J-P Valkeapää announces new film

The Finnish director J-P Valkeapää has announced his latest film, Dogs Don’t Wear Pants, which was formerly known as Mona.

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants is a love story with a twist. It follows a man who struggles with the loss of his wife, who died in an accident. He slowly regains the will to live after meeting another woman, Mona.

Valkeapää is known for his fantasy stories and teenage protagonists, so this rather adult story is a move away from his normal works. He plans to use a more conventional story structure, rather than creating more fantastical plots. 

Speaking to Cineuropa, the director said: “It’s about a man who lost someone and can’t let go of the memory – until he meets a new person who helps him to make his memory more concrete. […] We are in a similar territory, but there is this black humour, too. I don’t usually like the actual shoot. Before I start, I always watch [documentary about the production of Apocalypse NowHearts of Darkness – at least there is a positive outcome for the disaster. But this time, I am actually curious to see what we will come up with.”

Dogs Wear Pants stars Pekka Strang. Aleksi Bardy is producing, and Pietari Peltola is working as the cinematogapher. “Pietari is one of the most talented cinematographers in Finland, and his understanding of light is something I really admire. Most scenes will take place at night, and there are certain aspects of the film that don’t differ much from my previous work, but I am trying to shoot it with only one lens. I was looking at some of Pasolini’s films from the 1960s, like Accattone, which were shot the same way. I think it can create an interesting visual perspective” said Valkeapää. 

Technical Information

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants is supported by the Finnish Film Foundation and is being produced by Helsinki-filmi. The shoot is set for autumn 2018, and the film will be distributed by SF Studios.



Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.