Submit your feedback to win a screening pass to next year’s festival

In 2017 we will be celebrating five full years of Helsinki Cine Aasia! We will then be back with even more fabulous selection of films and events – and that’s what you can help us with too.

Participate to a customer survey and help us improve Helsinki Cine Aasia. Respondents to the survey have a chance to win a screening pass to next year’s festival. There are ten questions in the survey and it takes about 5 minutes to complete. The survey closes at the end of March 2016.

Programme change: Tharlo replaced with A Girl at My Door

The delivery of the copy of the film Tharlo has been delayed and it will not arrive to Finland in time to be screened at Helsinki Cine Aasia. On Saturday 5 March at 12noon, we will screen A Girl at My Door instead of Tharlo.

Tickets to the screening of Tharlo can be used for its replacing screening of A Girl at My Door, or exchanged at Helsinki Cine Aasia ticket sales desk in Andorra to another screening or free tickets to Helsinki Cine Aasia.

Apologies for the inconvenience!

We are ready! Helsinki Cine Aasia 2016 kicks off

Long-awaited Helsinki Cine Aasia 2016 is finally here! Later today, the screening of the Johnnie To’s dazzling musical Office will kick off a feast of contemporary East and Southeast Asian cinema. Office will be screened at Kinopalatsi on Thursday 3.3. at 6pm.

Japanese films have always been a big hit at Helsinki Cine Aasia, and the advance ticket sales give reason to believe that they will remain popular with the festival-goers this year too. There are not less than six films from Japan in this year’s programme – all different but all guaranteed to provide an unforgettable cinematic experience!

As a special treat, the festival has invited to Helsinki Remton Zuasola from the Philippines. The director with true trademark style of long shots and theater-like settings will attend the screening of his latest film SWAP, an autobiographical kidnapping drama, on Saturday 5 March at 5pm at Andorra.

The four-day festival continues until Sunday 6.3. It’s not yet too late to get your tickets!

See you at the movies!

The director of SWAP Remton Zuasola to visit Helsinki Cine Aasia

This year’s guest of honour at Helsinki Cine Aasia is Remton Zuasola from the Philippines. The director of the autobiographical kidnapping drama SWAP will attend the screening of his film at the festival on Saturday 5 March. 

Remton Zuasola was kidnapped when he was less than two year’s old. The director’s fourth feature length film SWAP (2015) deals with the aftermath of the event that the director barely remembers himself in a dreamlike and at times, even surrealistic manner. One of the main themes of the film is inequality between people.

Zuasola began his storytelling career in the theatre, and shot his first film with just one take. The influences of the times spent in the world of theatre are clearly present in the technique as the events unfold in front of the audiences without any cuts. SWAP is also shot with just one take in carefully designed and crafted settings.

SWAP will be screened on Saturday 5 March at 5pm at Andorra. Remton Zuasola will attend the screening to tell about his film and answer questions from the audience. Tickets to the screening are now on sale but hurry up, places are limited.

Helsinki Cine Aasia online ticket sale starts soon!

Helsinki Cine Aasia 2016 online ticket sale starts on Thursday 25 February and continues throughout the festival.  

Single tickets (8€) can be purchased from each film’s introductory page. Vouchers (35€, 5 tickets) can be bought under Info tab.

Vouchers are not personal so you can use them to purchase as many tickets to the same screenings as you want. However, the voucher cannot be used to purchase tickets to a sold-out screening. Please also note that the voucher cannot be used to purchase tickets to screenings at Kinopalatsi.

During the festival, tickets can also be bought at screening locations one hour before the first screening. The ticket sales at screening venues close at the beginning of the last screening of the day. 

In addition, tickets to screenings at Kinopalatsi can be bought at Finnkino locations and their website.

Hurry up – places are limited!

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: The festival team’s picks

This year’s festival programme includes plenty of contemporary Korean films and female energy. On the bill there are not less than four films from South Korea and films by female directors from both Southeast Asia and Japan. The full programme can be viewed here. And as a special treat, here’s what some of our team think everyone should see:

Shoot Me in the Heart 1200 x 800

Sonia, graphic designer, Shoot Me in the Heart (Fri 4 March, 7pm @ Andorra):

“A couple of years ago I saw another warm-hearted comedy set in a mental institute from Korea (I’m a Cyborg but That’s Ok), which I really liked a lot. So my expectations are high for this one, too.”

