ZAGREB: Finnish writer/director Arto Halonen (Princess, Pavlov’s Dogs) is in postproduction with the first Finnish-Croatian coproduction, a comedy about the doping-phenomenon notable for the casting of Canadian Olympic athlete Ben Johnson, who relinquished his gold medal when he tested positive for doping, in a minor role.
The film is based on true events from the 1970’s and already covered by Halonen in his documentary When Heroes Lie (2011). In the 1970’s the Finnish national ski team included a person who, due to his exceptional blood-type, functioned as a living blood supply.
“One part of the film takes place at the World Championships in Central Europe, and another at the Olympic Games in North America in the 1980′s," Halonen said. The film spent two weeks shooting in Croatia in February.
Shooting wrapped April 2013, with one shooting day left in June. A Patriotic Man/Isänmaallinen is produced by Halonen’s Art Films Production in coproduction with Igor A. Nola’s Mainframe -Zagreb.
The budget is 1.7m EUR, Nola told FNE. The project received a grant of 740,000 EUR from the Finnish Film Foundation. It is also supported by Eurimages with 200,000 EUR, and by Nordisk Film & TV Fond.
Halonen co-wrote the script with Jouni K. Kemppainen. The film stars Martti Suosalo and Pamela Tola.The Finnish premiere is set for 4 December 2013.
Art Films production AFP Ltd.
Merimiehenkatu 10, 00150 Helsinki, Finland
Phone: +358 9 4159 3640
Fax: +358 9 4159 3690
Nova cesta 60, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Phone: + 385 1 382 11 55
+ 385 1 382 20 22
Fax: + 385 1 4836 039
Director: Arto Halonen
Script: Arto Halonen , Jouni K. Kemppainen
Cast: Martti Suosalo and Pamela Tola, Janne Reinikainen, Mikko Kouki, Satu Paavola, Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Pirjo Lonka, Kari Ketonen, Lauri Tilkanen, Katja Küttner, Ben Johnson