Helsinki Cine Aasia drew the crowds into Korjaamo and Orion


Sunnuntaina päättynyt Suomen ainoa aasialaisen nykyelokuvan festivaali Helsinki Cine Aasia sivusi kävijäennätystään. Nelipäiväisen festivaalin aikana esitettiin yhteensä 18 elokuvaa 30 näytöksessä. Ensimmäistä kertaa Korjaamo Kinossa järjestetyllä festivaalilla vieraili yhteensä lähes 1 800 ihmistä.

Festivaalin suosituimpiin elokuviin kuuluivat Kim Ki-Dukin odotettu uutuus The Net sekä Sunao Katabuchin parhaan animaatioelokuvan palkintoja kahminut In This Corner of the World. Suosittuja olivat myös festivaalin oheistapahtumat kuten esimerkiksi kaikille avoimet asiantuntijakeskustelut, joiden kautta avattiin uusia näkökulmia festivaalin ohjelmistoon kuuluvien elokuvien ja elokuvantekemisen taustoihin. Keskustelujen aiheet vaihtelivat Kambodžan tilanteesta 1970-luvulla japanilaisen animaation tulevaisuuteen.

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Helsinki Cine Aasia team’s picks from the programme


If you still haven’t decided which films to see at Helsinki Cine Aasia festival, see below for some tips from the festival team on this year’s most hotly anticipated films.

Sonia Junttila, graphic designer: The screening of Hema Hema at the festival was confirmed at the last minute but immediately it became one of my favourites simply for its visual look. Ultimately, the trailer convinced me that the viewing experience will be unique.

Hema, Hema: Sing Me a Song (K-16) will be screened on Saturday 18th March at 2pm at Korjaamo Kulmasali and on Sunday 19th March at 12 noon at Orion. In conjunction with the screening on Saturday, there will be a free talk about Bhutan.

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Helsinki Cine Aasia loves Asian Food: food offers to festival-goers


This year Helsinki Cine Aasia festival-goers will be spoiled not only with the best of Asian cinema but also with some tasty delights from Asian cuisine! The respondents to our survey last year expressed interest in particular towards Asian food, and with these offers one is guaranteed to get nourished from sunrise to sunset and from the cinema hall via a dinner date to couch at home.

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South Korean director Shin Dong-il is Helsinki Cine Aasia’s this year’s guest of honour


The guest of honour of the fifth Helsinki Cine Aasia -festival – which kicks off next week – is South Korea’s master of intimate drama, Shin Dong-il. With his films, Shin Dong-il challenges the viewer to self-reflect and to question the divide into us and them. This applies also to his latest directorial work, Come, Together (2016), which will be screened at Helsinki Cine Aasia.

Come, Together portrays an ordinary nuclear family struggling to keep up with the increasing demands of competitive society and the climb up the social ladder. What is ultimately important in life, is what Shin Dong-il appears to ask with the film. In the end, this is the question that the members of the family who have already given their everything also have to ask themselves.

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Helsinki Cine Aasia 5th anniversary programme offers reflections on societal antagonisms and family


Helsinki Cine Aasia has announced its programme for 2017. The festival will feature 18 films in total from 10 different East Asian and Southeast Asian countries. The opening film of Helsinki Cine Aasia is The Net (2016), by the South Korean director Kim Ki-Duk. The gripping drama is an upfront depiction of the current state of the Koreas, and people living in the shadow of the ongoing conflict. Other films at the festival which deal with borders created either by nation states, societal norms or traditional gender roles, are, for example Rithy Panh’s Exile (2016), a partly autobiographical portrayal of the Khmer Rouge regime; Come, Together (2016) by Shin Dong-il, which portrays an ordinary nuclear family struggling to keep up with increasing demands of competitive society; and Japanese Girls Never Die (2016) by Daigo Matsui which offers a feminist view of sexism, the pressure to marry, and the pay gap between the sexes in Japan utilising the colourful language of pop culture.

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Helsinki Cine Aasia’s first Parent & Baby Screening is Yoong Ga-eun’s The World of Us


This year’s Helsinki Cine Aasia programme features a Parent & Baby Screening for the first time. Shown at the Parent & Baby Screening on Friday the 17th of March at 10am at Korjaamo Kino will be The World of Us (2016), a delicate portrayal of friendship, bullying and the social pressures of school life by the South Korean director Yoon Ga-eun. 

“Our first Parent & Baby Screening reflects Helsinki Cine Aasia’s aim of furthering the opportunities for families and parents in various life situations to enjoy cultural events. We hope that the cinema experience and the festival spirit will be a refreshing pause for breath in the midst of everyday life with small children,” says festival producer Leena Eerolainen.

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Themes arising from the films at Helsinki Cine Aasia to be explored further in panel discussions


Films paint images of the surrounding world with its various societies. To celebrate its anniversary, Helsinki Cine Aasia  organises panel discussions at Korjaamo that are open to the public and bring new perspectives into the films in the programme of the festival.

