A good year for Finnish film continues in Chicago
Three Finnish films have been chosen for the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival, from directors Aki Kaurismäki, Zaida Bergroth and Teemu Niukkanen.
Aki Kaurismäki‘s The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen) will feature in the film festival’s International Features category. The film is a deadpan comedy about cultural encounters, where a Syrian refugee played by Sherwan Haji crosses paths with a former traveling salesman (Sakari Kuosmanen) in Finland.
The film has previously been recognised with a Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and also won the critics’ Grand Prix.
Zaida Bergroth‘s film Miami, meanwhile, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was very well-received and will now be showcased in the World Cinema category in Chicago. Headed by Krista Kososen and Sonja Kuittinen, the film tells the story of two estranged sisters, one shy and the other an exotic dancer, who reunite and are forced on the run.
No stranger to the Chicago Film Festival, Bergroth won a Golden Hugo there in 2011 in the New Directors category for her previous film, The Good Son (Hyvä Poika).
Last but not least, Teemu Nikkanen‘s short film Fucking Bunnies (Saatanan kanit) will be screened in the Chicago Film Festival’s After Dark Shots category. The film is a black comedy about a man whose life is turned upside down by his new neighbours – a satanist sex cult.
The film premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in January. It has since featured in more than 50 international film festivals and won the Méliès d’Argent award in Estonia.