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PRODUCTION Finland

After three films without, it’s time for Finland's Ricky Rapper to find a father figure

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- The Finnish Film Foundation supports new features from Finnish directors Timo Koivusalo, Dome Karukoski, J-P Valkeapää and Sweden's Leif Lindblom

After three films without, it’s time for Finland's Ricky Rapper to find a father figure

After Finnish director Mari Rantasi has delivered three features about 10-year-old red-haired Ricky Rapper and his best friend, Nelly Noodlehead, from Sinikka and Tiina Nopola’s scripts from their own children’s fantasy book series, the baton goes passes to producer-director Timo Koivusalo, who will shortly start Ricky Rapper and Slick Leonard for Artista Filmi.

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After Ricky Rapper and Cool Wendy – last year’s most popular Finnish film on the local box office – Ricky (photo) is still living with his aunt Rose, who gets an idea which he instantly dislikes: they should find a man who could be a father figure to Ricky. Production budget is €1.3 million, the Finnish Film Foundation contributes €450,000, and the Walt Disney Company Nordic has scheduled the release for February 7, 2014.

The Foundation will also chip in €550,000 for Dome Karukoski’s Very Grumpy Old Men, a comedy about family relationships, written with author-cartoonist Tuomas Kyrö. A father-in-law hurts his leg and moves to the city to be taken care of by his daughter-in-law, while his son looks after his farm and his demented wife in a hospice. The Solar Films production, with broadcaster MTV, will cost a total of €1.4 million; Nordisk Film Finland will launch it in September 2014.

Set at a custody centre for youngsters who have problems with drugs, crime or violence, J-P Valkeapää’s €1.2 million drama, They Have Escaped, will receive €720,000. A young man serving civil service at the centre falls in love with one of the inmates, a manic girl with a lust for life that cannot be controlled. Aleksi Bardy will produce for Helsinki-filmi, and domestic premiere is scheduled for next year.

Finland’s MRP Matila Röhr Productions will collaborate with Sweden’s Eyeworks on Leif Lindblom’s Raspberry Boat Refugee, a €2.5 million project with €550,000 Foundation backing. Scripted by Erik Arnbom and Daniel Karlsson from Miika Nousiainen’s novel, it follows a Finn who feels Swedish and moves to Stockholm, assuming the identity of a Swede whom he thinks is dead. He isn’t. Nordisk Film Finland will release the Ilkka Matila production next January.

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