Finnish top politicians in demand for new features, dead or alive
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
11/06/2012 - Finnish directors Saara Cantell's romantic comedy, The Only Ones, in which the Finnish prime minister plays an important part, and Marja Pyykkö’s Kekkonen, named after the late Finnish president, are among four new local features that the Finnish Film Foundation has backed with €2 million production funding.
Scripted by Outi Keskevaari, The Only Ones by Cantell (pictured) is a romantic comedy about a woman who finally finds the 'Only One' – but when he disappears, the second 'Only One' turns up, and he happens to be the prime minister of Finland. Jarkko Hentula will produce the €1.5 million romantic comedy for Yellow Film & TV - Filmiteollisuus Fine; production will start in September, and Nordisk Film AB Finland will handle local distribution.
Based on Pia Pesonen’s novel, adapted by Elias Koskimies, Kekkonen follows legendary President Urho Kaleva Kekkonen, who is scheduled to stop over at Ali’s Bar in a little town on his way to northern Finland; he is blindly worshipped, and the closer his visit gets, the more envy, competition and dirty tricks come to surface in the small community. The Solar Films Inc. Oy production will be released in the autumn 2013 by Nordisk Film AB.
After performing in 67 films and winning three national film prizes, Finnish actor Peter Franzén will work both before and behind the camera in his next feature, Above Dark Waters. The story of a seven-year-old boy living in a small town in northern Finland is adapted from his own novel, and he will both direct and star in the Markus Selin and Jukka Helle production for Solar Films, which will shoot from August and be launched by Nordisk.
Finnish director Jarmo Lampela’s Conversations Between Men follows an author who after eight satirical novels starts writing a book about an Espoo city traffic worker, a 36-year-old Croat, who is one day arrested and charged with war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. Already in production for Vegetarian Film, the film will open in the autumn through Pirkanmaa Film Centre.
The Finnish Film Foundation also chipped in for two Finnish minority co-productions, Norwegian director Erik Skjoldbjærg’s Pioneer, from Friland, co-produced by Finland’s MRP - Matila Röhr Productions, and Swedish director Walter Söderlund’s Detective Office LassaMaja – The Seven Wonders, from Svensk Filmindustri AB, co-produced by Finland’s Kinoproduction Oy.