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Anna Mottola to Head Helsinki Intl. Film Festival, Works-in-Progress Titles Revealed (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 5/24/2017 Leo Barraclough
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Anna Mottola has been hired as the CEO of Helsinki Intl. Film Festival – Love and Anarchy, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in September. It has also selected the works-in-progress projects to be presented in the Finnish Film Affair section.

Mottola takes the reins from Sara Norberg, who is stepping down after seven years to take a position outside of the film industry. Mottola formerly worked at Finland’s National Audiovisual Institute, and was a film critic for Finland’s biggest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat.

Mottola has given a sneak peek of this year’s Finnish Film Affair works-in-progress projects. Amongst the selected projects are the long-awaited sequel to sci-fi satire “Iron Sky: The Coming Race” by Timo Vuorensola, the sophomore feature from Academy Award nominee Selma Vilhunen (“Do I Have to Take Care of Everything”), “Stupid Young Heart,” and “Guardian Angel” from Arto Halonen (“Princess”).

Another addition to the lineup is a project by director Klaus Haro, writer Anna Heinamaa and the production company Making Movies, the team behind Golden Globe nominated and Oscar-shortlisted drama “The Fencer.”

In addition to around 10 works-in-progress projects, FFA will present around 10 works in development and around 15 completed films.

Mottola said: “It is such an exciting time for Finnish cinema. Our films and filmmakers are getting more international recognition year on year, and Finnish Film Affair’s role in that has become increasingly important. All of this makes my role as CEO of HIFF even more pleasurable.”

FFA alumni being presented at Cannes film market this year include “Tom of Finland” by Dome Karukoski, “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki” by Juho Kuosmanen, and “The Good Postman” by Tonislav Hristov.

The festival screens around 170 feature films and 190 short films a year, and attracts more than 60,000 visitors. The 30th edition takes place on Sept. 14-24.

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