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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.
The first film produced in Finland was Pupils of Nikolai Street School During Break in 1904.
The first feature film over 1 hour was
Kun Omni Pettaa in 1913.
The first 'talkie' in was the Log-Driver's Bride in 1931.

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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