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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Finland

Almost €2.5 million worth of production support given out by the Finnish Film Foundation

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- The funding body has decided to support 13 new projects, including Iiris Härmä’s documentary Guardians of Creation and Anna Paavilainen's feature debut, Kikka!

Almost €2.5 million worth of production support given out by the Finnish Film Foundation
Guardians of Creation by Iiris Härmä, which has received €140,000 in funding

The board of the Finnish Film Foundation granted production support to 13 new productions in October, with the total sum amounting to €2,457,000. Two of the projects are feature films, five are documentaries (including one minority co-production), three short films and three series.

The two feature films are debut features for their directors. The children’s flick The Hullabaloos!, developed at the Cinekid Script Lab, will be directed by Reetta Huhtanen, who recently scooped a Jussi Award for her documentary Gods of Molenbeek [+see also:
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(see the news). Produced by TACK Films, it received €700,000. Another Jussi winner, Anna Paavilainen, whose Two Bodies on a Beach was named Best Short, will be working on Kikka! – the biopic of a local 1990s pop star, produced by Komeetta and now granted €800,000.

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Among the short films, Elli Vuorinen's animation Flower Show and Risto-Pekka Blom's The Human Torch got some attention, as did Kuinka käänsin Rabobeston kylkiasentoon by Mari Mantela, Captured by Hanna Haaslahti and, finally, Kansanradio by Virpi Suutari, recently celebrated for Aalto [+see also:
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. The minority co-production The First 53 Years by Avi Mograbi – produced by Citizen Jane Productions' Elina Pohjola and Leila Lyytikäinen on the Finnish side – received €30,000. 24Images (France) is the other producer involved in the project. Another documentary, Two Forests by Jan Ijäs (produced by Atalante), got €27,000, while Guardians of Creation, directed by Iiris Härmä, was supported to the tune of €140,000.

“The film takes place in Turkana, Kenya, in the place called the Cradle of Humankind,” Guardians of Creation's producer Visa Koiso-Kanttila, of Guerilla Films, told Cineuropa. “There, among the sand and the thorny bushes, lives the nomadic Daasanach tribe. The Spanish ethno-ecologist Álvaro Fernandez-Llamazares arrives among them in order to study the relationship between humans and nature. The key words for the film are the extinction of wildlife, climate change, indigenous people, science, humour, friendship and storytelling,” he added.

Finally, three series got the nod as well, starting with the children’s animation Best & Bester, directed by Joonas Utti and produced by Gigglebug Entertainment (€340,000). Petri Kotwica will helm Freezing Embrace, a Solar Films title given €150,000, while Longing by Anna Blom and Ville Tanttu (a ja media production) was given €45,000.

“Humans strive to feel genuine intimacy with other humans, but often fail. A lot of agony and violence spring forth from these failures. Longing poses questions about vulnerability and emotional risk-taking,” said Blom. “The worst human punishment is to be isolated: we are constantly longing for connection. The male coming-of-age tale shows vulnerable and sensitive manhood. The main female character is middle-aged, and yet filled with love, lust and willpower. We want to challenge the spectrum of the stories we tell.”

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