May 15, 2018

Finnish-French co-production takes Lapland global

Ailo’s Journey chronicles the first year of life of a newborn reindeer born prematurely, in the wilderness in the heart of winter.
Ailo’s Journey chronicles the first year of life of a newborn reindeer born prematurely, in the wilderness in the heart of winter.
Marko Junttila, MRP

Ailo’s Journey, a forthcoming feature from writer-director Guillaume Maidatchevsky, showcases what Finnish Lapland offers as a filming location.

Following the first migration of a newborn reindeer in Lapland, Ailo’s Journey is a Finnish-French co-production between Borsalino Productions and MRP Matila Röhr Productions. Distribution rights for the film have been sold to a number of European countries, as well as Japan and China. Ailo’s Journey is scheduled to premiere in Finland at Christmas and will open internationally early next year.

A contingent representing the film was also on hand at Cannes, hoping to attract further global sales and promoting Finnish Lapland as a shooting location.

The film has been lensed in the municipalities of Posio and Utsjoki over the past year. In addition to authentic locations, the region provided local professionals who worked closely with the production in order to successfully film scenes involving the local wildlife.

“For me, Lapland is the only place in Europe where you can really feel the wilderness,” says producer Marko Röhr. “Contrary to lots of other parts of the world, you can still film large carnivores like wolverines and bears in the wild.”

The popularity of Finnish Lapland as a filming location has been boosted in recent times thanks to a 25 per cent cash rebate offered to foreign productions by Business Finland, combined with the ease provided by the region’s extensive infrastructure. The Finnish Lapland Film Commission also actively assists productions with finding suitable locations, service providers and professionals in the region.

“It’s hard to imagine that it takes only a three–four-hour flight and you can be somewhere where you can walk for days without running into someone else,” director Maidatchevsky says. “But for my film, Lapland offers so many different landscapes, from openings, forests to lakes, waterfalls […] not far from each other.”

“Lapland is such a magical place, so when you’re watching Ailo’s Journey, remember to open your arms and embrace this place,” he adds.

 

Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is part of Business Finland.

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