Finns at the fests: Venice, Toronto, Karlovy Vary, Haugesund

August 10, 2021

Finnish films continue to shine in international events after a successful summer in Cannes.

The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic in Venice

The 78th Venice International Film Festival, which will take place September 1–11, launched a new Orizzonti Extra section where the audience can vote for the winner. Among the eight films selected is The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic (pictured), the latest feature film from director and screenwriter Teemu Nikki.

The film is a love story about Jaakko (Petri Poikolainen), a man trapped in his own home, who decides to find his loved one. It is not an easy decision as he is blind and paralyzed from the chest down – and he has to travel on his own. To get to where he is going, Jaakko has to have trust in five strangers willing to help him.

The film is produced by Nikki and Jani Pösö for It’s Alive Films and it is sold internationally by Intramovies. The domestic premiere is September.

From Cannes to Toronto: Compartment no. 6 and The Gravedigger’s Wife

Two Finnish films that premiered in Cannes in July, Compartment no. 6 and The Gravedigger’s Wife, will travel to Canada in September for the Toronto International Film Festival. One of North America’s leading film festivals takes place September 9–18.

Compartment no. 6, directed by Juho Kuosmanen, had its world premiere in the Competition in Cannes and ended up winning the Grand Prix (ex aequo). It also won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.

Before Toronto, Compartment no. 6 will also screen in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, in their Horizons section. The festival takes place August 20–28. The domestic premiere of the film will be later in the year.

The Gravedigger’s Wife, which had its world premiere in Semaine de la critique in Cannes, is the debut feature from Khadar Ayderus Ahmed. It will travel to Toronto via Melbourne International Film Festival, currently running in Australia.

A selection of Finnish films in Haugesund

The Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund takes place August 21–27. There are three Finnish films in their Nordic Focus section: Compartment no. 6, The Gravedigger’s Wife and Laughing Matters, a debut feature from Reetta Aalto. The romantic drama by Aalto premiered domestically last fall.

The Next Nordic Generation section is a platform for new talent. This year there are four Finnish short films included: Goodbye Tornio by Emilia Hernesniemi, Mad from the Sun by Anna Äärelä, Mother’s Wrath by Tuuli Sirkeinen and When the Mill Hill Trees Spoke to Me by Kirsikka Paakkinen.

The co-production forum and market New Nordic Films has not yet released the projects that will pitch in Haugesund.

The Nordic Council Film Prize nominees for 2021 will be announced during the festival on Tuesday, August 24.