Fallen Leaves by Aki Kaurismäki is the Finnish Oscar contender

September 13, 2023

Fallen Leaves, written and directed by Aki Kaurismäki, is the Finnish candidate for the Academy Award for International Feature.

Image: Malla Hukkanen / Sputnik

The film tells the story of two lonely people who meet by chance in Helsinki and try to find their first, only and last love. The lead actors are Alma Pöysti and Jussi Vatanen.

Fallen Leaves had its world premiere in competition in Cannes where it won the Prix du Jury. The domestic theatrical release is this coming Friday, September 15. The film will premiere in the United States on November 17, 2023.

In September, Fallen Leaves will receive the Fipresci Grand Prix in San Sebastian Film Festival. It has also been selected to Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival, among others.

The Finnish Oscar jury characterized the film as a simple, classic love story which conveys its observations through an innocent fairytale. The small but big story resonates internationally and its success abroad is already significant.

Fallen Leaves is produced by Aki Kaurismäki (Sputnik), Misha Jaari and Mark Lwoff (Bufo). The crew includes cinematographer Timo Salminen, editor Samu Heikkilä, set designer Ville Grönroos, sound designer Pietu Korhonen and costume designer Tiina Kaukanen.

The Finnish Chamber of Films assembled the jury which included actor Juha-Pekka Mikkola, composer Kalle Ryökäs, writer and film critic Kalle Kinnunen and Finnish Film Foundation’s international promotion advisor Jenni Domingo. Film producer Nina Laurio was the chair.

The rules for the award are set by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Each country is invited to nominate one film for the International Feature category. This year, films that have premiered theatrically between December 1, 2022 and October 31, 2023 are eligible. 

The final Oscar nominees are announced on January 23, 2024, and the award ceremony is on March 10, 2024.


Rules & Eligibility