A cool and pleasant chill will likely be in the air in Helsinki, Finland next month. Not just in the fresh breezes that blow in off the water in April, capable of chilling visitors to the bone, however, but on selected movie screens, where films will play that may chill viewers to the core of the soul.
In their own words: "Night Visions International Film Festival, the biggest genre film festival in Scandinavia, is conquering the silver screens of Helsinki, Finland with its spring 2018 edition next month. Spanning over four days and an all-nighter from April 18 to April 22, the Official Selection consists of over 30 features and a handful of carefully hand-picked shorts from all across the globe."
Speaking from my own experience, the festival is carefully curated for the maximum viewing pleasure of attendees, mixing shorts and features from all over the globe into a heady brew that is good for what ails you. Here is more information from the official release:
The first wave of announcements consists of an exceptionally strong set of titles from the lineup of Sundance 2018. From wicked political notions to Scandinavian sensations, this part of the selection just might be more versatile than ever in the history of the 21-year-old festival.
Out of the hottest recent U.S. indie productions, Night Visions will showcase the New York director Nicolas Pesce's stunning sophomore feature Piercing (USA 2018), based on a novel by the controversial Audition author Ryu Murakami and starring Mia Wasikowska in a particularly strong female lead.
Another Sundace feature with a disarmingly strong female protagonist is the Sweden-born Isabella Eklöf's crime drama Holiday (Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden 2018). Compared to Sopranos and Scarface by Newsweek, this thrill ride set on the Turkish Riviera and starring Victoria Carmen Sonne might well become this year's equivalent to Coralie Fargeat's 2017 tour de force Revenge.
One of the most internationally acclaimed female directors of today, the Scotswoman Lynne Ramsay hit the jackpot already in last year's Cannes with the thriller You Were Never Really Here (UK, France, USA 2017). Directing from her own script based on the Jonathan Ames novella, Ramsay started conquering North America with her latest in Sundance and now it finally arrives to Finland.
Night Visions is also proud to present one of the most politically charged documentaries of Sundance, Maxim Pozdorovkin's Our New President (USA 2018). The U.S. based Russian director of the Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (2013) fame creates a simultaneously shocking and hilarious portrait of the political landscape of today from genuine propaganda footage from Russia's TV channels celebrating the triumphs of Donald Trump.
Even fresher than anything on the Sundance plate, Night Visions is extremely thrilled to host the Scandinavian premiere of Justin MacGregor's B(e)st Friends (USA 2018). The long-awaited final version of the first feature of the two-part epic reunites Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero of The Room fame in front of the camera after 15 years. Night Visions is also celebrating the occasion by two 35mm screenings of The Room during the festival.
Night Visions has always been strong at introducing its audiences to genre classics, some of which have been rarely seen on the Finnish shores due to the extremely strict censorship regulations that were abolished as recently as early 2000s. The first announcements on this front relate to the Brooklyn-born auteur Jeff Lieberman.
Lieberman will arrive to Helsinki in person to present three of his highly original feature film gems: Squirm (1976) is a classic of the nature strikes back subgenre, Blue Sunshine (1977) is a highly unique take on the hallucinogenic horrors of the 1960s and the 1970s. The rarely seen Kevin Dillon starrer Remote Controll(1988) is a satirical science fiction horror, cited as the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers for the video generation" by the legendary New York film critic The Phantom of the Movies back in the day.
Night Visions will announce the full lineup of its April 2018 edition on the final week of March. Advance sales of tickets start on March 29th, 2018 at the festival's website www.nightvisions.info