The oldest player in the National Hockey League, Selanne still scores
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Finnish director Jukka-Pekka Silli’s documentary The Finnish Flash – A Teemu Selanne Story opens second only to Disney’s Planes, breaking box office records
Finnish director Jukka-Pekka Siili’s The Finnish Flash – A Teemu Selanne Story [+see also:
film profile] – the biopic of Finland’s most famous ice hockey player – was launched last Friday (September 27) to the best weekend opening for a documentary so far: including previews, it took more than 25,000 admissions; on the charts it was only second to Disney’s Planes. The best result until now had been US director Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, which reached 8,249 in 2004.
Last year Finnish directors Ville Suhonen and Kim Saarniluoto’s Tale of a Forest became the first Finnish documentary to sell more than 80,000 tickets, but the opening figures indicate they might be exceeded by the portrait of Selanne by Siili, whose features include a western, Once Upon a Time on the North (2012) and the film about Finnish rock band Hurriganes, Ganes [+see also:
film profile] (2007).
Produced by Marko Talli, with Olli Haikka and Jarkko Hentula, for Yellow Film & TV, his first (€480,000) documentary follows Selanne, who was Winnipeg's first choice for the 1988 Entry Draft, but he preferred to stay with Finland’s Jokerit, which won the national Championship. Selanne signed with the Jets in 1992, and broke the National Hockey League’ rookie record (still unbeaten) with 76 goals. At 43, with Anaheim Ducks, he is the oldest player in the league.
“Finland is one of the few countries where ice hockey is better liked than football, and Selanne, his wife and their four children are extremely popular. We are accustomed to top sportsmen like Zlatan, Tyson – Selanne is totally different, and the film contains a lot of facts about his life so far unknown to the general audience,” explained producerHentula. The Finnish Flash (right wing Selanne’s nickname) was released domestically by SF Finland.
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