The Finnish biopic directed by Zaida Bergroth (The Good Son, Maria’s Paradise) is set to start filming on January 9, 2020 for leading production house Helsinki-filmi (Tom of Finland, Dogs Don’t Wear Pants). 

Based on a screenplay by Finnish actor and writer Eeva Putro, the film will focus on the legendary Finnish author Tove Jansson’s formative years in post-war Helsinki, her fight for artistic recognition and her passionate bisexual love affair. 

Bergroth told “I’ve been working on finding my own way to this admired and world famous, almost untouchable artist, and I think the audience will be surprised by the young, passionate and uncompromising Tove portrayed in the film.”

Producer Andrea Reuter also believes the untold story of Tove Jansson will take many fans and audiences by surprise. “People often see Tove as this older, wise lady who created the Moomins. In the film we see that she was once a young, struggling artist trying to find her voice in post-war Helsinki. Her love life was wild and complicated and she dared to show a middle finger to the dominant conventions in society during that time. The core of the story is the quite unknown passionate love affair with the female theatre director Vivica Bandler, a love story that was instrumental to the creation and success of the Moomins.”

Reuter said the film is made in close collaboration with Tove´s niece, Sophia Jansson, Chairman of the board of the family-owned Moomin characters, and her team. “She [Sophie] has been very helpful and supportive during the whole process, giving feedback on the script and providing us full access to Tove´s art work for the extensive research made for the film.”

LevelK’s CEO Tine Klint who is handling Bergroth’s current film Maria’s Paradise, said: “It is a privilege to champion Zaida so far in her career as a director, and to see her prepare the story of Tove. Tove Jansson is a bold, captivating and feminist character, ahead of her time, that is sure to resonate with international audiences today. The film will be a key highlight in 2020," asserts the seasoned sales agent.

The film is produced by Reuter and Aleksi Bardy for Helsinki-filmi, in co-production with Estonia’s Stellar Film and Anagram Sweden, with support from Nordisk Film & TV Fond and Eurimages among others.

LevelK plans to introduce materials from the film at Cannes 2020.