HAVING promoted the enjoyment of ethnically diverse music in Helsinki since 1988, Etnosoi! is celebrating its 25th jubilee this year from 6 to 24 November. Organised since 1989 by the Global Music Centre, the festival continues to shine a light on a variety of cultures on the Finnish stage that might not otherwise be left unexplored and unexposed here.

Focusing on Helsinki, yet offering some events also in Tampere, Etnosoi! offers its audience the opportunity to travel around the globe, sampling a variety of breathtaking sights and sounds from places such as India, Iran, Crete and Tuva.

Skyfall

When isn’t a perfect time for a new James Bond flick? Especially one with Daniel Craig! Hoping to erase the memory of the relentless brutality of Quantum of Solace, here Craig finds himself a new adversary in Javier Bardem, the latest in a long line of bad guys to go head-to-head with 007. With Bond missing and presumed dead, the identities of every active undercover MI6 agent are leaked onto the internet, bringing into question the honesty of M. With director Sam Mendes at the helm, this latest effort promises a return to form, with positive press accolades already quickly mounting.

Premieres 26 October

ONCE upon a time Finland’s rich oral tradition served as a primary source of entertainment and edification among the people here. Not so today, as the global storytelling revival seems to have sidestepped this country. “The storytelling scene in Finland is still taking baby steps,” according to professional storyteller Markus Luukkonen.

Killer Joe
Finally leaving the naff rom-coms in his dust, Matthew McConaughey has embraced his inner thespian in recent times, turning in a number of strong performances. Here, with the help of William Friedkin (the director of The Exorcist and The French Connection), McConaughey portrays a hired killer employed by a desperate Emile Hirsch who decides to have his mother rubbed out in order to pay off his debts. Touted as “a totally twisted deep fried Texas redneck trailer park murder story”, advance word has been very positive.
Premieres 28 September

THE 25th Helsinki Film Festival will be staged once again in the capital city from 20-30 September. Better known as Love and Anarchy, the festival is an eagerly anticipated event for the city’s cinephiles, with some 180 feature films and 80 short films being screened this year.

Opening proceedings is Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and the Golden Camera Prize at Cannes. Also the recipient of the FIPRESCI prize, granted by an international jury of film critics, the film has been lauded as a visual masterpiece.