New Aki Kaurismäki feature supported by the Finnish Film Foundation
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- The FFF is supporting four new Finnish features, including The Other Side of Hope, which Kaurismäki has written, and will direct and produce for his own Sputnik production shingle
Veteran Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, whose latest feature, Le Havre [+see also:
interview: Aki Kaurismäki
film profile], was a Palme d’Or contender at Cannes in 2011, is preparing a new feature, The Other Side of Hope [+see also:
film profile] (read news), which has received €750,000 in production funding from the Finnish Film Foundation.
The movie has been scripted and is being produced by Kaurismäki, for his own Sputnik production shingle, with Finnish pubcaster YLE and distributor B-Plan Distribution. “Unfortunately, we do not yet have any further information about the film to announce now,” said B-Plan’s Helena Mielonen. The Other Side of Hope will be marketed internationally by Germany’s The Match Factory. Local release is set for spring 2017.
Le Havre, which Kaurismäki premiered at Cannes, won the international critics’ FIPRESCI Prize and the Palm Dog Award (for Laika), and it went on to collect 15 local and international awards, among them six Jussis, including for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Script (all Kaurismäki) and Best Cinematography (Timo Salminen).
The Finnish Film Foundation has also supported three other upcoming features, including Samuli Valkama’s My Best Summer Job Ever (with €750,000), Visa Koiso-Kanttila’s Star Boys (€700,000) and Hannaleena Hauru’s Thick Lashes of Lauri Mäntyvaara (€650,000).
From a script by Khadar Ahmed, Valkama’s My Best Summer Job Ever – his third feature – tells the story of Lasse, an old racist who has ended up living in an apartment block in suburbia filled with refugees and immigrants. One of them is Kamal, a 16-year-old boy who is fed up with his life in Finland, and dreams of moving to Nairobi to live with his father. Markus Selin and Jukka Helle will produce the film for Solar Films, and Nordisk Film will handle the local release.
Cinematographer and documentary director Koiso-Kanttila’s first feature, Star Boys, describes what happens when a sexual revolution arrives in a conservative and religious small town in northern Finland. The director’s script shows, through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy, how the choices of adults can affect children. The film is being produced by Mika Ritalahti and Niko Ritalahti for Silva Mysterium, with Dragon Films.
Also a feature debut, Hauru’s Thick Lashes of Lauri Mäntyvaara will be staged by Jussi Rantamäki for Elokuvayhtiö Aamu. The film is set in the Finnish ice-hockey milieu, where Satu promises to get a new, strong player called Lauri for her friend, Heidi. But it is not easy, even in a picturesque Finnish archipelago.