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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Finland

Nineteen films receive production support from the Finnish Film Foundation

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- Hanna Bergholm’s Nightborn and the much-anticipated Sisu 2 are among the recipients of the total amount of €5.745 million

Nineteen films receive production support from the Finnish Film Foundation
Director Hanna Bergholm, who has received support for Nightborn (© Laura Malmivaara)

The board of the Finnish Film Foundation has granted €5.745 million worth of production support to nine fiction features, five documentaries, one documentary series and four shorts. Four of the 19 supported projects secured funding from the 50/50 production support scheme aimed at “mainstream films with a large audience potential”.

Among the chosen ones, Hanna Bergholm’s follow-up to the Sundance-premiered Hatching [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hanna Bergholm
film profile
]
is already piquing interest. Nightborn, described as a horror feature about “the nightmare of motherhood”, was written by the director and Ilja Rautsi. Komeetta and Daniel Kuitunen are producing. It received €950,000.

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After the box-office success of Sisu [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, a bloody actioner set during World War II, Jalmari Helander and producer Petri Jokiranta will now deliver a sequel for production company Cosmic Snowball (with a welcome boost of €1 million), while Bufo is set to co-produce Tarik Saleh’s Eagles of the Republic (€150,000). Previously, they collaborated on his Boy from Heaven [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tarik Saleh
film profile
]
. The film will see Egypt’s most adored actor falling out of favour with the authorities – basically overnight. On the verge of losing everything, he is forced to accept the role of President al-Sissi in a biopic celebrating him. “He finds himself thrown into the inner circle of power and soon realises that he is not only in danger of losing his soul, but has literally also thrown himself into a dangerous dance of death.” Sweden’s Unlimited Stories is also on board. Johan Lindström, Linda Mutawi, Linus Stöhr Torell, Mark Lwoff, Monica Hellström, Alexandre Mallet-Guy, Misha Jaari and Toni Valla are producing.

Other features include Perfect Strangers by Rike Jokela (Lucy Loves Drama, €550,000) and Anna Eriksson’s E, produced by Matti Pyykkö for Ihode Management and granted €153,000. The project deals with “the spiritual loneliness of modern man and creates a modern myth about the greatest tragedy of our time”, showing a world that has turned into a desert. “The biggest threat to the protagonists is their own doppelgangers, who seek to destroy the original version of themselves.”

In Häjyt 2 (€500,000), director Aleksi Mäkelä will show a man who, freshly released from prison, returns to his old neighbourhood. Unfortunately, “grudges from the past get him involved with the drug business again, even when his nearest and dearest try to keep him out of trouble.” Jukka Helle and Markus Selin produce for Solar Films.

Among the more kid-friendly offerings is an adventure film set in Lapland during Christmas, The Elf, which received €850,000. Directed by Joonas Berghäll and Hannes Vartiainen, it’s being produced by Oktober. Ricky Rapper and the Double and Super Furball and the Lying Squirrel benefitted from the 50/50 production support. The former, directed by Samuel Harjanne, is being produced by Rimbo Salomaa and Tiina Nopola (Solar Films, €500,000); the latter is helmed by Joona Tena, and is being staged by Marko Talli, Anni Pänkäälä and Olli Haikka (Yellow Film & TV, €600,000).

On the documentary front, Grains of Paradise by Jenni Kivistö and Jussi Rastas was granted €147,000, with Ella Ruohonen producing for Väki Films. Juho-Pekka Tanskanen’s The Last Misfits by the Golden River (Danish Bear Productions) was given €53,000, while Perstuntuma secured €167,000. Peter Lindholm directs, with Mika and Niko Ritalahti producing for Silva Mysterium.

Riding with Death (Filmimaa, €281,000) focuses on “the hidden social and emotional impacts” of tuberculosis. Nina Forsman and Sakari Suuronen will deliver a “poetic film” where family secrets are revealed, using unseen archives, contemporary observational cinema and dramatised, expressive scenes. In Showtime in Helsinki (Polygraf, €160,000), Arthur Franck takes on “perhaps the most important and simultaneously the most forgotten Cold War event ever to take place”.

The documentary series Paradise in Hel by Mika Mattila tells the story of mystic Ior Bock, the myths he told and the people who followed him. Produced by Axel Högström and Satu Majava for Parad Media, and granted €130,000, it will follow his tragic life story, the rise and fall of the Bock Saga cult, and its rebirth in modern times. “The overarching theme of the series is new-age spiritualism, and the innate human desire for connection and belief,” it was teased.

Finally, the short films Love/Please by Anna Mantzaris, produced by Sweden’s Apparat and Finland’s Böhle Studios (€4,500); Juha Koiranen’s Matkalla sukulaisten luo Haminaan (Kimey, €10,000); Jussi Rautaniemi’s Strive (Bufo, €123,000); and A Woman’s Triumph by Alexander Zwart were also noticed. The latter, produced by Germany’s Komet Film and Oktober, received €21,500.

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