Asian cinema attracts interest – Helsinki Cine Asia festival sets a new visitor record!

Helsinki Cine Asia achieved its highest-ever attendance in its 12th year. The growth was remarkable, with the total number of attendees increasing by approximately third compared to the previous year.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 years, audiences were first cautious in returning  to theaters. However, it is evident that people are once again eager for high-quality cultural experiences. Particularly delightful was the discovery of new attendees who found their way to the festival’s screenings over the weekend.

“We are pleased that our carefully curated program has found theatergoers. There is clearly an audience and demand for Asian cinema in our country,” rejoices the festival’s artistic director Eija Niskanen.

Seven sold out screenings over the four-day period

A quarter of all festival screenings were sold out. The highest attendance was seen at the opening film, the Chinese film Only the River Flows, and Ripples, the latest film by Japanese director Ogigami Naoko.

Among the festival’s lineup, Japanese and Chinese films were particularly popular. However, the sold-out screening of the Vietnamese art house film Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell demonstrated significant interest in contemporary Southeast Asian cinema as well. The festival’s free discussion sessions also drew large crowds to the event corner of Kinopalatsi.

One of the festival’s most popular films, the Japanese LGBTQ+ film Egoist, will be screened for free at Helsinki City Civic Center Vuotalo on Wednesday, March 27th, at 6:00 PM.

Take part in the customer survey and win a screening pass for the 2025 festival!

The customer survey for 2024 is also now available. By taking part in the survey you will give the organisers valuable input, and you get a chance to win a screening pass for next year! The survey can be found here.

The next Helsinki Cine Asia festival will be held in spring 2025.

Helsinki Cine Asia festival is supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike) and the City of Helsinki.