Ciné kylässä home screenings (16–29 April) and in this year’s Finnish Film Gala selection. Finnish Film Gala presents: Cannes winner and Jussi awarded The Ceiling (dir. Teppo Airaksinen), Risto Jarva Prize winner Jussi nominee Birds in the Earth (dir. Marja Helander), Jussi nominated films The Moonshiners (dir. Juho Kuosmanen), Fucking Bunnies (dir. Teemu Niukkanen) and Penelope (dir. Heta Jäälinoja), Taking the Floor (dir. Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen) and Social Connection (dir. Jan Ijäs). All the films are screened with English subtitles.
Finnish Film Gala 8th May at 19.00 at the Espoo Cultural Centre. Film makers present at the screening.
Junior Ciné seminar on the 8th May
Junior Ciné seminar (in Finnish) is meant for teachers and other educators. Whose stories films tell? Who gets their voice heard in films? Several award winning film makers take part in discussion: Mari Rantasila, Esa Illi and Elli Toivoniemi in addition to versatile film industry professional Vesa Kuosmanen. The seminar is moderated by the journalist and writer Pirjo Houni.
Junior Ciné media education seminar (in Finnish) in Kino Tapiola on Tuesday the 8th May from 1.30pm to 5pm.
Kelaamo Meet & Greet in Louhisali 9th May
Kelaamo.fi is a film website, they invite students from 13 to 18 years to Meet & Greet the makers of the Finnish film Lauri Mäntyvaaran tuuheet ripset in Louhisali on Wednesday the 9th May from 3 to 4 pm. Questions in this relaxed event are literally pulled out of hat and the film makers have committed to answer them all. So please come and surprise the makers – but get ready to be surprised yourself, as well!
Q&A is organized by Kelaamo.fi producers Hanna Wahlman and Saara Konttinen. Film makers answering the questions are Rosa Honkonen, Santeri Helinheimo Mäntylä and Tiitus Rantala plus the costume designer Aino Havu.