Director Jessé Miceli’s exclusive interview

Eija Niskanen, the Artistic Director of Helsinki Cine Aasia interviewed the director of Coealesce (2020) Jessé Miceli together with the French Institute in Finland about his film which can be seen at the ONLINE festival starting tomorrow. The interview is a part of our additional program in 2021 and it is available on YouTube for everyone to see – for free. Jessé Miceli opens up about his experiences shooting a film in Cambodia and the changing landscape and society in Southeast Asia.

Tickets and info of Coalesce (2020) can be found here!

The ONLINE festival will be held from Friday April 16th until Sunday April 18th at Festhome.

Check out the interview below:

Helsinki Cine Aasia 2021 – ONLINE free program!

Exclusive discussions with some of the directors who made the films which are on our program this year, with our Artistic Director Eija Niskanen. And a interview with Jessé Miceli the director of Coalesce (2020) which is presented to you together with the Institut Francais.

Funasashi Atsushi the director of Company Retreat (2020) tells us about the making of the film and about the status of women in Japan. Not forgetting the #metoo movement.
Edmund Yeo who made the Japanese-Malaysian co-production Malu (2020) opens up about his family and how it affected the film.

Marja-Leena Heikkilä Horn has been teaching history and religions at the University in Thailand over 20 years and last year she released a book about the history of Southeast Asia. Join us for a conversation about the book and the situation in Burma.
We also take a deep dive into the collaboration between Finland and Burma in terms of filmmaking in a separate conversation.

Direct links to the interviews will be updated on our website and social media accounts later this week.

And don’t forget our official Spotify playlists! No better way to tune yourself to the right mood while waiting for the festival.
Helsinki Cine Aasia – Hong Kong And Beyond
Helsinki Cine Aasia – Japan City Vibes

Helsinki Cine Aasia 2021 – ONLINE will be held from Friday April 16th until SUnday April 18th 2021.

Festival vouchers and tickets are on sale now at Festhome!

Tickets are on sale now!

Helsinki Cine Aasia 2021 – ONLINE tickets are on sale now!

The voucher which allows you to watch the full 12 film program (45€) and single tickets (7€) are now in sale on Festome platform until teh end of the festival! The online festival will be held at Festhome from Friday April 16th until Sunday April 18th 2021.

All new Festhome users are required to register (free) to the site to be able to use it. The site operates in English.

All films are available to watch throughout the whole festival from Friday April 16th until Sunday April 18th at Festhome. The films Aristocrats and Striding into the Wind both have restricted capacity so make sure to be quick with the tickets.

All films are subtitled in English. Films are only available in Finland.

Buy tickets HERE!

Check out the full program here!

Helsinki Cine Aasia 2021 – ONLINE programn is here!

It is time to reveal the full program of this year’s festival which will be held online due to the ongoing pandemic and restrictions.This time Helsinki Cine Aasia offers 12 new and intriguing films from Japan, South Korea, China, Philippines, Malaysia, Burma and Cambodia.

Films about cinema
Filmmakers and filmmaking are a big part of this years festival. Just like Sono Sion’s Red Post on Escher Street (2002), Striding into the Wind (2020) by Wei Shujun, which was part of the Cannes selection, and Money Has Four Legs (2020) by Maung Sun uses filmmaking as a driving force of their stories. Striding into the Wind follows an aimless film student trying to find imaginary freedom on a film shooting trip to Inner Mongolia. Money Has Four Legs comes from Burma and follows a young director Wai Bhone making a revised version of a classic local film. The film draws a satirical picture of filmmaking and the state of the Burmese society in the year 2020, the 100th anniversary of Burmese cinema, unfortunately just shortly before the new military coup in February 2021.

Female directors’ perspectives
Ohku Akiko’s Hold Me Back (2020), Sode Yukiko’s Aristocrats (2020) and Yoon Ga-eun’s The House of Us (2020) are all directed by women. Hold Me Back is a romantic comedy about the relationship problems in the life of a female office worker. Aristocrats contrasts a woman from Japans upper skeletons with a countryside girls efforts to make it. South Korean film The House of Us show us a friendship of Hana and the two sisters Yoo-mi and Yoo-jin over the summer which offers comradery, warmth and adventure, but also challenges that the children can only do their best to solve.

