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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Finland

Unfazed by the present, the Finnish Film Foundation awards €6.5 million in production support

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- 20 new projects, including Juho Kuosmanen’s Compartment Number 6 and Zaida Bergroth’s Tove, have received production support in March

Unfazed by the present, the Finnish Film Foundation awards €6.5 million in production support
Clouds by Tuija Halttunen, which has been awarded €94,000 in support

Amid the current coronavirus scare, the Finnish Film Foundation has cemented its belief in a brighter future by granting production support to 20 projects – backing that amounts to almost €6.5 million. A total of €750,000 have gone to Juho Kuosmanen’s Compartment Number 6, currently shooting in Russia under the watchful eye of Aamu Film Company, following the international success of his debut feature, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile
]
. Furthermore, €850,000 went to Zaida Bergroth’s Tove, a biopic of Moomin creator Tove Jansson, produced by Helsinki-filmi and scheduled to premiere domestically in October.

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Cineuropa Survey 2020

Tove wasn’t the only title marking the presence of Helsinki-filmi, with Marja Pyykkö’s Wedding of the Century getting €484,999. This was followed by the features Love on the Spot, to be directed by Reetta Aalto and produced by Zodiak Finland (€650,000), a sequel to children’s favourite take on a gigantic guinea pig, Super Furball 2 (€714,200, Yellow Film & TV), and Friday by Alli Haapasalo (€712,000), staged under the banner of Citizen Jane Productions.

“It’s a film about three teenage girls on three consecutive Fridays and the transition phase in one’s life from a child to an adult. I guess I would define it as a story about feelings – and facing one’s feelings,” the director told Cineuropa. “Two of the girls fall in love for the first time, with each other, and the third is trying to feel some emotion when being intimate with a guy. These girls are all very fierce, strong, fragile and sensitive. They are real. This is a strongly feminist film for me, as it allows them to be exactly who they are. Which is a surprisingly difficult task, as I have learnt.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, testosterone injections will be administered by the third part of the hugely popular The Reunion [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
franchise (€640,000, Solar Films). Interestingly enough, it is to be helmed by Renny Harlin – a 1990s action wizard of Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger fame. Antti J Jokinen’s Omerta 6/12 (€800,000, Cinematic Productions) looks set to be just as fast-paced, with the director promising “a dynamic kidnapping story” despite being relatively new to the genre (see the interview).

The only series in the line-up, Akseli Tuomivaara’s Next of Kin – The Unborn (Bufo), received €110,000, while four minority co-productions were also backed – starting with another Bufo effort, Boy From Heaven, by Tarik Saleh, best known for The Nile Hilton Incident [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tarik Saleh
film profile
]
(€150,000), co-produced with France’s Memento Film and Morocco’s Kasbah Film. Two documentaries revolving around the world of sports were chosen as well: Line Hatland’s Kids Cup (€22,000), co-produced by Kinocompany and Norway’s Medieoperatørene AS, and Pystymetsä and Sagafilm’s (Iceland) Raise the Bar (€32,000) by Guðjón Ragnarsson, about a girls’ basketball team in Iceland.

Joining this pair, Elli Rintala’s Fragments of Humanity went away with €92,000 (Kinocompany), while Arthur Franck will follow up The Hypnotist [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
with The Spoils of Tamminiemi, again produced by Oskar Forstén for franckforstén (€132,000). Finally, The Light Snatcher by Charlotte Airas, produced by Kaarle Aho of Making Movies (€35,000), and Sorrow Tamers, directed and produced by Mina Laamo for Koko Production (€75,000), round off the slate, alongside Tuija Halttunen’s documentary Clouds, awarded a sum of €94,000 in support.

Clouds is the most important film I have ever had the possibility to be a part of,” producer Niina Virtanen, of Wacky Tie Films, shared with Cineuropa. “It raises questions on weather modification and ruling the atmosphere in a way I have never seen before in a documentary. Before this, I didn’t even know this sort of science existed. I can’t wait to share all of this with the audience!”

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