Finnish series “Mister8,” produced by It’s Alive Films and sold internationally by Federation Entertainment, will celebrate its international premiere at Canneseries. The series festival will take place on Oct. 8-13 in Cannes, alongside the 37th edition of the MipTV market.
Starring Krista Kosonen (spotted in “Blade Runner 2049”) and Pekka Strang, reuniting after their 2019 rom-com “Dogs Don’t Wear Pants,” it will see a successful woman, Maria, who shares her life with seven men – one for each day of the week. But when another one comes along, someone needs to go: a young poet, a restaurant owner that likes to party, a former soldier living on the outskirts of the society, or maybe a single dad of two kids.
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“It’s a pitch-black comedy about modern relationships,” says producer Jani Pösö. “Maria has come to the conclusion that guys tend to have only one redeeming feature – everything else is total shit. Juho sets out to find out what it is that she likes about his rivals so much. What does she like about, say, ‘Mr. Tuesday’?”
Directed by Teemu Nikki, “Mister8” might mark another success for the company, also behind teen drama “Mental” about young people with mental health problems. With its third season released in Finland in August, it has already been remade in France, Italy and Germany, with Poland developing its own version for Telewizja Polsat, to be directed by Kordian Kądziela.
<img src="https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Mister8.jpg?w=1000" alt="“Mister8” - Credit: Courtesy of It’s Alive Films" width="1000" height="563" class="size-horizontal wp-image-1235068971" srcset="https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Mister8.jpg 1000w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Mister8.jpg?resize=150,84 150w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Mister8.jpg?resize=300,169 300w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Mister8.jpg?resize=125,70 125w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Mister8.jpg?resize=681,383 681w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Mister8.jpg?resize=450,253 450w, https://variety.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Mister8.jpg?resize=250,140 250w" sizes="(min-width: 87.5rem) 1000px, (min-width: 78.75rem) 681px, (min-width: 48rem) 450px, (max-width: 48rem) 250px" />Courtesy of It’s Alive Films
“I have lost count. I think its journey has only just begun,” says Pösö, admitting more remakes are likely to come. With the first season set in a psychiatric hospital, created with people suffering from similar issues to those depicted in its episodes, and the second showing the characters as they try to re-enter the society, the third – shot during the pandemic – introduces asylum seekers.
“It went well, but every time your phone rings after 4 p.m. you go: ‘Fuck, who tested positive?!’ Our cortisol levels were high,” he adds, while also praising the collaboration with YLE. “They have been so brave with this series. It’s the funkiest national broadcasting company.”
It has been quite a year for the company, which scored another winner with Nikki’s film “The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic,” awarded the Armani Beauty Audience Award in the new Horizons Extra section of the Venice Film Festival in September. Featuring Petri Poikolainen, himself suffering from MS, it focuses on a man embarking on a journey to meet the woman he loves and perhaps finally give James Cameron’s epic a try.
“Teemu is brilliant at many things, but he really makes you care for the characters. You just fall in love,” says Pösö. The duo also created 2018 Finnish Oscar submission “Euthanizer” about a mechanic who puts sick pets to sleep but can’t bring himself to kill his own dog.
“If there is anything you should export from Finland, it’s the weirdness,” says Pösö, referring to the company’s rather unusual output. “Our content is for people who are looking for something different.”
Already eyeing Nikki’s as yet untitled next feature, to be filmed next year and featuring a hearse (“We already bought it and I used it to help my daughter move,” says Pösö), the company will first try its hand at a children’s film “Snot and Splash,” combining a strong environmental message with a mystery of disappearing holes.
“It has a demented dentist who has invented this new technology: you can take a hole away from your tooth and place it somewhere else – even on a wall. It’s basically based on a true story,” jokes Pösö. Set to premiere in 2023, the film is loosely based on children’s books by Juice Leskinen, better known as a musician and a subject of Teppo Airaksinen’s 2018 biopic “The Ragged Life of Juice Leskinen.”
“It will be weird and funny: a genre film for the whole family. We will take the sex and the blood away, but keep everything else that’s fun.”
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