The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki wins Un Certain Regard

The Finnish film The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki has won the Un Certain Regard at this years Cannes Film Festival.

The Happiest Day of the Life of Olli Mäki is inspired by real events. It follows the story of Olli Mäki, the first Finn ever to fight for the world championship in featherweight boxing, who lost the match humiliatingly int he second round by knock out in front of a packed stadium. According to Mäki, it was the happiest day of his life.

This is director Juho Kuosmanen’s first feature length film, and the main cast includes Jarkko Lahti (Olli Mäki), Oona Airola (as Olli’s girlfriend Raija Jänkä) and Eero Milonoff (as a legendary boxer and promoter Elis Ask). The script has been written by Juho Kuosmanen and Mikko Myllylahti, and it has been produced by Jussi Rantamäki for Aamu Filmcompany Ltd. The film is shot on 16 mm film in black and white by J-P Passi.

Kuosmanen’s previous short films have also been screened in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival. The Painting Sellers won the main award of the Cinéfondation section in 2010. Two years earlier his Roadmarkers came in third in the same section.

The films big win is a continuing trend in Nordic films winning the Un Certain Regard prize – Iceland’s Rams won last year and Force Majeure won the jury prize in 2014.


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.