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Concrete Night awarded for Best Director, Best Producers


- Pirjo Honkasalo and producers Mark Lwoff and Misha Jaari received top prizes as the fourth Finnish Film Week drew to a close in Helsinki

Concrete Night awarded for Best Director, Best Producers
Concrete Night by Pirjo Honkasalo

Finnish director Pirjo Honkasalo’s return to fiction after 15 years of documentaries, Concrete Night [+see also:
festival scope
film profile
, won both her and her producers, Mark Lwoff and Misha Jaari, top prizes, when the fourth Finnish Film Week during the Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy celebrated local filmmakers last night (25 September). 

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After a showcase including both previews of new films and releases from the last year at Helsinki’s Kinopalatsi, Bio Rex and Andorra, eight Finnish film-industry organisations staged their annual awards ceremony at the Dubrovnik Restaurant, hosted by Finnish actress Mari Rantasila.

Honkasalo, whose Concrete Night was launched in the Masters section at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, went on to win six Jussis – Finland’s national film prize – and be selected as the country’s candidate for the Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-language Film. “She is an artist who has followed her own path throughout her career – her movie is a vital masterpiece, a pure film from the master of Finnish cinema,” said her colleagues in the Association of Finnish Film Directors.

Producers Lwoff and Jaari were praised for “their exceptional, internationally acknowledged arthouse film that carefully follows the story with the emphasis on cinematography and quality” by the Central Organisation of Finnish Film Producers. Finnish director Tuukka Temonen was honoured for her film The Campaign – The Making of a President and for “showing great dedication as a director and a private person during and especially after the filmmaking process” by the Documentary Guild. 

The awards list also included:

Actress of the Year: Anu Sinisalo, for her role in No Thank You – “Her bright, glowing personality, which, combined with her great professional skills, enabled her to make an annoying character believable and touching.” (Union of Finnish Actors)

Screenwriter of the Year: Kirsikka Saari – “The brightest star this year, whose debut feature film, Korso, was a critical success and whose Oscar nomination for her short film Do I Have to Take Care of Everything? was a great achievement.” (Finnish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild)

Cinematographer of the Year: Pertti Mutanen (the Light of the Year Award from the Finnish Society of Cinematographers) 

Designer of the Year: Marjatta Nissinen (Theatre, Film and Television Designers)

Colleague of the Year: cinematographer Sari Aaltonen – “A fair and honest colleague, as well as a solid professional, with a great sense of humour, who is capable of managing every situation.” (Finnish Film and Media Professionals)


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