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Aki Kaurismäki back after five years with Refugee


- The Finnish director will film the next part of his port-cities trilogy, which started with Le Havre in 2011

Aki Kaurismäki back after five years with Refugee
Director Aki Kaurismäki

Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, whose most recent feature was Le Havre [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Aki Kaurismäki
film profile
(2011), which garnered him 15 national and international awards, announced then that it would be the beginning of a trilogy focusing on port cities. Now he is ready with part two: Refugee (working title). 

A contender for the Palme d’Or at Cannes, where it won the international film critics’ FIPRESCI Prize (and the Palm Dog), Le Havre cleaned up at the Jussi Awards – the Finnish national film prize – where it picked up six statuettes, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Script.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)Cine Iberoamericano Int

While Le Havre follows a shoeshiner who tries to save a refugee child, Refugee will focus on the current migrant crisis, which has also hit Finland: “The situation in Tornio – a border town in north-eastern Finland – roused something in me. I developed the project just last week,” Kaurismäki said in an interview with the TV-Maailma weekly. 

In the film, a group of refugees arrive in Finland. The lead character, a young refugee, will be played by a Syrian or Iraqi actor. A Kaurismäki regular, Finnish actor Sakari Kuosmanen (The Man Without a Past [+see also:
film profile
), will play a former travelling salesman who has become a poker player and now a restaurateur.

According to Finnish Film & Audiovisual Export, Refugee will shoot in the autumn of 2016, with a 2017 release on the cards. Kaurismäki has previously made the “Loser Trilogy” (comprising Drifting Clouds, The Man Without a Past and Lights in the Dusk [+see also:
film profile
). He has also received Finland’s so-far only nomination for the Oscar for Best Foreign-language Film (with The Man Without a Past).

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