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Finland Film History

Finland First in Film

The first presentation of film in Finland was made June 28, 1896 at the Societetshuset in Helsinki. A Lumiere camera and film program was used.
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The first film produced in Finland was Pupils of Nikolai Street School During Break in 1904.
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The first feature film over 1 hour was
Kun Omni Pettaa in 1913.
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The first 'talkie' in was the Log-Driver's Bride in 1931.
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Even though the French projectors had circulated through showing their films, the country of Finland wasn't independent until after World War I, in 1917. The film industry was basically non-existant.

Jorn Donner, a maverick Finn, thumbed his nose at the establishment in the 1960’s with some sophisticated sex comedies such as Black on White (1966), and also produced films by a handful of other young directors.

The Finnish Film Foundation, which is the primary financier of film projects in Finland wasn't established until 1969.

In the 1970s and 80s, only a few promising directors emerged, primarily Rauni Mollberg amd Rostp Jarva but tragically, Risto Jarva, died in a traffic accident following the premiere of his finest film, The Year of the Hare (1977).

In the early 1980’s a mini-revolution in Finnish cinema was led by two brothers, Mika and Aki Kaurismäki, but they released a few light films then went their separate ways.

The rising hopefuls currently include Olli Saarela, Lauri Torhonen, and Markku Lehmuskallio, who for years has made documentaries winning a host of awards at festivals.

 


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