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Saara Cantell: Three women in the same family house – 1942, 1978 and today


Finnish director Saara Cantell, who most recently directed Heartbeats [+see also:
film profile
, has received almost a third of the Finnish Film Foundation’s latest package of production funding for her new feature, Stars Above.

Cantell’s original story follows three women from the same family who spend autumn in the same old country house, in 1942, 1978 and today. They are aged between 30-40, and their lives are at a crossroads.

Pystymetsä Productions had €530,000 of its €1.2 million covered for the film, which is backed by Finnish state broadcaster YLE and will shoot from August. Nordisk Film will handle local distribution.

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From the €1.8 foundation grant, €370,000 went to Finnish veteran director Mika Kaurismäki, who depicts the relationship between a father and son who have lost touch with each other in Road to North.

However, on a journey through Finland they become close again, in Sami Keski-Vähälä and Kaurismäki’s script, which is produced by the director’s own Marianna Films with Nelonen TV. FS Film will be releasing the film in spring 2012.

Finnish leading producer Markus Selin’s Solar Films cashed in €400,000 for the film musical, Nightwish–Imaginarium, a €2.6 million production directed by Stobe Harju, to the score by Nightwish. On his deathbed, an old man glimpses his childhood dreams - the movie will open in spring 2012 through Nordisk Film.

Finnish director Maarit Lalli is set to direct her first feature, Almost 18, about a group of youngsters realising that ”this was the last year when everything was fucked up – after all, life is still worth living.” Penned by Henrik Mäki-Tanila and Lalli, the film will shoot for Huh Huh-Filmi, which is to be launched by Nordisk Film.

The foundation has also supported Finnish director Teemu Nikki’s feature debut, 3 Simos, from It’s Alive Productions, as well as two co-productions, Swedish director Mikael Marcimain’s political thriller, Call Girl, from Yellow Film & TV and Portugese director Rodrigo Areias’s Hay Road, from Oktober Productions.

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