The Finnish film The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki by Juho Kuosmanen has won the Un Certain Regard Award and the Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat has won the Directors Fortnight Art Cinema Award for her debut feature Wolf and Sheep at the Cannes Film Festival. Both are co-produced by Film i Väst.
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is inspired by real events. It follows the story of Olli Mäki, the first Finn ever to fight for the world championship in featherweight boxing, who lost the match humiliatingly in the second round by knock out in front of a packed stadium in Helsinki. According to Mäki, it was the happiest day of his life.
This is director Juho Kuosmanen’s first feature length film, and the main cast includes Jarkko Lahti (Olli Mäki), Oona Airola (as Olli’s girlfriend Raija Jänkä) and Eero Milonoff (as a legendary boxer and promoter Elis Ask). The script has been written by Juho Kuosmanen and Mikko Myllylahti. The producers are Jussi Rantamäki at Aamu Film Company and Niklas Wikström-Nicastro for Tre Vänner. The film is shot on 16 mm film in black and white by J-P Passi.
Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat won the Directors Fortnight Art Cinema Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her debut feature Wolf and Sheep. The film is produced in Denmark and inspired by the directors upbringing in Central Afghanistan. It presents the life of a group of Afghan shepherd children in the mountains. Her goal was to depict everyday life in Afghanistan as she knows it. The film is produced by Katja Adomeit for Adomeit Films, who was also selected as Producer on the Move in Cannes 2015, in co-production with Madeleine Ekman, Zentropa Sweden, and Film Väst.
In addition Swedish filmmaker Simon Vahlne was in main competition at the Cannes Film Festival with the short film FIGHT ON A SWEDISH BEACH. Producers are Ellen Hallin and Axel Danielson at Plattform Produktion. Alexandra-Therese Keinings film GIRLS LOST had its world premiere in Toronto last year and tales part in Écrans Juniors, Cannes Film Festival’s youth section this year. The film is produced by Helena Wirenhed and Olle Wirenhed for GötaFilm with Christer Nilson as executive producer.