Organisers’ picks from this year’s programme


Helsinki Cine Aasia 2019 programme is full of interesting premiers and thought-provoking and impassioned quality drama which can make choosing difficult. Here are the festival organisers’ picks of films that we don’t want to miss – and neither do you!

Eija Niskanen, Programming Director

“When I saw the four-hour An Elephant Sitting Still in Tokyo FilmEx, there were already a couple of Japanese people in the audience watching the film for the second time. At the end of Hu Bo’s dark but impressive take on the present-day China I understood why.”

Screening times: Sat 16.3. 14:00 Korjaamo Elokuvasali

Jenni Peisa, Managing Director

Bi Gan, who already made an impression with his previous film, Kaili Blues, has further developed his narrative style, and this time he is also trying out 3D. Long Day’s Journey Into Night is elegant filmmaking. China is present in the festival programme from many interesting angles, including a discussion on the situation of Hong Kong and Taiwan.”

Screening times: Sun 17.3. 13:15 Kino Regina

Malla Salminen, Producer

”To my regret I missed One Cut of The Dead at the Tokyo International Film Festival because it was sold out. Luckily, it was shown on my Japan Airlines return flight! Watching it, I was rolling on the floor laughing and I can only hop that I did not disturb too much the other passengers who were sleeping. Fresh take on zombie theme and full on dynamite!”

Screening times: Fri 15.3. 21:15 Korjaamo Kulmasali and Sun 17.3. 14:15 Korjaamo Kulmasali

Emilia Hannula, Publicist

“One film I am definitely going to see at the festival is Night Is Short, Walk on Girl, which is the only animation in our this year’s programme. I am fascinated by the film’s rich colours, storyline of a romantic adventure set in night-time Kyoto and the character of a mysterious girl who drinks everybody under the table!”

Screening times: Fri 15.3. 17:15 Korjaamo Elokuvasali, Sat 16.3. 21:00 Korjaamo Kulmasali and Sun 17.3. 11:30 Kino Regina

Sonia Junttila, Graphic Designer

“I am really looking forward to Song Lang. I recently visited Vietnam and fell in love with the country because of its charming milieu and beautiful culture – both of which appear to be strongly present in Song Lang. Historical films are always of interest to me, but the Cai Luong folk opera is a new acquaintance.

Screening times: Sat 16.3. 13:45 Korjaamo Kulmasali. Following the screening there is a discussion about theatre and dance in Asian cinema with the leading expert and writer on the topic, Jukka O. Miettinen.