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Director Petri Kotwica’s second feature film Musta Jää (Black Ice) competes at Berlin Film Festival
At 22.30 on Friday evening, five limousines arrive at the palace of the 58th Berlin International Film Festival. The makers of the Finnish film Musta Jää (Black Ice), which has been entered in the festival’s competition series, step out of the vehicles in an agreed order. The last ones to climb out are director Petri Kotwica and actress Outi Mäenpää.
The two stop to pose for the photographers, who keep shouting their instructions. Mäenpää flashes a radiant smile on the red carpet. The gala performance of Kotwica’s second feature-length film - billed as a dark love story - is about to begin.
Comments from the international media after the afternoon’s press viewing were two-fold.
"The storyline was a bit too complicated, but the acting was excellent", said Patricia Battle from the German NDR Radio.
SWR Channel’s Bodo Klink adored Mäenpää: "My God, she is unbelievably attractive!"
Jörg Schindler of the German Daily Frankfurten Rundschen was not too convinced. "I was surprised that the film was in the competition series. The script was forced in the end. I did like the atmosphere and the female leads. But the story was lousy. Sorry."
Reporter Anna Laulund of the Danish daily Fyens Stifstidende was delighted by the way the relationships between the characters had been constructed. "But the plot was unconvincing", she agreed with Schindler.
After the gala viewing the evening continued at a party, which took place at the Finnish Embassy. The house was full and Kotwica and Mäenpää were continuously surrounded by intrigued guests.
Only time will tell if the film will hold its own in front of the judging panel. How widely the film will then be distributed and how well it will be received by the international public will also be interesting to see.
Musta Jää took five Jussi Awards (the Finnish equivalent of the Oscars) just a week ago, including best picture, best direction, and a best actress award for Outi Mäenpää.