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Media Releases

You will find all the media releases of Espoo Ciné on this webpage.

XIX Espoo Ciné International Film Festival,

19–24 August 2008

The 19th edition of the Espoo Ciné International Film Festival will take place at Espoo Cultural Centre in Tapiola, Espoo, Finland from 19th to 24th of August. The festival will open with Mike Leigh's new comedy Happy-Go-Lucky and close with Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

The film programme features a total of 95 titles from 27 different countries. The main focus is on European films, but the programme also reflects topical issues such as the tense situation in the Middle East: films from Israeli, Lebanese and Iranian directors make life in the hotspots of the world a little more understandable. Many of these films have been collected into a new themed programme entitled Aftershocks, reminding us how long wounds caused by crises often take to heal.

Beloved Neighbours, the second new themed programme introduced this year, reminds us of the excellent quality of films produced in the Nordic countries. Especially Denmark and Sweden have for a long time produced a steady supply of fascinating films that speak to us on more levels than one and do not shy away in any company. Since the popularity of Nordic films in Espoo Ciné has seen a constant increase over the recent years, a programme dedicated to contemporary Nordic masterpieces was definitely in order. Nordic films also feature strongly outside the themed programme: Espoo Ciné's traditional selection of films for children and teenagers as well as the competition for fantasy films would be sorely lacking without the Nordic films in them.

The documentary films in this year's programme also transcend the boundaries: the documentary programme as such is not very large this year, but friends of documentary films are guaranteed to find important and topical works elsewhere in the festial programme.

El mundo español, Espoo Ciné's already traditional selection of Spanish films, has evolved into a long-time favourite at the festival. One of the highlights of this year's selection is Fados, the latest installation in the series of films focusing on the rich musical life of the Iberian Peninsula by the legendary filmmaker Carlos Saura. The film focuses on the musical tradition of Portugal and features a number of artists representing the very top of contemporary fado music, including the international pop favourite Mariza. Spanish films once again also have a strong presence in the Méliès d'Argent competition for fantasy films.

Baby Ciné

This year's Espoo Ciné features an entirely new film-going concept: Baby Ciné ('Ipanakino' in Finnish). The everyday life of parents of small children usually does not concur with the principles that govern the planning of film theatres and programmes. Espoo Ciné, however, has decided to arrange a screening targeted especially for parents of children younger than two years. The parents can take their child along with them to the film, the screening takes place before noon and the number of tickets on sale has been limited in order to guarantee enough room for everybody. The screening has been especially designed for the needs of the carers of young children.

The opening club

This year's Espoo Ciné will take Helsinki by storm already on its opening night, when Steven Severin, followed by Cleaning Women, will take to the stage in Tavastia Rock Club in Helsinki.

Steven Severin is remembered by many as the founding member, songwriter and bass player of Siouxsie and the Banshees, one of the most legendary bands of the 1980s. Over the recent years, Severin's work has tended more clearly towards the cinematic. A confessed cinephile, he has started composing films scores, favouring especially silent films. Severin will provide a musical accompaniment to the "first surrealist film in the world", Germaine Dulac's The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928), and a medley of other surrealist shorts at the opening club of the 19th edition of Espoo Ciné.

After Severin, the night will continue with a long-awaited club performance by the number one favourite of all Finnish film-lovers, the Cleaning Women, also famous for their excellent silent film shows.

The Méliès d'Argent jury

The competition programme of European fantasy films is a staple part of Espoo Ciné's film programme. Six short films compete for a nomination into the Méliès d'Or finale later this year, while no less than seven feature films vie for the Méliès d'Argent. Finland is represented in the short film competition by Curse of the Remote Island directed by CHRZU.

This year's jury is chaired by the Espoo-based film director Hanna Maylett, who is joined by Antti Alanen, the head of programming at the National Audiovisual Archive (formerly known as the Finnish Film Archive), producer Jesse Fryckman from Bronson Club and Jouni Vikman, the editor in chief of Episodi, the biggest film magazine in Finland.


The festival week has traditionally also included an open seminar. This year Espoo Ciné has, in collaboration with the Swedish Culture Fund, who celebrate their 100th birthday, invited the almost legendary director of the Stockholm International Film Festival, Git Scheynius, to the festival. Scheynius will give a lecture, followed by comments and remarks from various Finnish film professionals.

The films screened at Espoo Ciné are transported by DHL.

For further information, please contact:

Mickael Suominen

mickael.suominen (at)

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