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PRODUCTION Finland

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Dome Karukoski prepares two new features

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Up-and-coming Finnish filmmaker Dome Karukoski is getting ready for two new feature films, to be produced respectively by Solar Films and Helsinki Filmi.

Twenty-eight year-old Karukoski (son of famous US actor George Dickerson) had a successful start in feature filmmaking with Beauty and the Bastard [+see also:
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, winner of several international awards (including Norway’s Amanda Award for Best Feature Debut in 2006) and the fourth most successful Finnish film at the local box office this year (133,000 admissions). The film will soon open in Norway through Action Films.

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The director – who cites Scorsese, Fellini and Sergio Leone as his role models – says he is interested in making "films with emotions that get to skin level".

His second feature film, slated to start shooting in February 2007, will be based on Finnish writer Leena Lander’s best selling novel The House of the Dark Butterflies. Set in Finland in the 1960-70s, the film is a coming-of-age story about a teenage boy who ends up in a boy’s home on an island. There, he finds a new father in the director of the institution and a new home.

"Although the lead character is a teenager, the film will have a very dark tone and will be aiming at an adult audience", he told Cineuropa. The film is being produced by leading Finnish production house Solar Films.

Karukoski will then direct Children of God, based on an original script by Aleksi Bardy, who is also producing for Helsinki Filmi. The film, set in a religious sect in the Apostolic Lutheran town in northern Finland, is about "the suppression of feelings and freedom of choice", says the director. "I want to make it a movie in which tragicomic moments instil in the audience mixed feelings, to make them laugh at situations that may be serious or realistic".

Both Karukoski and his producer were at Baltic Event in Tallinn to close the financing on the €1.5m project, which will go into production late 2007. According to Bardy, a Swedish producer is now involved in the project, which will be backed by the Finnish Film Foundation and a local broadcaster.

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