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Helsinki International Film Festival breaks audience record

The 26th Helsinki International Film Festival draws to a close on Sunday, having attracted the biggest crowds in its history. More than 58,000 flocked to the festival’s screenings and events over ten days.

Näyttelijä Tahar Rahim.
French-Algerian film star Tahar Rahim was one of the international guests at HIFF, which screened his new film 'Le Passé'. Image: Yle

Among the most popular flicks at Finland’s biggest film festival were La vie d'Adèle: Chaptres 1 et 2 by French-Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche, the Gala Show of Won Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster, and the controversial documentary The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer – who has been in Helsinki editing a follow-up to his award-winning doc about Indonesia’s mass-killers.  

An annual fixture at the festival, the Finnish Film Week that showcases home-grown cinema was particularly successful. Reflecting a year of strong domestic films, the Film Week nearly doubled its audience from the previous year, with over 4,000 tickets sold.  

Though finishing up in Helsinki, the Festival will now take to the road with a tour that brings its eclectic offerings to other parts of the country. Shows are in store in localities including Turku, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Tampere and Hanko.  

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