Check out the full program HERE!

All film have English subtitles and they are only available in Finland.

The online festival will be held from Friday April 16th until Sunday April 18th at Festhhome.
Ticket sale starts on Wednesday April 7th.

TIFF 2020 Audience Award winner comes to Helsinki Cine Aasia 2021

It’s time for our third reveal from Helsinki Cine Aasia 2021 – ONLINE program which will be released on Monday March 29th.

Hold Me Back (Watashi wo kuitomete, 2020) which is directed by Ohku Akiko and based on Wataya Risa’s novel, is a romantic comedy about a 31 year old Kudora Mitsuko, who lives a happy single life. She has an alter ego called “A”, who gives her all the answers in her life. Everything is about to change, when she falls in love.
Tokyo International Film Festival awarded Hold Me Back with an audience award last November.

Japanese director Ohku Akiko’s film Tremble All You Want (Katte ni furuetero, 2017) won the same award at Tokyo International Film Festival back in 2017.

Helsinki Cine Aasia – ONLINE will be held from Friday April 16th until Sunday April 18th 2021.

Hold Me Back trailer below.

Screenings at Cinema Orion

Return to the silver screens

It has always been important for Helsinki Cine Aasia to bring the latest and brightest works from East and Southeast Asia to the big screens in Finland, and we are planning to do just that in 2021 also.

The festival together with Cinema Orion will be arranging a series of theatrical screenings including films from our online festival lineup and other new releases. The screenings will be held at Cinema Orion in Helsinki when the restrictions allow, and it is yet again safe to convene.

Helsinki Cine Aasia and Cinema Orion will release the program and timing of the series on their website and social media accounts once it is confirmed.

Helsinki Cine Aasia and Cinema Orion will release the program and timing of the series on their website and social media accounts.

Cinema Orionin website, facebook & instagram.

Yeo Edmund’s Malu arrives to Finland

Malu, 2020
Malu, 2020

Our second reveal from the Helsinki Cine Aasia 2021 program is Edmund Yeo’s latest film Malu (2020).

This co-production between Malaysia and Japan is a poetic and mysterious portrayal of two sisters who have been separated from each other. Their lives are seen in different times and places, but is it possible to truly find each other? Cinematographer Pahurac Kong’s impressive shooting style combines realism with artistry.

Edmundin Yeo won the Best Director Award in 2017 at Tokyo International Film Festival with his previous feature film Aqerat. His success story began years earlier at Venice Film Festival where his short film Kingyo premiered in 2009.

Malu, which premiered at Tokyo International Film Festival last fall has been favored by the critics, now it’s our time!

The Ninth Helsinki Cine Aasia will be held online from April 16th until April 18th.

Check out the trailer:

The Ninth Helsinki Cine Aasia will be held online from April 16th until April 18th

The Red Post on Escher Street, 2020
The Red Post on Escher Street, 2020

Experience Asia from the safety of your own home!
Helsinki Cine Aasia goes ONLINE!

The only film festival of contemporary Asian cinema in Finland will be arranged for the 9th time from 16th of April until 18th of April online.
The films will be available for everyone in Finland, and you can enjoy them safely and responsibly in the comfort of your own home.

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Helsinki Cine Aasia returns in March 2021


Amano Chihiro & Nagao Takuma. Photo: Carla Pekander

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).

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An Interview with Director of Mrs. Noisy, Amano Chihiro, and Actor Nagao Takuma


In Japan, houses are built close to each other and the walls are thin. Neighbourhood quarrels are common and often they flare up because of the noise. This is also the situation in Mrs. Noisy (Misesu Noizi, 2019). In the film, everything starts with a single futon. The loud sound of Miwako’s (Ootaka Yoko) tamping the mattress is simply too much for Maki (Shinohara Yukiko), an author struggling for inspiration.

When she was working on the screenplay, the director of Mrs. Noisy, Amano Chihiro (b. 1982), was inspired in particular by the French film Clouds of Sils Maria (2014) by the director Olivier Assayas.

