All time-record for local films
by Annika Pham
19/01/2006 - Finnish films had an all-time record audience last weekend with five films taking as much as 81% of the total admissions at the local Top 10.
Last weekend’s new release Matti-Hell Is For Heroes by Aleksi Mäkelä had a historical opening for a local film with 91,931 admissions from 75 screens (in comparison, last year’s biggest local hit Frozen Land sold just over 170,000 tickets). Given its story: the semi-fictional account of Finnish Olympic gold medalist Matti Nykänen’s life from sports glory to tabloid laughing stock- the film was set to be a success on paper. Produced by Solar Films and released by BVI, the film is yet another success for producer Markus Selin who for the last few years has offered Finnish audiences their favourite film of the year: Bad Boys-A True Story [trailer] in 2003, Vares [trailer] in 2004 and Frozen Land in 2005. The common link for those films is also Jasper Pääkkönen, the lead actor in Matti who has been selected as Finland’s Shooting Star 2006.
The other four Finnish films at last weekend’s Top 10 are the football comedy FC Venus by Joona Tena, the period drama Promise by Ilkka Vanne, the romantic comedy Beauty And The Bastard by Dome Karukoski and the Finnish entry for an Oscar nomination Mother of Mine by Klaus Härö. Those very different films show the vitality of Finnish cinema and correspondent to the rise of "a new generation of directors and canny producers", as Harri Ahokas Head of distribution at the Finnish Film Foundation recently explained to the local newspaper Helsigin Sanomat: "The role of the producer has clearly been strengthened amd marketing is rising to the international standard", he said. "The new generation -of directors and canny producers- has tapped into themes that appeal to the public, for example portrayals of great men and local icons, and many of the films address strongly national subjects".
The next big local release on February 3rd will be Lights In The Dust, the highly-awaited last part of Aki Kaurismaki’s trilogy after Drifting Clouds (1996) and The Man Without a Past (2002).