Helsinki Acts

Ijäs Jan

During the Cold War, from 1967 to 1997, Helsinki served as a stand-in for various Russian/Soviet cities in a total of nine American feature films, mainly spy thrillers. Helsinki was chosen as the location as it would not have been possible to shoot the film inside the Soviet Union and Helsinki could easily be “dressed up” to look unmistakeably like its eastern neighbour. It would not be an exaggeration to credit Helsinki as a “character actor”. Every location used in these productions, including sites featured in individual still images, were identified by the Helsinki Acts team and re-shot in the original 35mm film format. The nine acts of the film are named after the films they are related to.

Production Year
Original Title
Helsinki Acts
English Title

Helsinki Acts

Jan Ijäs (Author), Jan Ijäs (Cinematographer), Pietari Peltola (Cinematographer), Ville Piippo (Cinematographer), Matti Ahopelto (Composer), Jan Ijäs (Script), AVEK - The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture (Funder), Svante Colérus (Sound Design), Jan Ijäs (Sound Design)
Press Photos

Jan Ijäs

Born: 1975

Media artist and film director Jan Ijäs (b. 1975) studied documentary film making at the Department of Film, Television and Scenography at the Aalto University in Helsinki. His work can be described as a blend of avant garde, experimental media art and documentary film making. His films have been screened at more than 200 Finnish and international film festivals and as installations in museums and art galleries. He has won numerous awards, including the Finnish Risto Jarva Prize in 2011 for SWEET MOV(I)E, Raft of the Médusa, film about immigration won Amnesty International Award 2018 at the IndieLisboa film festival in Portugal.