 

Three Stories of Love 700 x 394

Tuomas, volunteer, Three Stories of Love (Sun 6 March, 3pm @ Andorra):

“I am interested in Three Stories of Love because the director’s earlier piece All Around Us stuck in my mind for its delicate and insightful way of dealing with some really heavy stuff.”

 

Ecotherapy Getaway Hotel 2000 x 1333

Leena, producer, Ecotherapy Getaway Holiday (Sat 5 March, 5pm & Sun 6 March, 6.15pm@ Dubrovnik):

“As a huge fan of Okita’s situational comedy I felt like shouting out ‘hip-hooray’ when I heard the subject matter of this year’s film: Group tours! Hiking! In Japan you only have to take an hour’s train trip out of Tokoy to witness all this IRL, but now you don’t have to go even that far.”

 

Right Then, Wrong Now 1311 x 803

Eija, programming director, Right Now, Wrong Then (Sun 6 March, 8.30pm @ Andorra):

“Man meets woman. Man meets woman again. Déjà vu. A film director a little bit full of himself meets a girl and let’s go.”

 

Haemoo 1136 x 852

FÆK, the main act at Helsinki Cine Aasia’s  J-rock & Asia Pop Galore! club, Haemoo (Fri 4 March at 9pm @ Andorra):

Haemoo caught our eye because it deals with such topical issues. We are looking forward to seeing how Shim Sung-bo manages his debut as a director.”

Enjoy!

Helsinki Cine Aasia 2016 programme: plenty of contemporary Korean films and female energy

Finland’s only Asian film festival Helsinki Cine Aasia proudly presensts the best of contemporary East and Southeast Asian films between 3-6 March, including films rarely shown elsewhere in Finland. The opening film of this year’s festival,  Johnnie To’s musical Office is kinetic, dazzling and thrilling – in other words exactly what you would expect from the master of Hong Kong action films. 

This year’s programme at Helsinki Cine Aasia includes more South Korean films than before. Shim Sung-bo’s directoral debute Haemoo is timely in a sombre way. Based on true events, it tells the story of illegal migrants who meet their fate on the way from China to Korea. The lighter and brighter side of contemporary Korean film scene is represented in Mun Je-yong’s Shoot Me in the Heart, a song of praise to youth, friendship and slight craziness. Hong Sang-soon’s drama Right Now, Wrong Then tells the same story twice using slightly different camera angles and dialogue, and thereby casts the entire a-man-meets-a-woman story in to a different light.

Asian female directors are also prominently featured in this year’s programme.  Korean July Jung’s first full-lenght film A Girl at My Door deals with domestic violence and patriarchy. Strong female leads hold the story together. The Actor, a take on a love story by one of the best contemporary Japanese female directors Satoko Yokohama turns out a dark comedy whereas Pimpaka Towira’s road movie The Island Funeral leads the audience on a journey to the magical other world that co-exists alongside the political turmoil of today’s Thailand.

Remton Zuasola from the Philippines has challenged the conventional camera work since his directoral debut and his one-shot feature film SWAP is guaranteed to hold the audience in its grip. For his fictional debut How to Win at Checkers (Every Time)Josh Kim draws from his earlier documentary on Thai transgender scene; questions about identity are also in focus in Pema Tseden’s artistic and ironic, black-and-white Tharlo. 

Japanese films have been the box office hits at the festival year on year. This year the programme includes not less than six films from Japan. Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s Three Stories of Love has been voted the best film of the year in Japan. Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s ghost story for the adults Journey to the Shore and cult director Shunji Iwai’s first animation, the delicate The Case of Hana and Alice, are likely to go down a treat among fans of Japanese genre-films. Shuichi Okita, festival’s favourite, returns this year with a comedy Ecotherapy Getaway HolidayTHE COCKPIT documents the birth of a rap song.

