Father Jacob this year’s Jussi favourite
by Annika Pham
Klaus Härö’s Letters to Father Jacob [+see also:
film profile] is the leading title at the 2009 Jussi Awards, Finland’s top film honours, with nine nominations, including Best Film, Director, Script and Actress (Kaarina Hazard).
The Kinotar production is also the country's submission for this year’s Academy Award nominations for Best Foreign Language Film. It recently won Best Film and Best Script (for Härö) in Cairo and Best Director at the Black Night Film Festival in Tallinn. World Sales are handled by Film Sharks.
The second most nominated films, with six nods each, are The Interrogation by prominent local filmmaker Jörn Donner and Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää’s The Visitor [+see also:
film profile]. Set during WWII, The Interrogation is based on the true story of Soviet spy of Finnish origin Kerttu Nuorteva, played by Minna Haapkylä, who got a nod for Best Actress. The film is also running in the top categories of Best Film and Script (Olli Soinio). First-timer Valkeapää is nominated for Best Director, among others.
With his youth drama Forbidden Fruit [+see also:
film profile], Dome Karukoski gets another chance to win a Jussi for Best Director, an award he received last year for The Home of Dark Butterflies [+see also:
film profile]. The historical film Under the North Star [+see also:
film profile] by Timo Koivusalo, currently in Finland’s top ten, has five nominations, including Best Film.
The two leads in Mika Kaurismäki’s adult comedy drama The House of Branching Love [+see also:
film profile] – Hannu-Pekka Björkman and Elina Knihtilä – are both nominated in their categories. The film was Finland’s second biggest hit of 2009.
The Jussi Awards will be presented by the association of Finnish film professionals Filmiaura, in Helsinki, on January 31.
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