A biography movie of Tove Jansson produced in Finland

Finnish production company Helsinki-filmi is making a biography movie about the multi-talented Tove Jansson. Helsinki-filmi is one of the leading production companies in the Nordic Region, and many of their films have been distributed worldwide.

A biography movie of Tove Jansson has been prepared behind closed doors for many years. Production company Helsinki-filmi has signed an agreement with Jansson’s heirs, and the filming is scheduled to start in 2018. The film is produced by Annika Sucksdorff, together with Aleksi Bardy. Bardy also leads the group of scriptwriters, Jarno Elonen and Eeva Putro.

Without knowing about each other, both Putro & Elonen, and Bardy had planned a biographical film inspired by the life of Tove. Putro and Elonen heard from the Finnish Film Foundation that also many other people are dreaming of making a film with the same theme, but without the approval of Sophia Jansson, Tove Jansson’s niece, it is almost impossible to move forward with the production. When Putro presented the plans for Sophia, Putro heard that also Aleksi Bardy had been in contact with her about making a film about Tove.

“We thought it was impossible that two movies of Tove’s life are made at the same time, so we suggested Eeva and Aleksi discuss together a possible movie production”, Sophia Jansson says.

“We had worked together with Aleksi already in the other project earlier, so I contacted Aleksi as Sophia proposed. We sat down and decided to start the Tove Jansson movie project together”, scriptwriter Eeva Putro says.

Because of the agreement, the filmmakers have access to Tove Jansson’s studio and the archives, and in turn, the heirs can say what material can be used in the film. However, filming in Tove Jansson’s studio isn’t allowed.

In March 2016, the Finnish Film Foundation awarded the first manuscript grant for the Tove Jansson biography movie. The working title for the movie is “The Beginner”, referring to Tove’s self-portrait painting Nybörjare, from 1959.

Nybörjare, 1959
Nybörjare (The Beginner)
Tove Jansson, 1959

The name “The Beginner” reveals Tove’s continual need for renewal in her life. Even though she already had a lengthy career behind her, she naturally refers to herself as a “beginner”. Her private life also offered her the ingredients for renewal. One of the most important stories of Tove’s life began in the mid-1950s when she met her life partner, the graphic artist Tuulikki Pietilä. Source: tovejansson.com

The film’s producer, Aleksi Bardy, confirms that the movie will describe the artistic career of Tove as well as her relationships. Sophia Jansson hopes the film will highlight Tove and her international success as a multi-talented artist. The script’s first version is expected to be completed later in the fall.

Summer Book movie produced in England

An English production company is preparing a film based on Tove Jansson’s Summer Book.

Swedish Filmlance International, in turn, announced in February that it has entered into a licence agreement with Moomin Characters to develop the new Moomin animation series. The new series is directed by Steve Box, Academy Award winner for Best Animated Feature for Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.