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Coronavirus update


The Finnish government has today 12th March given instructions to cancel public events of over 500 attendees in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The capacity of any of the Helsinki Cine Aasia festival film screenings does not surpass this threshold*. As such and in light of the current government instructions, Helsinki Cine Aasia will go ahead as planned from 12th March until Sunday 15th March.

*** Update, 13th March: The City of Helsinki has recommended limiting public events to a maximum of 100 visitors. In line with the instructions Helsinki Cine Aasia will also limit the maximum capacity of single screenings to maximum 100 people. ***

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Amano Chihiro and Nagao Takuma, director and star of Mrs. Noisy, to visit Helsinki Cine Aasia


Mrs. Noisy

Helsinki Cine Aasia’s guest of honour this year is the Japanese director Amano Chihiro. She will present her film Mrs. Noisy (Misesu Noijii, 2019). The comedy-drama, which premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival last October, tells a story common to our age: how the lives of regular people turn into internet memes and social media sensation.

Actor Nagao Takuma will also be a guest at Helsinki Cine Aasia. He will participate in the screenings of Mrs. Noisy along with director Amano on Saturday March 14th and Sunday March 15th.

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Organisers’ picks from Helsinki Cine Aasia 2020


Too many interesting films and not enough time? Can’t choose which films to watch? Here are the Helsinki Cine Aasia organising team’s favourite and most anticipated films from this year’s programme. You don’t want to miss these!

Eija, programming director

Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains mixes today and tradition, and includes an incredible long take – naturally there needs to be one at our festival each year.”

Screening times: Sat 14.3. at 16:15 Kino Regina and Sun 15.3. at 13:30 Korjaamo Elokuvasali + discussion: Landscape in Chinese Art

ON-GAKU: Our Sound is a nifty indie anime that combines Japanese school life, creating music and Kaurismäki-style humour.”

Screening times: Fri 13.3. at 16:45 Orion and Sat 14.3. at 22:00 Korjaamo Kulmasali

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Perspectives: Discussions with experts deepen the themes and questions raised by the films


Films are inseparably connected to both the surrounding world and the tradition of filmmaking. The festival programme at Korjaamo includes themed discussions that deepen the understanding of, or open new viewpoints to, the festival’s films. Open to all!

Tourism in Thailand – Local Views: Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for Finnish tourists. How do the Thai view this phenomenon? The topic will be discussed with Vanitsri Tirkkonen from The Finnish Thai Association ry and Timo Kuronen from The Siemenpuu Foundation. In English.

Sat 14.3. 15:40 Korjaamo lobby. Following the screening of Krabi, 2562.

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Helsinki Cine Aasia 2020 celebrates versatile Asian cinema



Helsinki Cine Aasia’s programme is out!

This year the festival hosts the Finnish premiere of 18 films from eight East and Southeast Asian countries. In addition, a series of classic films based on traditional East Asian theater is screened at Kino Regina. Helsinki Cine Aasia takes place at Korjaamo, Kino Regina and Cinema Orion from Thursday March 12 to Sunday March 15, 2020.

The tickets to the Helsinki Cine Aasia screenings can be purchased from Thursday February 27 onward from the festival webpage. Ticket prices are 10 euros for a single ticket, 45 euros for a screening voucher (including 5 single tickets) and 8 euros for the parent and baby screening. During the festival tickets are also sold at the festival venues Korjaamo, Cinema Orion and Kino Regina.

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Kino Regina and Helsinki Cine Aasia present: Theater in East Asian Cinema


In addition to new Asian cinema, the Helsinki Cine Aasia festival weekend between March 13 and 15 provides an opportunity to see seminal works from Asian film history. The National Audiovisual Institute and Helsinki Cine Aasia are screening three classics that are inspired by or built around traditional Asian theater.

The screenings take place in Kino Regina. The films presented are Kurosawa Akira‘s early work The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (虎の尾を踏む男達, 1945), Ichikawa Kon‘s kabuki marvel An Actor’s Revenge (雪之丞変化, 1963), and Chen Kaige‘s Farewell My Concubine (霸王別姬, 1993), set in the world of Peking opera.