Possibly the most famous of the sixth generation of Chinese film-makers Jia Zhangke is the subject matter in another documentary seen at the festival, Walter Salles’s Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang. Jia Zhangke’s latest film, Mountains May Depart, will also be shown.

To read more about the programme, click through here.

3688

Xian Ru Fei Fei, Singapore, 2015, 98 min

Fei Fei works as a parking lot assistant but dreams of becoming a singer. She enters a talent competition to sing the songs by the legendary Feng Fei Fei, her demented father’s favorite singer. Royston Tan’s film captures the sweet nostalgia of changing Singapore, captured in the well-known popular songs.

Eija Niskanen

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.

A Girl at My Door

Embassy of Korea

도희야

July Jung, South Korea, 2014, 119 min, K-16

Female police officer Young-nam’s efforts raise hatred and bigotry when she tries to help a teenage girl. Domestic violence, patriarchal traditions, prejudice against sexual minorities and power relationships in the rural countryside form the background for the escalating events.

Eija Niskanen

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.

Ecotherapy Getaway Holidays

滝を見にいく

Shuichi Okita, Japan, 2014, 92 min

Seven women are on a weekend hike to a famous waterfall, when their male guide gets lost in the woods. But, as the in the beginning not so friendly seven combine their knowledge and skills, nothing can harm them. Okita has created another gently smiling film about friendship – and about female co-operation.

Eija Niskanen

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.

Haemoo

Embassy of Korea

해무

Shim Sung-bo, South Korea, 2014, 111 min, K-18

Memories of Murder (2003) co-writing collaborators Shim Sung-bo and director Bong Joon-ho return to work together on Haemoo, this time with Shim as the director and Bong as the producer. The true story of a fishing boat resorting to human trafficking to survive the hard times is a dark and intense look into human nature under duress. The waters become murkier and morality a luxury as blood starts to flow.

Jenni Peisa

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.

How to Win at Checkers (Every Time)

พี่ชาย My Hero

Josh Kim, Thailand/Indonesia/USA, 2015, 80 min, K-16

American Korean Josh Kim made quite an effort to adapt a Thai bestseller book into film: he even learned the Thai language. 11-year old Oat and his big brother Ek, who faces the army draft lottery have to survive and grow up on the fringe of economic survival. How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) is a warm growing-up story set in Bangkok and sprinkled with social criticism and gay undertones.

Eija Niskanen

Buy tickets to the screening of How to Win at Checkers on Sunday 6.3. at Kinopalatsi here.

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page. Please note that the voucher cannot be used to purchase tickets to screenings at Kinopalatsi.

Jia Zhange, A Guy from Fenyang

Jia Zhangke, um Homem de Fenyang

Walter Salles, Brazil, 2015, 98 min

Jia Zhangke, the central contemporary Chinese filmmaker gets an enlightened discussion in this documentary, where the camera travels to Jia’s hometown, to places familiar from his films, juxtaposed with interviews with Jia’s collaborators, including his main actress Zhao Tao, juxtaposed with passages from his memorable films.

Eija Niskanen

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.

Journey to the Shore

岸辺の旅

Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan, 2015, 128 min, K-16

A wife is visited by her dead husband’s ghost. Together they travel to meet people they used to know, also delving into their own past as a couple. Spirits and humans live side by side in this stylish Un Certain Regard winner at Cannes. A subtle notion of horror is ever present.

Leena Eerolainen

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.

Mountains May Depart

山河故人

Jia Zhangke, China, 2015, 125 min

Mountains stay but people move. However, that their feelings stay the same through ages might be one of the messages of Jia’s latest film. We see our characters, with Tao as the central one, living through three times – 1999, 2014 and 2025 – and the changing China and Chinese.

Eija Niskanen

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.

Office

華麗上班族

Johnnie To, Hong Kong, 2015, 117 min

Behind-the-scenes relationships and internal secrets are buzzling under the surface in the company Jones & Dunn, about to go public in stock market around the fatal year of 2008. All this in gorgeous, almost Brechtian musical directed by the master Johnnie To.

Eija Niskanen

Buy tickets to the screening of Office here.

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page. Please note that the voucher cannot be used to purchase tickets to screenings at Kinopalatsi.

