Atso Pärnänen readying Reindeer in the Mist
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- The Finnish director’s new feature, currently in post-production, “has the same western element as In Clear Sight” but shifts from East Germany to Northern Finland
“This time, I am also in front of the camera – I would call it a practical solution: it means we need one snowmobile less to get us to the location,” said Finnish writer-director-producer, and now actor, Atso Pärnänen, who is currently in post-production with his second feature, Reindeer in the Mist, following his microbudget, one-hour-and-one-minute debut, In Clear Sight [+see also:
Set during the Cold War in the 1980s, his first film follows two American soldiers in East Germany who are keeping an eye on enemy exercises. They meet a local woman who wants to defect to the West, and then have to choose between their mission and trying to help her.
In Reindeer in the Mist, also scripted by Pärnänen, after a mission being carried out by three intelligence operatives goes awry, they find themselves in the wilderness of the Arctic and must sort it all out – there are reputations to be cleaned and truths to be uncovered. “In a way, it has the same western element, but instead of horses we’ve got loads of reindeer,” Pärnänen explained.
The film was shot by Mika Vartiainen last winter in Lapland, reuniting some of the cast and crew from In Clear Sight. “Last time, it was during a hot summer, with tanks and military vehicles – this time, it was freezing cold, and we had to use snowmobiles to get to the locations.”
British and US actors Matthew Marsh, Todd Boyce, Natasha Staples and Louise Williams are joined by local talent Pekka Puolakka and the director himself in the Pärnänen-Puolakka production for Helsinki’s Action Learning, which also owns the distribution rights. Reindeer in the Mist will be premiered in the autumn.