Another happy day for Olli Mäki in Helsinki
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Juho Kuosmanen’s feature debut won two prizes when the Finnish Film Producers’ Association awarded last year’s best achievements
Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen’s feature debut, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile], which won the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and is Finland’s candidate for an Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign-language Film category (read the news), collected two awards when the Finnish Film Producers’ Association yesterday (22 September) honoured last year’s best achievements in Finnish cinema.
Kuosmanen was named Best Director, and together with his cinematographer, J-P Passi, he received the Award for Achievement of the Year. Inspired by real-life events, the film tells the story of Mäki, who was the first Finn ever to fight for the World Championship in featherweight boxing – humiliatingly, he lost the match by a knock-out in the second round, yet he still thought it was the best day of his life.
Finnish producer Marko Röhr, of Helsinki’s MRP Matila Röhr Productions, won Producer of the Year for Tale of a Lake [+see also:
film profile], which he also directed as his first full-length documentary. Blending Finnish lakes, the nature surrounding them, running water and ancient Finnish mythology, the film has so far taken 168,000 admissions, to become Finland’s number-two documentary of all time.
Finnish director-cinematographer Pirjo Honkasalo became this year’s Honorary Member of the Film and Media Employees’ Union-Finland; having worked with Rauni Mollberg and Jörn Donner, she was the first Finnish female photographer to shoot a feature film. Her Flame Top (directed with Pekka Lehto in 1980) competed at Cannes, and her latest, Concrete Night [+see also:
film profile] (2013), won six Jussis, Finland’s national film prize.
The awards were presented as the Helsinki International Film Festival - Love & Anarchy concluded its seventh Finnish Film Week (and its fifth Finnish Film Affair) at the Astoria Ball Room in Helsinki.
Here is the full list of the winners of the 2016 Finnish film producers’ awards:
Director of the Year
Juho Kuosmanen – The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki
Screenwriter of the Year
Designer of the Year
Sankariliiga – League of Heroes Collective (Laura Haapakangas, Kari Kankaanpää, Laura Malinen, Suvi Matinaro, Petteri Mäkinen, Roosa Marttiini, Heikki Ulmanen)
Documentary Achievement of the Year
Honorary Member of the Film and Media Employees’ Union-Finland
Work Colleague of the Year
Petri Kiljunen (Camera assistant, Film and Media Employees’ Union-Finland)