Return of the Moomins, now in search of adventure on the Riviera
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Finnish Film Foundation supports new feature set in the universe of Finnish-Swedish writer-artist and comic strip author Tove Jansson
Finnish-Swedish writer-artist and comic strip author Tove Jansson’s books about the Moomins, written between 1945-1970, have been published in 33 languages to make her No 3 on the list of the most widely-translated Finnish writers. They have fed films and television series since 1969, built her a museum (in Tampere) and a theme park, Moomin World (in Naantali).
The books were originally written in Swedish, but the two latest fully-animated features, Maria Lindberg’s Moomins and Midsummer Madness (2010) and Moomins and the Comet Chase [+see also:
film profile] (2008), have both been produced in Finland. Now the Finnish Film Foundation has chipped in €700,000 million for French director Xavier Picard and Finnish director/producer Hanna Hemilä’s Moomins on the Riviera, a €3.5 million Handle Productions project which will premiere on October 10, 2014, through Nordisk Film.
In the script by Leslie Stewart, Annina Enckell, Hanna Hemilä and Picard, based on Moomin - The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip, the unity of the Moomins is threatened for the very first time. In search of adventure, theyhave sailed their old boat to the Riviera; Snorkmaiden is dazzled by the attention of a Playboy, Moomin pappa befriends an aristocrat and adopts the name of ‘de Moomin’, so Moominmamma retires to her cabin waiting for the family to come to their senses.
Finnish director Aleksi Mäkelä will direct Kummeli – Towards the Day of Doom, another return: the Kummeli Comedy Group, originally performing on Finnish television in the 1990s, when they made two features,relaunched at the turn of the millennium to shoot another two. Timo Kahilainen, Heikki Vihinen and Heikki Silvennoinen have penned the new outing, which Markus Selin will produce for Nummelafilmi, for Nordisk Film to release in July-August. The Finnish Film Foundation has chipped in €450,000 to the €1.6 million budget.
Finally the foundation has contributed €410,000 to Ella and Friends 2,the €1.2 million sequel of the first family film from Finnish author Timo Parvela's best-seller, which has hardly left the cinemas. Finnish director-producer Juha Wuolijoki will start production for Snapper Films next month (June), and the film will reach the local theatres in December, also through Snapper.
Photo: Tove Jansson