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by Peter Knegt
March 28, 2011 2:48 AM
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Finnish Doc "Steam of Life" heads To POV

Joonas Berghäll´s and Mika Hotakainen's Finnish documentary "Steam of Life" has been picked up by PBS for U.S broadcast on the series POV. In Finland, "Steam of Life" has been screening for a record-breaking 52 weeks a row in Helsinki and Tampere, which is an achievement for any film in the country, let alone for a documentary film. "Life" has screened at over 50 international film festivals, winning the grand prix in Tel Aviv, Warsaw and Pärnu, a Silver Dove –award at DOK Leipzig in Germany, special award of the jury at Silverdocs in US, the ecumenical prize at Visions du Réel festival in Switzerland and the Universites Award at Doclisboa in Portugal.

Full press release below.

Steam of Life´s TV rights sold in US

Being broadcast on American TV channels is rare for a Finnish documentary film, but Joonas Berghäll´s and Mika Hotakainen´s Steam of Life made it. One of America´s biggest media corporation, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was interested in the film after seeing it and bought the television rights of the documentary film produced by Oktober Oy. The film will be broadcasted in a series called POV (Documentaries with Point of View).

In Finland, Steam of Life is being screened record-breakingly for 52 weeks a row in Helsinki and Tampere, which is a remarkable achievement for any film, let alone for a documentary film. Due to the occasion, the directors Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen are present for Q&A sessions in the screenings at the movie theater Kinopalatsi in Helsinki till the 31st of March. More details for the screenings can be found at www.finnkino.fi. So far, Steam of Life has already 52, 342 admissions in Finland.

AWARDS

The latest award for Steam of Life was the appreciated Artistic Vision Award at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in February 17, 2011 in US. Kate Person and Ian McCluskey from the jury considered the film as a masterpiece with a “tender opening scene” from which “the audience knows they are in for a very special treat”. Steam of Life was acknowledged also in New Zealand, where it was awarded for Best International Cinematography at the Documentary Edge Festival. Steam of Life has attended over 50 international film festival and has so far won the grand prix in Tel Aviv, Warsaw and Pärnu, a Silver Dove –award at DOK Leipzig in Germany, special award of the jury at Silverdocs in US, the ecumenical prize at Visions du Réel festival in Switzerland and the Universites Award at Doclisboa in Portugal. In Finland, Steam of Life won the Jussi award for the best documentary film and other local awards.Steam of Life was the official Finnish nominee for Academy Awards and it was the first documentary film to receive a gold record for its local dvd sales.

The Central Organisation of Finnish Film Producers awarded Joonas Berghäll as the best film producer of the year 2010 for his film Steam of Life. The film is directed by Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen. Cinematographers are Heikki Färm and Jani Kumpulainen, editor Timo Peltola and the music in the film is composed by Jonas Bohlin. The film is co-produced with YLE TV2 and was funded by the Finnish Film Foundation and the Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture (AVEK).

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