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Stupid Young Heart wins grand prize at Berlinale

Rosa Honkonen (left), Selma Vilhunen (centre) and Jere Ristseppä strike a pose before the film’s screening at Berlinale.SES

Finnish film Stupid Young Heart (Hölmö nuori sydän) has taken home the Crystal Bear for Best Film award in the Generation 14plus category at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale).

The film tells the story of a young couple, Lenni (Jere Ristseppä) and Kiira (Rosa Honkonen), living in East Helsinki. They start a family at a time when xenophobic attitudes are evermore outspoken and aggressive. The societal issues eventually catch up with the young couple and put their love for each other to the test.

The film is director Selma Vilhunen and screenwriter Kirsikka Saari’s exploration of the identity formation of today’s youth in a restless society. They have previously worked together on the Oscar-nominated short film Do I Have to Take Care of Everything? (Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa?).

A total of 62 films from 37 countries were screened in the Generation 14plus category, all delving into the experiences and minds of young people growing up in today’s societies.

“These are brave films from courageous film-makers, with their fingers on the pulse of the time and an acute feel for the social, cultural and political developments of our present moment,” Maryanne Redpath, section head at Berlinale, described the nominations.

Stupid Young Heart was one of six Finnish films in competition in Berlin. The film had its world premiere in Toronto last year.

By: Samuli Ojala