Finnish Princess to be remade in the US
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
09/11/2011 - US production outfit W2 Media has acquired English-language remake rights for Finnish director Arto Halonen’s feature debut, Princess (pictured), as was announced at the AFM in Los Angeles by the company’s CEO John Flock.
LA-based, W2 Media will fully finance the production and handle international distribution. After 25 shorts and documentaries, including the award-winning Shadow of the Holy Book and Pavlov’s Dogs, Halonen scripted Princess with Pirjo Toikka and Paavo Westerberg, from the real-life story of Finnish cabaret dancer Anna Lappalainen, the world’s only psychiatric patient in whose honour a statue has been erected.
In 1945, diagnosed as manic-depressive with symptoms of schizophrenia, Lappalainen was admitted to The Kellokoski Psychiatric Hospital; she claimed to be a princess, refused to be called by her own name, and entertained at the ”courts”, bringing joy to her surroundings. Starring Katja Kuttner, who won a Jussi – Finland’s national film prize – for the role, Halonen’s own production for Art Films reached 294,000 admissions domestically.
Also at the AFM, which ends today, German international sales agencyThe Match Factory has licensed Norwegian director Pål Sletaune’s Babycall [trailer] to Soda Pictures (for the UK), Jour2Fête (France) and Nomad Film (Italy). Last week (November 4) the psychological thriller garnered Swedish lead Noomi Rapace the Best Actress award at the Rome International Film Festival.
Denmark’s official submission for the 2012 Oscar as Best Foreign-Language, Ole Christian Madsen’s comedy Superclásico went to Karma Films (for Spain), ArtCinema (CIS, Baltic Republics) and Publicidad (Argentina). Produced by Signe Leick Jensen and Lars Bredo Rahbek for Nimbus Film, the Anders W Berthelsen and Paprika Steen starrer has sold 184,000 tickets at home.