GUARANTEED to help melt the scowl that still permeates after enduring the long, dark winter here up north, the Animatricks Animation Festival is being held 25-27 April in the Capital Region.

Bringing together animation professionals and fans, the festival has been offering up new Finnish animation and selections of international tops since 2000. Bestowing prizes for local Finnish animation since 2005, this year sees the festival expanding to an international competition, sponsored by Rovio, responsible of the global sensation Angry Birds.

PREMIERING around the country on 9 May, local documentary Love & Engineering tells the tale of a group of foreign digital computer geeks living in Finland who are looking for real love.

HOSTING another rousing collection of the best weird and wonderful cinema going around, the Spring Night Visions Festival is hitting Helsinki from 9 to 13 April.

The biggest and the oldest festival in Finland to focus on horror, fantasy, science fiction and action cinema, previous years have offered up some genuine classics of the genre, along with the appearance of many international guests on offer over the years.

TOUTED as the cosmic American love child of Howlin Wolf and Link Wray, local blues fans can judge for themselves when Alvin Youngblood Hart performs around the country in April.

Dropping his outstanding debut full-length in 1996, Big Mama’S Door, containing such tracks as covers of well-known folk songs like When the Boys Were on the Western Plain and Gallows Pole, Hart has gone on to release a handful of albums to varying levels of acclaim.

THIS year marks the 100th anniversary of Tove Jansson’s birth. Forming the centrepiece of a busy year of celebration, Ateneum is playing host to an exhibition showcasing her career as an artist, illustrator, political caricaturist, author and creator of the Moomin characters and stories.