September 18, 2021

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‘The Beast Friend’: ‘It’s Like My Neighbor Totoro’ Wrong! ‘

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Takel Productions of Finland, which is made up of Julia Ilomaki, Mia Havisto, Marza Pihlaja and Tia Talli, will present three new projects at the Finnish Film Affair this year. The “Bad Woman” section will be shown in the Fiction in Progress section, Diversity Learned, while Ullah Heikler’s “Viva La Vida” – about a Finnish expatriate family living in southern Spain – and “The Beast Friend” will pave the way for development in their fiction. The latter, described as a “bedtime story for adults” and will premiere in 20224, will see director Lori-Matty Purpei create an unusual bond between a struggling artist and a giant bear.

Mia, whose life is falling apart, has been hired as a personal assistant in an isolated palace on the Finnish archipelago. The deal seems clear: he needs to keep the house warm, and the houses need to be cleaned, except for one. One night he broke his promise. But instead of Bluebird’s murdered wives, he meets a giant creature.

“I wrote it a few years ago. Everything I felt back then I put it into the story and then I put it aside – it was weird and very ambitious. But my producer Julia didn’t forget it,” Parpei said.

“My character is scared at first, trapped in that house alone with the bear, but it’s still there, quietly. She befriends him. Before that, she hadn’t really been able to talk about all the hard things that happened in her life, abuse, but she began to share her secrets with this creature. A bedtime story about it has this ical magical, warm feeling, but then it turns into something different.

Her first series to air on YLE, the newly wrapped helmer and musician of “A Strange Summer”, is also in the development stage, which will probably be her first feature, “A Light That Never Goes Out,” about an unscrupulous flutist who is a failure. After the suicide attempt, he returned with his parents and, inspired by a childhood friend, began composing a completely different kind of music. The film will be produced by Ilona Tolmunen of Med.

“They start forgetting what music is even. It is a comedy-drama about going through a difficult time and celebrating useless creativity. I hope I’ll make it before ‘The Beast Friend’, which is pretty broad, ”he says.

Parpei said the film will also explore questions of power imbalances between sex and relationships, albeit with a grim twist.

“Having this level of magical reality made it easier to put my own feelings into the story,” he admits, adding that the film’s biggest star will be brought to life with a combination of CGI and dolls.

“I want to be able to touch it, to be by its side. It can’t be very real, because it’s imaginative and it needs to stay that way. But I want my actors to communicate with it too. I chose a bear because it is considered a myth in many countries, especially in Finland. We rarely see them. Yet, as a child, you are always told to look them straight in the eye and if you face them, slowly walk backwards or play dead. And no matter what you do, don’t just run! Mia also needs to keep herself safe, so she submits to the bear. ”

Despite his unusual setup, Parppi wants to keep the story close and depressing, giving his protagonist a chance to finally face his injuries.

“All these things that he didn’t really think about are finally coming to the surface. But it’s trauma and whatever makes us feel stuck. There is hope, ”he said.

“These two, they make a real relationship. She really gets close to that bear, which is magical and interesting. In his life, things are falling apart, but he is safe in that building and then things start to break down inside the building as well. We used to joke that it was ‘my neighbor Totoro’ wrong, “he added, referring to the 1988 Hayao Miyazaki classic.” Two night dream version. “

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