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Helsinki Cine Aasia 2020 opens with Tibetan film Balloon



Helsinki Cine Aasia’s opening film is Balloon (Qi qiu, 2019), the latest work from one of Tibet’s best-known filmmakers, Pema Tseden. Balloon has garnered praise at international festivals as well as several accolades. The film is about the difficulties of combining the traditional with the modern.

The story is set in the 1980’s, during the one-child policy. A couple raising a herd of sheep and three children is forced to navigate between human nature, spirituality, politics and free will. No more children should be born, but how will they take care of contraception when the children turn their parents’ last condoms into balloons?

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Come volunteer at Helsinki Cine Aasia!


Vapaaehtoishaku käynnissä

March 12 to 15 the eighth Helsinki Cine Aasia is once again showcasing great new films from East and Southeast Asia. Every year the festival has had a bunch of invaluable volunteers helping on making the event happen. This year’s volunteer applications are wanted now! Volunteers’ tasks range from distributing the festival posters and catalogues to customer service during the festival weekend. Note that some of the work takes place in February before the festival.

Whether you’re a festival veteran or considering volunteer work for the first time, go ahead and apply to join Finland’s only Asian film festival. Please be sure to fill in the application form by Wednesday February 12 so we’ll have time to consider it when forming the volunteer team.

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Helsinki Cine Aasia is celebrating its eighth edition between March 12 and 15!


In March Helsinki Cine Aasia, the only festival of contemporary Asian cinema in Finland, once again brightens Helsinki’s spring with a first-rate selection of the most interesting new films from East and Southeast Asia. The diverse cross-section of popular, praised and topical cinema includes films from Japan, South Korea and China, as well as several smaller film countries. In addition to film screenings, the festival also hosts various discussions related to Asian cultures.

The high-quality selection of films has been carefully chosen for Helsinki Cine Aasia from the most important Asian film festivals and through direct contacts in Asia.

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An interview with director Bat-Amgalan Lkhagvajav


Bat-Amgalan Lkhagvajav and Ian Allardyce‘s charmingly sincere film They Sing Up On The Hill is included in the official programme of Helsinki Cine Aasia 2019. We spoke to Lkhagvajav about his sources of inspiration, his influences, and asked him for recommendations from the Helsinki Cine Aasia programme.

What inspired you to make the film They Sing Up On The Hill?

I have to mention first my friend, an English guy Ian Allardyce who is now based in the UK. Me and him, we have been friends for a long time and since 2003, and we have been making films together. Already then, we had the idea for this film but we did not know, how exactly we would make it so it got put on the shelf for all these years.

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Five questions to director Shuichi Okita


Shuichi Okita’s warm-hearted drama, Mori, The Artist’s Habitat opened Helsinki Cine Aasia on Thursday 14th March. Shuichi Okita is also visiting Helsinki Cine Aasia. “Shuichi Okita’s original, sympathetic style makes people fall in love with his films. Time after time, Okita’s works have been among the most popular films also at Helsinki Cine Aasia,” said Eija Niskanen, the festival’s programming director. “We are very excited to have him as a guest of honour at this year’s festival,” Niskanen continued.

The one remaining screening of Mori, The Artist’s Habitat at Helsinki Cine Aasia 2019 is on Saturday 16th March at 3.45pm. Following the screening there is a Q&A with the director.

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An interview with director Kamila Andini


Kamila Andini’s enchanting film The Seen and Unseen opened Helsinki Cine Aasia on Thursday 15th March. We spoke to the director about her sources of inspiration, influences and future plans, and asked her for recommendations from the Helsinki Cine Aasia programme. Andini is currently visiting the festival and will be attending the second screening of her film at Helsinki Cine Aasia on Saturday 17th March. After the screening, she will discuss film and film-making with Ulla Heikkilä from Women in Film and Television Finland.

What inspired you to make The Seen and Unseen?

I started working on The Seen and Unseen right after I had finished working on my first feature, The Mirror Never Lies. In my second film, I wanted to explore who I am as an Indonesian and how we are connected to each other and to the universe.

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