Night Visions (film festival)

Night Visions is a biannual film festival focusing on horror, fantasy, science fiction and cult cinema. The festival is held twice a year in Helsinki, Finland. The festival also showcases documentaries and short films. The first Night Visions festival was organized in November 1997.

Night Visions
Night Visions Film Festival Logo
LocationHelsinki, Finland
Founded1997 (1997)
Awards receivedHelsinki Cultural Achievement Award (2012)
AwardsNight Visions Audience Award
Hosted byNight Visions - Yön Kuvat Ry
Festival dateBack to Basics: April
Maximum Halloween: October


The first Night Visions festival was organized in Halloween 1997. The roots of the festival lay in Gorehound, a film zine focusing on genre cinema, whose readership and staff were responsible for the first Night Visions Film Festival. The current festival director Mikko Aromaa is former editor-in-chief of Gorehound. The first festival was a one night event of an overnight screening of genre films showed back to back on one screen.[1]

From 2002 onwards, Night Visions film festival has been arranged twice a year, with Back to Basics in mid-April and Maximum Halloween on Halloween weekend. The Maximum Halloween event was extended from one night event to a weekend event in 2005, showing movies on three different nights.[2]

In January 2013 the film festival was awarded the Cultural Achievement Award 2012 from the City of Helsinki. The festival was credited for its bold, original and first-rate program, along with its unique atmosphere in overnight movie marathons. The judges also added that many of the films would never be seen in Finland without the festival. The winner was chosen by the Helsinki Board of Culture from nearly thousand nominees.[3][4]

The 2014 film festival set a new record in attendance when Night Visions reported 8963 total attendees in Maximum Halloween event screenings and other organized events. With 5827 admissions in the same year's Back to Basics event and the one-off Night Visions ShockPoint, a gonzo documentary special, the film festival drew a total audience of 14,790 in 2014.[5][6]


Back to BasicsEdit

Back to Basics is currently a four night event, climaxing in a marathon event that lasts from evening until early morning, usually screening films on two different screens. Films are played back to back with short intermissions in between. Back to Basics focuses on genre classics, showing older movies and underground cult films, with occasional stabs at mainstream and newer genre pieces. Back to Basics has featured movies such as Reefer Madness, The Story of Joanna, The Fountain, The Candy Snatchers, The Last House on the Left, Joysticks, Detroit 9000, The Room, Five Element Ninjas, The Toxic Avenger and more.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

Maximum HalloweenEdit

Maximum Halloween is organized usually as close to Halloween as possible, screening films on multiple screens and theaters. The event focuses on newer genre films and has acted as a premiere venue for many films in Finland. Maximum Halloween also usually screens a selection of old classics and documentaries. The 2014 Maximum Halloween screened 45 feature length films and documentaries in three different theaters, along with a selection of short films during the five-day event. The event has featured films such as Saw, The Descent, Reeker, Near Dark, Tokyo Gore Police, The Forbidden Door, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Profondo Rosso, Shogun Assassin and many more along the years.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]

Themes and guestsEdit

Night Visions has had a varied line-up of guest film-makers and actors during its run. The guests are sometimes associated with the themes of the festival; such as Christopher Lee and the Hammer Film Productions theme of the 2002 festival or Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Entertainment fame in the 2014 festival. Other special guests have included Dario Argento, Paul Verhoeven, John McNaughton, John Waters and Udo Kier among others.[26][27][28]

Other eventsEdit

In 2014 Night Visions organized an industry afternoon, in collaboration with Nordic Genre Invasion, that featured many upcoming Nordic filmmakers as well as industry veterans. The afternoon consisted of movie screenings and panel discussion.[29]


The Night Visions Audience Award has been awarded since 2008 to promote the recognition of genre cinema in Finland and in other nordic countries. All movies released in the same year, or the year before, the festival is held are eligible. The winner is decided by the audience in a ballot organized at the Maximum Halloween screenings.[30]

The 2013 winner, Frank Pavich's documentary film Jodorowsky's Dune, was the first non-fiction film to win the award.[31]

Night Visions Audience Award winners
Year Title Director
2015 Spandex Sapiens Oskari Pastila
2014 What We Do in the Shadows Taika Waititi & Jemaine Clement
2013 Jodorowsky's Dune Frank Pavich
2012 Dredd Pete Travis
2011 The Woman Lucky McKee
2010 Machete Robert Rodriguez & Ethan Maniquis
2009 Dead Snow Tommy Wirkola
2008 Eden Lake James Watkins


