November 15, 2018

Finnish film wins in France

Finnish actor Tommi Korpela stars as the film’s protagonist Jussi Ketola.
Finnish actor Tommi Korpela stars as the film’s protagonist Jussi Ketola.
Andres Teiss © Matila Röhr Productions

The Eternal Road (Ikitie) has won the Audience Award at the Arras Film Festival in France.

Director Antti-Jussi Annila (left) was on hand to accept the award.

Director Antti-Jussi Annila (left) was on hand to accept the award.

Lea Rener Photography

Held for the 19th time, the Arras Film Festival attracted more than 40 000 attendees. A total of 120 films were screened at the festival.

The Eternal Road was awarded the prestigious Atlas d’argent – Prix du Public at the festival.

“The Audience Award is the highest honour that film-makers can get,” stated the film’s producer, Ilkka Matila. “The film has been garnering awards from its festival screenings, including the Youth Jury Award at Waterloo Historical Film Festival last month.”

“The story touches viewers of all ages around the world,” he added.

Universal recognition

Based on true events, The Eternal Road follows Finn Jussi Ketola’s escape from the Great Depression in the US to Finland, only to be abducted upon his return to his home country and forced to walk an ominous road to the Soviet Union. The film is an adaption of Antti Tuuri’s 2011 best-seller.

“When I read the book, it shook me to my core,” director Antti-Jussi Annila said earlier this year.

“The story had a very simple universal point that can’t be underlined too much at a time when it seems that people’s opinions and beliefs are once again becoming way too black and white.”

The Eternal Road was also awarded the best Nordic film award earlier this year in the US and has been screened at festivals in cities including Berlin, Seattle and Tallinn.

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