The Fencer’s Making Movies unveil full film & TV slate

Kaarle Aho (Left), Kai Nordberg / PHOTO: Cata Portin Making Movies
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The Fencer’s Making Movies unveil full film & TV slate

Kaarle Aho (Left), Kai Nordberg / PHOTO: Cata Portin Making Movies

Exclusive: Tonislav Hristov’s The Good Driver, The Last of the Seagulls, Klaus Härö’s My Sailor, My Love, Heavy Trip 2 are on the Finnish production company’s slate.

Headed by Kaarle Aho and Kai Nordberg, Making Movies has delivered numerous award-winning films since 1996, from Klaus Härö’s The Fencer, One Last Deal, Selma Vilhunen’s Nordic Council Film Prize winner Little Wing, to Tonislav Hristov’s docu hits The Good Postman and The Magic Life of V among others.

The company has gradually widened its output, from documentary to feature film and now TV drama, with the same focus on quality and distinct auteur viewpoint. “What drives us is good storytelling, whatever the format,” tells Aho to nordicfilmandtvnews.com.

Toplining Making Movies’ slate are two films by Bulgarian-born Finnish filmmaker Hristov.

  • The Good Driver stars Finnish actors Alma Pöysti (Tove), Amos Brotherus (One Last Deal), Bulgaria’s Malin Krustev, Gerasim Georgiev and Slava Doytcheva. Hristov’s first fiction film is a loose spin-off of The Good Postman, inspired by the life of one of the documentary’s protagonists. “We’ve been thinking of doing a fiction film with Tonislav for many years, due to his character-driven filmic style,” said Making Movies’ co-founder Aho, who also serves as co-writer and producer. Bulgarian writer/director Konstantin Bojanov wrote the first draft of the script, and Hristov and Aho gave it its final shape after attending the Jerusalem Film Lab 2019.

    The story focuses on Ivan, a Bulgarian taxi driver working and living at the Black Sea’s Golden Sands resort. The man is slowly saving money to go back to Finland where he used to live with his ex-wife, and to make amends for his past mistakes.

    The film is produced by Making Movies and Hristov’s Soul Food, with support from the Finnish Film Foundation, the Bulgarian National Film Centre and Eurimages. B-Plan will handle the Finnish premiere, scheduled for 2022. “We’ve shot 75% of the film and will do the final shoot in Bulgaria and Finland this summer,” said Aho who hopes to find another co-producer to cover the post-production costs. “The material so far looks fantastic and we’ll wait to have the rough cut in September to sign with a sales agent,” said the producer.
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The Fencer’s Making Movies unveil full film & TV slate

The Good Driver, Malin Krustev / PHOTO: Orlin Ruevski
  • Hristov’s documentary The Last of the Seagulls is being staged as a Finnish/Bulgarian/Norwegian co-production between Making Movies, Soul Food and UpNorth Film. The film was co-financed by Yle, AVEK, VGTV in Norway, Mid-Norway Film Centre, with support from the Finnish Film Foundation, the Bulgarian National Film Centre, the Norwegian Film Institute and Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

    The main protagonist-Ivan is an old Bulgarian seagull, or gigolo, who used to chase wealthy foreign ladies at Sunny Beach resort. He has seen Soviets coming and going, Westerners flooding in and leaving again. Now, with his EU-passport, the hunter has become a bait. Then of course, Covid-19 is making his life extremely complicated.

    “We’ve shot more than half of the film and we’ll move towards post-production in November,” said Aho. Delivery is set for 2022.
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The Fencer’s Making Movies unveil full film & TV slate

Tonislav Hristov / PHOTO: DA Films
  • The hybrid film and 3-part TV series Siblings by Saara Cantell (Stars Above, Hearbeats) which has been seven years in the making, will finally move into its last shooting phase in September, between Finland and Iceland. Similar to the US film Boyhood, the film is a fictitious story, shot with a tight crew, using the actors’ personal lives and changes in society as part of the narrative.

    Filming was split into 2-4 shooting periods of one to five days each year, between 2014-2021. The story centres on twins Jenna and Joni in their 30’s, living in Helsinki, who find out that they have a stepsister in Iceland. The film deals with family bonds and identity. In the title roles are Elin Petersdóttir, Henna Tanskanen, Lauri Tanskanen, Björn Thors and Hilmar Jonsson. Delivery is set for late 2022.
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The Fencer’s Making Movies unveil full film & TV slate

Saara Cantell / PHOTO: Nordic Women In film
  • The documentary Tukdam by Finnish/Irish director Donagh Coleman is in the editing stage, with a delivery set for this summer. The film is produced with Ireland’s Wildfire and Estonia’s Allfilm. The film deals with life and death, through the story of old Buddhist monks who die deliberately while in deep meditation.

  • Klaus Härö’s first English-language feature film My Sailor, My Love written by Mother of Mine’s co-writers Jimmy Karlsson and Kirsi Vikman, was originally due to start shooting in 2020, but will now move into production this fall. The film is co-produced by Ireland’s Samson Films, Belgium’s Umedia, with support among others from Nordisk Film & TV Fond. Nordisk Film will handle the domestic release. A retired and widowed sea captain falls in love with his home aid. But his middle-aged daughter does not approve of the relationship. According to Aho, the international cast will be announced around the Cannes Film Festival in July.
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The Fencer’s Making Movies unveil full film & TV slate

Director Klaus Härö / PHOTO: Cata Portin
  • The TV mini-series Are We Still Us (8x25’) produced for Elisa Viihde, is in post-production, with a delivery set for October/November.
    Jan Forsström (The Princess of Egypt) and Ulla Heikkilä (Eden) are co-directing from a screenplay by Aho and Bordertown’s Paula Mononen. Inspired by In Treatment, the series follows therapist Johanna, specialised in family mediation and child custody, suddenly forced to review her own life. Key cast includes Pirjo Lonka (Ladies of Steel), Tommi Korpela (Bullets), Rea Mauranen (Downshifters, Cold Courage) and Ona Huczkowski (Eden).

  • The Heavy Trip 2 is a sequel to the quirky metal comedy which triumphed at SXSW 2018. In the sequel directed again by Jukka Vidgren and Juuso Laatio, the notorious metal band Impaled Rektum escapes from a Norwegian prison and penetrates into the very heart of Europe: Germany. The project is in development.
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