July 26, 2018, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


The European Parliament LUX FILM PRIZE and Outside the Box [Office]
invite you and a guest to attend a special screening of

The Other Side of Hope

Written and Directed by Aki Kaurismäki

7:00 P.M. on Thursday, July 26th, 2018

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


Followed by a Panel Discussion, "Migration, Europe and the United States - Common Values, Common Challenges"


  • Suvi Aherto, Consulate General of Finland in L.A.

  • Niels Frenzen, USC Gould School of Law

  • Carolina Sheinfeld,  Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

  • Antoine Ripoll, Director of the European Parliament Office in Washington, D.C. (Panel Moderator)


About The Other Side of Hope

This wry, melancholic comedy from Aki Kaurismäki, a clear-eyed response to the current refugee crisis, follows two people searching for a place to call home. Displaced Syrian Khaled (Sherwan Haji) lands in Helsinki as a stowaway; meanwhile, middle-aged salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) leaves behind his wife and job and buys a conspicuously unprofitable seafood restaurant. After Khaled is denied asylum, he decides not to return to Aleppo—and the paths of the two men cross fortuitously. As deadpan as the best of the director’s work, and with a deep well of empathy for its down-but-not-out characters (many of them played by members of Kaurismäki's ever-reliable stock company), The Other Side of Hope is a bittersweet tale of human kindness in the face of official indifference.

Not rated. Running time: 100 minutes. In Finnish, English, and Arabic with English subtitles.

Official Selection: 2017 Berlin International Film Festival; 2017 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival; 2017 Toronto International Film Festival; 2017 AFI Fest.

WINNER: Silver Berlin Bear, Best Director - 2017 Berlin International Film Festival; FIPRESCI Film of the Year - 2017 San Sebastián International Film Festival.

Visit the Official Website:


Director's Note

With this film, I try my best to shatter the European way of only seeing refugees either as pitiful victims or as arrogant economic immigrants invading our societies to steal our jobs, our wives, our homes, and our cars. In European history, the creation and enforcement of stereotypical prejudices carry a sinister echo. I freely admit that The Other Side of Hope is, to a certain degree, a so-called “tendency” film, unscrupulously attempting to influence the opinions of its viewers while trying to manipulate their emotions in order to reach that goal.

Because these efforts will naturally fail, what will remain is, I hope, an upright and slightly melancholy story carried along by humor, but in other ways an almost realistic film about certain human destinies here in this world today.

—Aki Kaurismäki

About the Panelists

SUVI AHERTO, Consulate General of Finland in Los Angeles

Suvi Aherto has served as Spokesperson for Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Finland. She has also been Special Adviser to Minister for Foreign Trade and Development as well as to Minister for Social Affairs and Health of Finland. Currently she serves as a Trade Commissioner in Finnish Foreign Service in the United States.

Aherto's background is in civil service and high-level communications. She has published a book together with a senior researcher and plenty of articles, mainly concerning international cooperation. She holds a Master's degree from the University of Helsinki. Aherto speaks Finnish, English, Swedish, French and a bit of German. Born in Sodankylä, Finnish Lapland under the Northern Lights, she now lives and works in Los Angeles.

NIELS FRENZEN, USC Gould School of Law

Niels Frenzen is the Sydney M. and Audrey M. Irmas Endowed Clinical Professor of Law at USC Gould School of Law where he teaches immigration and refugee law and is the director of the USC Gould Immigration Clinic. He has been teaching at USC since 2000 and practicing law since 1985. Frenzen writes and blogs about irregular maritime migration from Africa to Europe.

Prior to joining the USC faculty, Frenzen practiced with non-profit law offices in Los Angeles and Miami where he represented Haitian boat people, Central Americans, and other asylum seekers. He has litigated cases regarding immigration detention centers, the US Coast Guard’s migrant interdiction operations, the use of Guantanamo as a migrant detention facility, and immigration court national security cases. He is admitted to the bars of California, Florida, Iowa, and is a member of the Law Society of England and Wales.

CAROLINA SHEINFELD, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Carolina has been with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles since 2003, first as an International Human Rights Analyst and most recently as the Project Coordinator for LAFLA's Torture Survivors Project. Her program provides legal services and case management to refugees and asylum seekers facilitating the integration process of vulnerable immigrant groups. Most recently, her work has focused on newcomer populations, including new asylees and unaccompanied minors. She developed a professional network for legal and social providers called The Asylum Collaborative of Los Angeles and was appointed to the State Advisory Council for Refugee Assistance and Services of California’s Refugee Programs Bureau. Since 2016, she serves as Chair of the Refugee Forum of Los Angeles.

Carolina holds a Master of Public Diplomacy from USC’s Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism. She’s also an alumna of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, the Rotary World Peace Fellowship and Cultural Vista’s Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange Program.

ANTOINE RIPOLL, Director of the European Parliament Office in Washington, D.C. (Panel Moderator)

Antoine Ripoll has been serving as Director of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Washington DC since November 2012. Antoine devoted his professional career to the European Union. Civil servant at the European Commission (the EU Executive) from 1986 to 1988, he then moved to the European Parliament where he covered various positions in media and communications and in parliamentary committees (environment, transport, foreign affairs, trade, economic affairs).

Antoine was closely involved in the preparation of the enlargement of the EU to Central and Eastern European countries. From 2007 to July 2012, he served as Chief of Staff and Spokesperson of the Leader of the largest Parliamentary Group (European People's Party, Centre-Right). Antoine holds a Master in Public and European Law from Paris - Panthéon Sorbonne University.

About the European Parliament LUX FILM PRIZE

Every year since 2007, the European Parliament LUX FILM PRIZE has shone a spotlight on films that go to the heart of European public debate. The European Parliament believes that cinema, as a mass cultural medium, is an ideal platform for debate and reflection on Europe and its future.

The films selected for the LUX FILM PRIZE competition raise awareness about some of today’s main social and political issues and, as a result, help to build a stronger European identity. By illustrating the diversity of European traditions and shedding light on the process of European integration, they help celebrate the universal reach of European values.

The LUX FILM PRIZE has become an indicator of quality in backing European film productions. Its winning films have become hits within the EU and beyond, helping to publicize films that otherwise may not have been seen or discovered by many people and highlighting urgent issues.

When the European Parliament created the LUX FILM PRIZE, it decided to focus on distribution because it believes that this is the ‘Achilles heel’ of European cinema. Unlike the largely unified North American market, the film industry in European countries faces huge organizational and economic difficulties, which are rendered even more difficult by language barriers.

Learn more about the LUX FILM PRIZE at:

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here

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Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $12.00 at the USC Royal Street Entrance, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & Royal Street. We recommend the USC Royal Street Structure, at the far end of 34th Street. Limited street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago