Helsinki Film Fest Sets Attendance Record

Berlinale Film Festival
"Iron Sky"

The event wraps with about 58,000 admissions; Tero Kaukomaa, whose "Iron Sky" debuts on DVD on Tuesday, takes home the Producers' Association Award.

The Helsinki International Film Festival (Love & Anarchy) ended Sept. 30 with nearly 58,000 admissions, up seven percent from 2011 and setting a new record. Filmmakers present included Beasts of the Southern Wild producer Dan Janvey, Rust and Bone director Jacques Audiard and Antii Jokinen, whose Purge is Finland’s Oscar contender.

“I was impressed by the Helsinki fest, including its first film market this year,” Paul Yi, the Los Angeles writer/producer/sales agent best known as the architect of Korea’s first Pusan International Film Festival, told The Hollywood Reporter in Helsinki. Yi, who spoke on HIFF’s panel about Asian film trends, also watched the festival’s Works in Progress filmmakers’ showcase, “Laugh, Scream, Learn.” Yi touts Edith Films’ Warrior-like Ultimate Fight and the Almodovar-esque transsexual drama Open Up to Me, the metal-band film Lordi – The Monster Boy, the Finnish noir 8-Ball, and Anima Vitae’s Niko 2.

Yi also recommends seeing “anything by the producer Tero Kaukomaa.” Blind Spot Pictures’ Kaukomaa, whose VFX-intensive Nazis-from-the-moon film Iron Sky hits Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, won HIFF’s Producers’ Association Award. “Iron Sky was released in cinemas a little bit in 25 territories, doing really well in Germany and Finland,” said Kaukomaa at HIFF, “and is coming out in Japan, Spain, Italy, Hong Kong, then France. We are right now doing an extended edition of Iron Sky with about 25 minutes’ extra footage, and also developing a prequel and a sequel.”

Kaukomaa is also developing I Killed Adolph Hitler, based on the Norwegian comic about a man and woman sent from ‘70s London to ‘20s Munich to kill Hitler, who winds up in the present, and the TV series Nymphs, about female characters who need sperm to survive. Yi thinks Nymphs, which has been sold in five countries in Europe, has commercial appeal. “I think it has the potential to be remade even,” said Yi.

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