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FUNDING Finland

The Finnish Film Foundation supports four national features in a €3.1 million package

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- Klaus Härö’s Dark Christ and Markku Pölönen’s Homeland are among the new productions that have secured state support

The Finnish Film Foundation supports four national features in a €3.1 million package
Director Klaus Härö

Finnish director Klaus Härö, whose The Fencer [+see also:
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interview: Ivo Felt
film profile
]
(2015) received two national Jussi Awards, including Best Feature, and was nominated for a Golden Globe, will next start work on One Last Deal [+see also:
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film profile
]
(working title: Dark Christ) for Making Movies’ Kaarle Aho and Kai Nordberg, who also staged his latest feature. Scripted by Anna HeinämaaOne Last Deal follows an aged, shabby art dealer who wants to leave the art scene as a winner by making a final, lucrative deal. He has discovered a heavily under-priced painting named One Last Deal and borrows all of his grandson’s savings to buy it; but then everything starts to go terribly wrong.

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Härö’s sixth feature will receive €0.5 million in production funding from the Finnish Film Foundation, which has announced a €3.1 million support package for four new national features. At Cannes yesterday (22 May), the foundation celebrated the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence and the start of its new €10 million incentive programme to attract international productions.

After eight years away, Finnish director Markku Pölönen (whose last film was 2009’s Rally On! [+see also:
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film profile
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) will return to feature filmmaking with Land of hope [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Markku Pölönen
film profile
]
(working tittle: Homeland), a historical epic about the years 1945-1952, the aftermath of World War II, when Finland had to settle 440,000 evacuees and war invalids from Karelia, building 100,000 new homes. Written by Pölönen and Antti Heikkinen, and produced by Jukka HelleMarkus SelinRisto Salomaa and Jukka Vidgren for Solar Films, the project was backed to the tune of €0.7 million.

Finnish actor-turned-director Heikki Kujanpää has also taken a break from the director’s chair since Falling Angels (2008) and is now ready for Laugh or Die, set in a prison where Finnish comedian Parikka and his troupe are about to be executed for the atrocities committed during the Finnish Civil War. In Kujanpää and Mikko Reitala’s screenplay, being staged by Klaus Heydemann for Inland Film Company and benefiting from a €0.7 million subsidy, they prepare a final performance for a visiting German general. 

Finnish directors Jukka Vidgren and Juuso Laaso’s feature debut, Impaled Rektum, is also scripted by the duo of newcomers together with Aleksi Puranen, and will be produced by Kaarle Aho for Making Movies and Norway’s Sweet Films. With €0.4 million in state support, it portrays a born loser who tries to overcome his stage fright after having once failed in a children’s song contest, by taking Finland’s worst heavy-metal band to a wild Norwegian festival.

The foundation’s package also includes two Finnish co-productions with other countries (Irish director Lee Cronin’s The Hole in the Ground [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and German filmmaker Stefan Westerwelle’s Matti and Sami), four documentaries, three shorts and three drama series.

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