  1. ^ Hokkanen, Melissa (28 March 2013). "Night Visions on mannaa elokuvafanaatikolle". (in Finnish). City Digital Oy. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Night Visions laajenee kolmipäiväiseksi". Turun Sanomat. TS-Yhtymä Oy. 27 May 2005. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  3. ^ Koppinen, Maija (24 January 2013). "Elokuvafestivaali Night Visions sai Helsingin kulttuuriteko -palkinnon". Helsingin Sanomat. Sanoma Media Oy. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  4. ^ Natri, Santtu (24 January 2013). "Night Visions palkittiin Helsingissä vuoden kulttuuritekona". YLE Uutiset. Yleisradio Oy. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Night Visions -festivaali kasvatti jälleen yleisöään". Night Visions - Yön Kuvat Ry. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Kevään Night Visions -festivaali yleisöennätykseen". (in Finnish). Night Visions - Yön Kuvat Ry. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  7. ^ Rautsi, Ilja (6 March 2005). "Night Visions - Back To Basics 2005". (in Finnish). Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  8. ^ Rautsi, Ilja (5 April 2006). "Night Visions - Back To Basics 2006". (in Finnish). Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  9. ^ Rautsi, Ilja (7 April 2007). "Night Visions - Back To Basics 2007". (in Finnish). Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  10. ^ Rautsi, Ilja; Piispanen, Tatu; Määttä, Sakari (10 April 2008). "Night Visions - Back to Basic 2008". (in Finnish). Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  11. ^ Rautsi, Ilja; Määttä, Sakari; Tapionsalo, Lasse (8 April 2009). "Night Visions - Back to Basics 2009". (in Finnish). Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  12. ^ Rautsi, Ilja (19 April 2010). "Night Visions - Back to Basics 2010". (in Finnish). Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  13. ^ Suni, Jetro (17 May 2011). "Night Visions - Back to Basics 2011". (in Finnish). Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  14. ^ Määttä, Sakari (4 May 2012). "Night Visions - Back to Basics 2012". (in Finnish). Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  15. ^ Ihalainen, Paavo; Määttä, Sakari; Helminen, Mika; Karinen, Kalle; Piispanen, Tatu; Tohka, Antti (27 June 2013). "Night Visions - Back to Basics 2013". (in Finnish). Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  16. ^ Ihalainen, Paavo; Määttä, Sakari; Meisalmi, Esa; Karinen, Kalle (22 April 2014). "Night Visions - Back to Basics 2014". (in Finnish). Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  17. ^ Rautsi, Ilja (24 October 2004). "Night Visions - Maximum Halloween 3004". (in Finnish). Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  18. ^ Rautsi, Ilja (1 November 2005). "Night Visions - Maximum Halloween 3005". (in Finnish). Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  19. ^ Rautsi, Ilja (2 November 2006). "Night Visions - Maximum Halloween 3006". (in Finnish). Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  20. ^ Rautsi, Ilja; Piispanen, Tatu; Määttä, Sakari (1 November 2007). "Night Visions - Maximum Halloween 3007". (in Finnish). Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  21. ^ Rautsi, Ilja; Piispanen, Tatu; Koivisto, Mikko (27 November 2008). "Night Visions - Maximum Halloween 3008". (in Finnish). Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  22. ^ Rautsi, Ilja (9 November 2009). "Night Visions - Maximum Halloween 3009". (in Finnish). Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  23. ^ Rautsi, Ilja (5 November 2010). "Night Visions - Maximum Halloween 3010". (in Finnish). Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  24. ^ Suni, Jetro; Piispanen, Tatu; Määttä, Sakari; Helminen, Mika; Karinen, Kalle; Meisalmi, Esa; Ihalainen, Paavo (11 November 2011). "Night Visions - Maximum Halloween 3011". (in Finnish). Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  25. ^ Ihalainen, Paavo (23 November 2012). "Night Visions - Maximum Halloween 3012". (in Finnish). Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  26. ^ Mannila, Annina (20 April 2002). "Elävän kuvan aatelia - Christopher Lee Suomessa". (in Finnish). Filmiverkko Ry. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  27. ^ "Kulttielokuva The Toxic Avengerin ohjaaja saapuu Helsinkiin". Metro Helsinki. Sanoma Media Oy. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  28. ^ O'Sullivan, James (October 2014). "Night Visions fill Helsinki cinemas". Finland Promotion Board. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  29. ^ "Nordic Genre Invasion and Night Visions Industry Afternoon in Helsinki Oct 30th". Nordic Council of Ministers. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  30. ^ Williams, Owen (5 November 2014). "Festival Report: Helsinki's NIGHT VISIONS 2014". Fangoria - The Brooklyn Company Ltd. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  31. ^ Zimmerman, Samuel (7 November 2013). ""JODOROWSKY'S DUNE" is Tops at Helsinki's Night Visions". Fangoria - The Brooklyn Company Ltd. Archived from the original on 20 July 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2014.

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