Saara Saarela’s Memory of Water now filming in Estonia
- The dystopian drama is based on Emmi Itäranta’s 2014 novel of the same name
Finnish director Saara Saarela is currently working on a new project, a dystopian drama entitled Memory of Water based on Emmi Itäranta’s 2014 novel of the same name. The Helsinki-born helmer kicked off her career in film in the late 1990s and her latest feature was Finnish-Swedish drama Twisted Roots [+see also:
film profile] (2009), starring Milka Ahlroth in the lead role.
Saarela’s new project, penned by Ilja Rautsi, focuses on a young woman who finds the courage to start a battle over fresh water in the Scandinavian Union, a land dried up by environmental disasters and controlled by a harsh military government. The main cast includes actors Saga Sarkola (Maria’s Paradise [+see also:
interview: Zaida Bergroth
film profile]), Mimosa Willamo (Aurora [+see also:
interview: Miia Tervo
film profile]), Pekka Strang (Dogs Don’t Wear Pants [+see also:
interview: J-P Valkeapää
film profile]), and Lauri Tilkanen (Ladies of Steel [+see also:
interview: Pamela Tola
film profile]). The film entered production at the end of July since filming was delayed by three months due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Bufo’s producer Mark Lwoff provided Cineuropa with an update on the film’s production status: “We are now halfway through the main shooting period in Estonia. Everything is going as planned, and I’m very excited about how the film is going to look! The whole team is very pleased with the results so far and the long working days are really paying off. I also feel like we are truly making something unique. Here we have an adventurous tale of a heroine wanting to save the world, together with an important and topical social message, taking place in a distant and dystopian future. So it really is a mix of several fascinating things that aren't normally seen together in cinema.”
Memory of Water is being produced by Finland’s Bufo and co-produced by Germany’s Pandora, Norway’s Mer Film and Estonia’s Allfilm. The project was backed by Finnish pubcaster YLE, the Finnish Film Foundation, Creative Europe, the Nordisk Film and TV Fund and NRW. The film is set to premiere in 2021. Its Finnish distribution will be handled by B-Plan.
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