Olli Mäki puts up a fight for the Oscar
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Juho Kuosmanen’s feature debut, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, has been selected as Finland’s candidate for an Academy Award nomination
Launched this year in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes International Film Festival, where it won the top prize, Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen’s feature debut, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile], was yesterday (5 September) selected as Finland’s official candidate for the Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-language Film.
The film, which will next be shown internationally in the Discovery section of the Toronto International Film Festival (8-18 September), was released domestically last week (2 September) by B-Plan Distribution. The international sales are handled by France’s Les Films du Losange, which has already licensed US distribution to MUBI.
Scripted by Mikko Myllylahti and Kuosmanen, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is inspired by real-life events – it tells the story of Mäki, the first Finn ever to fight for the world championship in featherweight boxing. Mäki humiliatingly lost the match by a knock-out in the second round, in front of a packed stadium; yet he thought it was the best day of his life.
Starring Jarkko Lahti with Oona Airola and Eero Milonoff, the film was produced by Jussi Rantamäki, for Aamu Film Company. “Full of personality, it is a testament to the cinematic convictions and gifted workmanship of its makers – a Finnish true story lifted to a universal level,” said the Finnish Oscar Committee.
Finland has not yet won the Oscar for Best Foreign-language Film, but was nominated with Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki’s The Man Without a Past [+see also:
film profile], in 2003. The US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will publish the nominations on 24 January 2017, and the awards ceremony will take place on 26 February.
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