At the age of 81, Finnish writer-actor-director-producer Jörn Donner – so far the only Finn to win an Oscar for producing Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander – will helm a biopic on one of Finland’s most famous female entrepreneurs,Armi Ratia, the founder of the Marimekko fashion and design company, who died in 1979.
“She created Marimekko and its pure visual style that is synonymous with modern Finnish design. As a private and a business personality, she was boundless and courageous as well as immoderate and without limits,” reads the introduction to the film, scripted byKaroliina Lindgren, which will shoot from July.
Produced by Bufo (which also staged Donner’s The Interrogation in 2010), with funding from Finnish pubcaster YLE, Armi will be released domestically by B-Plan Distribution. It is one of nine new films supported by the Finnish Film Foundation, which will contribute €3.6 million of the total €7.5 million production cost.
The package includes Finnish actor-director Oskari Sipola’s second feature, Here for a While, which also goes into production in July for Pohjola-Filmi. Nordisk Film Finland will distribute the music film written by Tua Harno about Selja, a woman in her thirties, who one day receives an unexpected visitor: Leo, the boy she gave up for adoption 16 years ago.
Finnish director Esa Illi is currently working on Other Girls, from his own screenplay based on four 18-year-old girls’ real-life experiences. “These are survival stories about the moments when life kicks you in the butt, but you decide to kick back – hard,” said Illi about the video diaries of the girls, who lost their innocence on the verge of adulthood. Fisher King is producing.
Finnish director Aleksi Salmenperä, whose latest feature was Bad Family[+] (2010), will film Häiriötekija (lit. “Distraction”), which he scripted himself from Jani Volanen’s story about people getting distracted under turbulent circumstances. Mjölk Movies will produce this depiction of a tour guide who loses her information, a man who hears noises that his wife cannot hear, and a true account of love and cannibalism, among other stories.