Santa Claus and his evil brother celebrate Christmas in Finland
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
While Finnish director Antti Haikala’s feature debut, Santa’s Magic Crystal, with the real Santa Claus and his evil twin brother Basil is now touring the Finnish theatres, the Finnish Film Foundation has chipped in for Lithuanian director Marius Ivaškevičius’s Santa, a contemporary love story between a Lithuanian single mother and a Finnish actor playing Santa Claus in Rovaniemi’s Santa Park.
From an idea by Finnish writer-director-producer Mikael Wahlforss, Finland’s first fully-animated 3D stereoscopic production – The Moomins’ third dimension was added afterwards -Santa’s Magic Crystal is the story of Basil who plans to steal his brother’s magic crystal, which allows him to bring presents to children and happiness around the world.
The Epidem Zot feature produced with Belgium’s Skyline Entertainment S.A. and Araneo was brought to life by Finland’s largest animation studio, Anima Vitae (Niko – The Flight Before Christmas), adding a 26x26-minute comedy-adventure television series for children, with Italy’s Cartoon One. Finland’s Future Film Oy Ab handles domestic release, TF1 International world sales.
Produced by Lithuania’s Artbox, with Finland’s Cineworks LTD, Santa is set in 2010, when Lithuanian Inga and her son Vincas meet Finnish Jussi on a visit to the amusement park in northern Finland. He introduces them to the non-tourist side of Rovaniemi and Finland, they keep contact when she has left, and after six months she returns to live there with her son.
But Vincas suffers from leukaemie, Inga hopes to get support for his treatment, and Jussi is confused. Finnish actor Tommi Korpela, Lithuania’s Sandra Daukšaitė and Ovidijus Petrauskas play the leads in Ivaškevičius’s first feature, which he also scripted.
Finnish public broadcaster YLE Teema Co-Productions is participating in the project - the Finnish Film Foundation has also subsidised Swedish director Fredrik Edfeldt’s To Tabbas, a father-daughter drama from Sweden’s Bob Film Sweden ABwith Finland’s Helsinki Filmi Oy, and Norwegian-Finnish director Eirik Svensson’s Must Have Been Love, from Norway’s 4½ Fiksjon, with Finland’s Kinotar Oy.