Right Now, Wrong Then

Embassy of Korea

지금은맞고그때는틀리다

Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, 2015, 121 min

Film director Chun-soo arrives in Suwon to attend a talk event on his films. While sightseeing, he meets a girl, goes to see her paintings, and joins a dinner party with her friends. The two-part comedy of manners interprets the same events from different viewpoints with an effortless elegance.

Eija Niskanen

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.

Shoot Me in the Heart

Embassy of Korea

내 심장을 쏴라

Mun Je-yong, South Korea, 2015, 101min

Soo-myung is a timid patient at Soori Hope Hospital where little hope is available. Everything changes with the arrival of Seung-min, full of rage, energy and mischief. The following odyssey of craziness, friendship and guts is a visual treat and an emotional rollercoaster galore.

Leena Eerolainen

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.

SWAP

Zabaltegi

Remton Zuasola, The Philippines, 2015, 96 min

When a young father’s son is kidnapped, the father finds himself immersed in a moral conflict. One way of getting his kid back is to commit a crime, but is he ready for that? Remton Zuasola’s film invites the audience for a thriller-like journey of trust, morality and bravery, supported by flowing untraditional camerawork.

Vilho Jussila

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.

Tharlo

ཐར་ལོ |塔洛

Pema Tseden, China, 2015, 123 min

Tharlo is a shepherd, living with his sheep. One day he is told by the police to get an ID and a photo for it. Before that he is advised to go to a barbershop. The hairdresser is an attractive young woman. Tibetan director and author Pema Tseden tells Tharlo’s story with black and white long takes, with bittersweetness and humor.

Eija Niskanen

The Actor

俳優 亀岡拓次

Satoko Yokohama, Japan, 2015, 123 min

Photo: ©2016″The Actor” Film Partners

Takuji makes his living as a bit part player in movies and TV dramas. His free time is devoted to drinking – until he meets a woman. It is time for Takuji to move to the center stage of his life. With her second feature film Satoko Yokohama proves to be one of the great promises of contemporary Japanese cinema.

Eija Niskanen

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.

The Case of Hana and Alice

花とアリス殺人事件

Shunji Iwai, Japan, 2015, 98 min, animation

Cult director Shunji Iwai’s animated prequel to his 2004 live fiction film Hana and Alice is a beautifully realized and tender growing-up story of two school bullied girls, who try to solve the mysterious events of their school.

Eija Niskanen

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.

THE COCKPIT

Sho Miyake, Japan, 2015, 64 min

The next generation of Jay-Zs is brewing in a small Japanese flat. Creating a perfect tune is serious business that needs lots of energy drinks and laughter in this chamber rap documentary that put together five rappers from different Japanese ensembles. What results is a sympathetic journey of music-making with passion. Grab a beer and enjoy the beat!

Leena Eerolainen

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.

The Island Funeral

Maha Samut Lae Susaan

Pimpaka Towira, Thailand, 2015, 105 min

Pimpaka Towira, Thailand’s foremost female director puts her three characters on a road trip from the politically turmoil Bangkok to the similarly restless and heavily militarized southern province of Pattani. The poetic, documentary-style aesthetics is built around Laila’s search for her missing aunt. Winner of Asian Future Film Award at Tokyo International Film Festival 2015.

Eija Niskanen

Buy tickets to the screening of The Island Funeral on Saturday 5.3. at Kinopalatsi here.

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page. Please note that the voucher cannot be used to purchase tickets to screenings at Kinopalatsi.

Three Stories of Love

恋人たち

Ryosuke Hashiguchi, Japan, 2015, 140 min, K-16

Love lost, love aspired, love rejected. These are the different sides in longing for love that Hashiguchi studies in his story of three unrelated, but slightly intersecting lives. Hashiguchi, a master in depicting human relationships, has created perhaps his greatest film. Three Stories of Lovereceived best Japanese film, best director, best newcomer actor (Atsushi Shinohara) nominations in film journal Kinema Junpo critics’ poll, 2015

Eija Niskanen

When buying 5 or more tickets, it’s cheaper to buy a voucher first from the Info section of this page.