Director Antti Jokinen plans to film big-budget movie in Lapland
Finnish music video and commercial director Antti J. Jokinen plans to film a fantasy movie with the working title Nicholas of the North in Lapland and Rovaniemi next year. If the plan comes to fruition, the budget for the movie will be impressively large according to the Finnish scale.
The estimated budget of the movie is reported to be as much as USD 23.5 million, which is roughly equal to EUR 15 million. Typically, the budget of a Finnish movie is only around EUR 1.5 million.
The news of the launch of the project in the spring of 2010 was leaked onto the Internet on Tuesday.
According to the makers of the movie, the fantasy film will contain ingredients that are familiar to Finns, as ”Nicholas North will save himself and the entire Nordic people from the curse of evil forces”.
The production company Estar Studios, established by Antti J. Jokinen in 2006, was not willing to comment further on the contents of the movie nor on its title that would seem to refer to Santa Claus. Neither did the company specify the funding or the shooting locations of the planned film.
The Finnish Film Foundation granted a production support of EUR 60,000 to the project last February.
A number of US film producers are also involved in the venture.
In Finland, Jokinen’s Estar Studios is in charge of the project. The company is rather new, and it has so far not produced any full-length films. One of the goals of the company has been to market exclusive locations in Finland and Lapland to foreign filmmakers.
The joint aim of Jokinen and the City of Rovaniemi has been to create in the area ”an international product development centre of content production”.
According to the Northern Finnish newspaper Lapin Kansa, Jokinen’s production company has been willing to lease for a studio an area of ten hectares from the city of Rovaniemi for 15 years. The area has already been dubbed Rollywood, the Hollywood of Rovaniemi.
Jokinen, 41, is a film director who has built his reputation in the USA by directing music videos and commercials. The Resident, the first full-length film directed by Antti J. Jokinen, is scheduled to be premiered in 2010.
The screenwriters of Nicholas of the North will be Jokinen and Matthew B. Wilder, while Guillermo Navarro has been appointed as the principal cinematographer, according to Estar Studios.
The Mexican-born Navarro is an experienced Hollywood cinematographer whose filmography includes The Long Kiss Goodnight, Jackie Brown, and Pan’s Labyrinth.
However, his most famous project is the Tolkien movie The Hobbit on which he is working with director Guillermo del Toro. The Hobbit is to hit screens in 2011.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Antti Jokinen directs Lordi video for Eurovision (25.4.2007)
Three-minute Man (4.4.2006)
IMDB: Antti Jokinen