2015 The President's Ball
“Helping people would be easier if there were no people.”

The national Finnish dream is to get to attend the President’s Independence Day reception – and so it is for Hannu as well. Every year, he sits down before his TV, wearing his best, to wait for the handshaking ceremony. And every year, he hopes to be invited to the party with his partner, Maria, until…

After the Independence Day of 2016, Hannu is met with a year of misfortunes: Maria leaves him, his home is put up for sale and he is out of work. When he staggers on the edge of a stone house’s berry-red roof, he meets Mikko, a personal trainer. When Mikko asks Hannu about the meaning of life, and the greatest dream in Hannu’s life, the answer is on the tip of his tongue.
Hannu and Mikko start to act to fulfil the goal. Mikko leads and Hannu cries. Finland’s hundredth birthday advances, and restlessness on the streets grows, Mikko’s demands grow, and Maria wonders about the changed Hannu. What is going on? Who is leading who?

Roope Lipasti’s (b. 1970) hilarious and absurd tragicomedy about the middle-aged and middle-class Hannu examines the complications of life with an open heart, but with a shaking head. If the basic pillars of life come crashing down one by one, it is not irrelevant who is by your side.

Finland, Atena