Coincidence is the fourth character in Simo Halinen’s East of Sweden
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Finnish producer Liisa Penttilä-Asikainen of Kaiho Republic is bringing the new thriller drama to life, with Laura Birn, David Nzinga and Samuel Vauramo in the leading roles
There were 12 years between Finnish author/director/actor Simo Halinen’s two most recent films, Cyclomania (2001) and Open Up to Me [+see also:
film profile] (2013), which received Finland’s national Jussi film prize. Now he has completed principal photography in northern Finland for East of Sweden, a new Finnish-Swedish co-production produced by Liisa Penttilä-Asikainen of Kaiho Republic in collaboration with Zentropa Sweden.
“Here, Halinen surprises again with a new style; the script got really strong feedback and strengthened our faith in its international potential,” said Penttilä-Asikainen of the thriller drama, scripted by Halinen for a Finnish cast led by Laura Birn, David Nzinga and Samuel Vauramo.
Dominick (Nzinga), trying to evade the authorities, and Jere (Vauramo), a single father who runs a gym, are both involved in the disappearance of Vera’s (Birn) husband. After an unlucky train journey, they end up in a game that turns into a fight for survival — “and the fourth character is coincidence: good intentions and bad luck meet in an uncontrollable way,” according to the Finnish Film Foundation.
“The script is amazing,” added Birn, a Jussi winner for her performance in Finnish director Antti Jokinen’s Purge [+see also:
film profile] (2012), who has also just finished filming Kyzza Terraza’s Bayoneta, a co-production between Mexico and Finland. “The story is seen through the eyes of these three people who are all running away from something or struggling to get somewhere.”
“East of Sweden is a thriller drama closely connected to events of our time, portraying a Nordic town in a visual and intriguing way. In addition, the actors and the genre lead me to believe it will attract as much attention as Halinen’s Open Up to Me,” Penttilä-Asikainen concluded. Finland’s B-Plan Distribution will handle the local release, while Swedish-Finnish company The Yellow Affair is in charge of international sales.
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