The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki

Summer 1962 and Olli Mäki has a shot at the world championship title in featherweight boxing. From the Finnish countryside to the bright lights of Helsinki, everything has been prepared for his fame and fortune. All Olli has to do is lose weight and concentrate. But there is a problem – he has fallen in love with Raija.

Let My People Go!

Ruben (Nicolas Maury) is a French Jewish gay man (think Pee Wee Herman meets David Sedaris) living in a candy-colored world in Finland with his lover Teemu (Jarkko Niemi), where Ruben works as a postman. One fateful day three days before Passover, Ruben tries to deliver an envelope of euros to a widower, who refuses to accept it, and collapses on his lawn. Teemu and Ruben fight over what to do with the cash and Ruben heads to Paris to think, and to celebrate Passover with his mother (played by Carmen Maura). Back home, Teemu is trying to get to the bottom of things–or should we say the top?– while Ruben discovers in Paris that a certain someone has missed Ruben more than he knew. Jean-Luc Bideau, Didier Flamand, and Jean-Christophe Bouvet appear; Bouvet as the Commissaire has to mediate a poignant love call from jail.

A Star Is Born

A Star Is Born is a 1976 rock music film telling the story of a young woman, played by Barbra Streisand who enters show business, and meets and falls in love with an established male star, played by Kris Kristofferson, only to find her career ascending while his goes into decline.

Canned Dreams

A simple can of ravioli propels this spectacular 30,000-kilometre, eight-country journey through all phases of food production and the far flung sources of international ingredients. A dream-like voyage with glimpses of disconcerting realities, the story begins with a single mother toiling in one of the biggest open pit mines in Brazil and ends on the shelf of a grocery store in Finland. Along the way, the workers whose calloused hands mine, raise and harvest each ingredient reveal their dreams and hopes, like the Danish pig farmer who loves his sows but longs for a girlfriend, and the Portuguese tomato picker who wants to stay healthy long enough to pay her daughters way through university. Sumptuous photography and impressive sound design make an eloquent statement about our modern, globalized world, making us aware of the hundreds of invisible people who prepare the food we eat every day. -Gisèle Gordon (HotDocs.ca)

Disco and Atomic War

A story about growing up in the Soviet Union. The film tells the story of a strange kind of information war, where a totalitarian regime stands face to face with the heroes of popular culture. And loses. It was a time when it was possible for erotic film star Emmanuelle to bring down the Red Army and MacGyver to outdo an entire school administration. It is a film about our generation, who were unknowingly brought to the front line of the Cold War. Western popular culture had an incomparable role shaping Soviet children’s world views in those days. Finnish television was a window to a world of dreams that the authorities could not block in any way. Though Finnish channels were banned, many households found some way to access the forbidden fruit.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

It’s the eve of Christmas in northern Finland and an “archeological” dig has just unearthed the real Santa Claus. But this particular Santa isn’t the one you want coming to town. When all the local children begin mysteriously disappearing, young Pietari and his father Rauno, a reindeer hunter by trade, capture the mythological being and attempt to sell Santa to the misguided leader of the multinational corporation sponsoring the dig. Santa’s elves, however, will stop at nothing to free their fearless leader from captivity. What ensues is a wildly humorous nightmare – a fantastically bizarre polemic on modern day morality. RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE is a re-imagining of the most classic of all childhood fantasies, and is a darkly comic gem soon to be required perennial holiday viewing.

Lapland Odyssey (Napapiirin sankarit)

Lapland Odyssey is a comedy about Janne, a man from Lapland in northern Finland, a man who has made a career out of living on welfare. Inari, his girlfriend, is tired of Janne’s incapability of getting a grip on life, Janne wasn’t even able to buy a digital TV box that Inari had given money for. Inari gives an ultimatum: a digital box needs to arrive by dawn or she leaves. Janne sets out into the night with his two friends to find a box. On their way to the city of Rovaniemi, Janne and his friends face many challenges, obstacles and temptations. They learn that they need to be daring. There’s no room to give into bitterness. The most important thing isn’t success, but rather the journey in itself.

2 Nights Till Morning

Caroline, a French architect in Vilnius, Lithuania, on business, has to spend an extra night in the city due to a delayed work meeting. At the bar of her hotel she meets Jaakko, a Finnish DJ who is in Vilnius for a gig. Caroline lets him understand that she doesn’t speak English, and Jaakko doesn’t speak French. Although they lack a common language, they find themselves enjoying each other’s company…

Bunny the Killer Thing

A group of Finnish and British people get stuck to a cabin when a creature which is a half human, half rabbit, attacks on them. The creature is Bunny the Killer Thing, and it is after anything that is resembling female genitals.

Moomins on the Riviera

The Moomins along with Little My and Snorkmaiden had a sea journey that after storms and desert island dangers leads the family to Riviera, the place that takes their unity to the test.

Garden Lovers

Garden Lovers is a documentary love story about Finnish couples who have a passion for gardening. The film with comic undertones looks at their stories behind the hedges. The garden provides a framework for tales of relationship conflicts and joys; it depicts the many ways in which life can flourish; it gives strength and unites, but it also becomes a meeting place for farewells. There is an invisible bond that grows between the couples in the film; they comment and comfort each other with their own stories.

Concrete Night

A 14-year-old boy in a stifling Helsinki slum takes some unwise life lessons from his soon-to-be-incarcerated older brother, in Finnish master Pirjo Honkasalo’s gorgeously stylized and emotionally devastating work about what we pass on to younger generations, and the ways we do it.