On Saturday the 18th of March, at 1.30pm the festival’s artistic director who is also a researcher of film and animation, Eija Niskanen, will discuss the future of Japanese animation after the predominance of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The discussion will be followed with the screening of Sunao Katabuch’s In This Corner of the World (2016). In conjunction with Rithy Panh’s film Exile (2016), the well-known foreign correspondent Rauli Virtanen will be present to talk about his experiences of reporting from Southeast Asia before the rise of the Khmer Rouge. The discussion starts at 6pm. 

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Helsinki Cine Aasia 2017 opening film is Kim Ki-Duk’s The Net


This year the opening film of the festival is The Net (2016) by South Korean director Kim Ki-Duk. This captivating drama cuts deep into the conflict between the two Koreas and the lives of the people who live in the midst of it all. The main character of the film, Nam Chul-woo (Ryoo Seung-bu), is a poor North Korean fisherman living close to the South Korean border. Nam’s life takes a turn for the worse when one day, a net gets caught up in his boat’s engine, breaking the engine and leaving him to drift into South Korean waters. With this image begins the story that will pull the viewer deep into the net; the net of conflict between the two Koreas. Nam endures interrogation, beatings, and worse in his attempt to return to his home and family – only to realise that his life will never be the same again.

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Are you interested in volunteering at a festival? Join the Helsinki Cine Aasia team!


Helsinki Cine Aasia is currently recruiting volunteers to help organise the festival. Tasks range from distribution of the festival poster to customer services.

Helsinki Cine Aasia will be held on 16th–19th March 2017, but some of the work takes place already in February before the festival begins. If you are interested please contact us at Please write “Volunteers” in the subject line.

We look forward to hearing from you. Welcome aboard our fantastic festival team!

Get to know the festival’s organisers here >>

Fifth anniversary of Helsinki Cine Aasia is celebrated at Korjaamo Kino and Orion


Helsinki Cine Aasia will be held from 16th to 19th March 2017 – already for the fifth time. On its fifth anniversary, Helsinki Cine Aasia relocates to Cultural Factory Korjaamo. In addition to the modern Korjaamo Kino, some of the festival screenings over the weekend will be held at the traditional Orion.

Several of the films to be screened at Korjaamo Kino and Orion in March have been sourced fresh to the Helsinki Cine Aasia programme from the most important Asian film festivals or through direct contacts in Asia. In preparation for the programming of this year’s festival, the festival committee went to Busan International Film Festival in South Korea and to Japan to Tokyo International Film Festival and Tokyo FilmEx.


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Celebrating Asian cinema for the fifth year running – Helsinki Cine Aasia 2013-2017


Finland’s only festival of contemporary Asian cinema Helsinki Cine Aasia is this year organised already for the fifth time. The festival was established by four experts on East Asian cultures and cinema – Eija Niskanen, the festival’s artistic director, Jenni Peisa, managing director and producers Leena Eerolainen and Johanna Rissanen. Niskanen, Peisa and Eerolainen are still strongly involved in day-to-day organising of the festival, and in addition, there are several other enthusiastic team members helping out each year.

Although the festival’s founding foursome knew each other through various channels even before, the decision to set up Helsinki Cine Aasia was made when Niskanen and Eerolainen bumped into each other at the Tokyo International Film Festival in the autumn 2011.

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Helsinki Cine Aasia – Get to know the organisers

Helsinki Cine Aasia is organised by the Asian Cinema Association of Finland. It was founded in 2011 by four experts on East Asian cultures and cinema – Eija Niskanen, Jenni Peisa, Leena Eerolainen and Johanna Rissanen.

The inaugural Helsinki Cine Aasia took place in 2013. Of the awesome founding foursome, Niskanen, Peisa and Eerolainen are still tightly involved in organising the festival. Below they talk about their relationship with Asian cinema and some memorable moments along their festival journey so far.

In the picture, there are members from the Helsinki Cine Aasia organising team in 2014. From left to right: Sonia Junttila, graphic designer, Leena Eerolainen, producer, Johanna Rissanen, producer, Ria Vaahto, press officer and Jenni Peisa, managing director. In the middle is Eija Niskanen, festival’s artistic director.

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Discounted Helsinki Cine Aasia screening card to all those born in the year of the rooster


Happy Chinese New Year! To celebrate its fifth anniversary, Helsinki Cine Aasia offers all those born in the year of the rooster the opportunity to purchase the festival screening card at a discounted price of 37€ (inc. 5 tickets, normal price 40€)! If you were born in a year of the rooster, you can redeem the discount during the festival between 16-19 March 2017 from the festival ticket sales by showing a proof of your date of birth. The discount cannot be redeemed online.

Tickets can be bought online starting early March and throughout the festival. During the festival tickets can also be bought at the screening locations. More details jwill be published as the festival approaches.

You can check your Chinese zodiac sign for example here.

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