The eighth Helsinki Cine Aasia ended on Sunday March 15th. Eighteen films from East and Southeast Asia were screened during the four-day festival.
The most popular films at this year’s festival were the warm Tibetan family drama Balloon (Qi qiu, 2019), which opened the festival, and the ambitious Chinese arthouse drama Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains (Chun jiang shui nuan, 2019).
Japanese films have always been audience favourites at Helsinki Cine Aasia. This year’s most popular Japanese films were the comedy drama Only the Cat Knows (Hatsukoi: Otosan, Chibi ga Inaku Narimashita, 2019), the serene and elegant Every Day a Good Day (Nichinichi kore kojitsu, 2018) and the picturesque They Say Nothing Stays the Same (Aru sendo no hanashi, 2019).
Helsinki Cine Aasia’s guests were also Japanese. Director Amano Chihiro and actor Nagao Takuma participated in all screenings of their film Mrs. Noisy (Misesu Noijii, 2019) during the festival.
In addition to films, the festival weekend included discussions with experts that deepened and opened new perspectives into the themes of some of the films. The festival also hosted a live performance of Peking opera.
Helsinki Cine Aasia 2020 took place in exceptional circumstances as the Finnish government’s guidelines on the festival’s opening day, Thursday March 12th, suggested cancelling large public events. Even though the guidelines only concerned events with an audience of over 500 people, Helsinki Cine Aasia decided to limit all single screening to hold a maximum capacity of 100 people, following instructions from the City of Helsinki. This way it was ensured that the audience could leave empty seats in between each other. Cleaning of all spaces and surfaces was also increased at the festival venues, as well as informing the audience on the importance of washing hands and other precautions.
The festival’s organizers would like to thank all visitors, our partners and our volunteers who helped make the festival happen. Helsinki Cine Aasia takes place again in March 2021.