email print share on Facebook share on Twitter share on reddit pin on Pinterest

FESTIVALS / AWARDS Finland

Night Visions gets ready for The New (Ab)Normal

by 

- The Helsinki-based genre film festival is about to begin its August edition, inviting everyone to The Lodge. And “Ver-sayce”

Night Visions gets ready for The New (Ab)Normal
Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s The Lodge

With its usual spring slot snatched away by the pandemic, Night Visions hopes for a better outcome with “The New (Ab)Normal,” set to entertain Finnish viewers from 19 to 22 August and in actual cinemas, leaving any virtual or hybrid initiatives for others to play with.  “Night Visions is so much about the theatrical experience that we just wanted to wait until the situation got better and organise it in a form that’s as close to the original as you can get under the restrictions of ‘the new (ab)normal,’ festival director Mikko Aromaa tells Cineuropa two days before the festival. “Even though our loyal fanbase would definitely be up for ‘the Night Visions experience’ online as well, we didn’t want to explore that option, as it would most certainly be diluted. Like one of my festival director colleagues was saying already this spring, ‘virtual festival’ is an oxymoron. The physical presence of the audience, sharing the experience in real-life, with other like-minded people, is such an integral part of it all that we didn’t feel like ‘squeezing’ its essence out of it.”

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Starting with Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz’s UK/US production The Lodge [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, chosen to open this year’s edition, there is nevertheless a strong European presence among the 23 features and six short films making up the selection. These include international premieres for Andre Ovredal’s Mortal [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: André Øvredal
film profile
]
 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: André Øvredal
film profile
]
(Norway, USA) and Klovn the Final, the third instalment of the Danish comedy series, but also Pål Øie’s The Tunnel [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Ivan Castell’s The Rise of the Synths (featuring narration by John Carpenter), Michael Panduro’s 2017 proposition Nasum – Blasting Shit to Bits, Bruce McDonald’s Dreamland [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and a film that launched a thousand Daniel Radcliffe-in-tiger-foot-slippers memes, Jason Lei Howden’s Guns Akimbo (UK-Germany-New Zealand). “An online festival premiere is in danger of remaining an online title in the eyes of a consumer even after the festival is over,” continues Aromaa. “There is no question that multiple layers are missing, and that might very well endanger the future of a film. Without wanting to sound regressive, we really do think that the future of film festivals is in proper projections taking place in a real cinema environment. It is most definitely not in our audience’s living rooms. And in the long run, we most certainly don’t want to educate our audience to spend more time at home. We want to urge them to go out, preferably join us during the festival-related events and add up to the communal experience.”

Such as the one provided by a true dream of a double bill: Jeffrey McHale’s You Don’t Nomi and its very subject, Paul Verhoeven’s endlessly quotable Showgirls. “It’s true that screenings which involve so-called ‘heavier’ audience engagement, such as our Showgirls 4k screening, are a potential challenge under the restrictions and regulations of the new (ab)normal,” says Aromaa, answering Cineuropa’s inquiry. “However, as we do follow said restrictions and regulations closely, and do sell a limited number of tickets to each screening, we don’t really see that becoming a major issue,” he explains, assuring that social distancing measures will be respected. “This of course also means that we won’t be having the opportunity to enjoy ‘full houses’ the way we would under the old normal, but this is something that we have to accept. We are confident that it will not really have an effect on the overall atmosphere, as we also know that the audience is really hungry for all film festival experiences right now and we are lucky to be the first post-lockdown film festival in the Helsinki metropolitan area, the first one in line to meet the need that certainly is out there. Or perhaps ‘lucky’ is the wrong word. We have a reputation to be fast in our moves and aim to set the trends, so it was one of our main goals to schedule the first Night Visions of 2020 so that none of the other festivals would satisfy the needs of the craving audience before us.” To quote a certain Nomi Malone: It doesn’t suck.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.

Privacy Policy