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Martin Aadamsoo 2009-11-30

Vasha, an Estonian-German-Finnish-Irish co-production, was released in cinemas in Estonia on January 23.

The film, a Chechnian refugee themed thriller, had been in the works from the beginning of the century. It finally materialised as a multinationally cast contemporary story with German-Turkish actors taking the roles of refugee Chechens stuck in Estonia, and pieced together a co-production scheme including an unusual mix of countries.

The film's overall budget was €1.28 million, financed by the Estonian Film Foundation, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Ministry of Culture of Estonia, FilmFörderung Hamburg, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, ARD Degeto, Finnish Film Foundation, YLE, Irish Film Board, and the EU MEDIA programme.

Initially titled Kid and Killer, the film was directed by 37-year-old Hannu Salonen who was born in Finland but has been residing in Germany for over a decade. The film will be released next in Finland at the end of March.

Vasha was written by Mart Kivastik and Katrin Laur of Estonia and the director, who settled on the final script version. Shot in Estonia and Germany and featuring a non-native speaking cast, the film leaves the audience with a slightly odd feeling as most of the dialogue is in English, and pretty broken at that.


Director: Hannu Salonen

Writers: Mart Kivastik, Katrin Laur, Hannu Salonen

Director of Photography: Rein Kotov

Art design: Jaagup Roomet

Music: Ray Harman

Producers: Piret Tibbo-Hudgins (Allfilm, Estonia), Philipp Homberg (Homberg Filmproduction, Germany)

Co-producers: Juonifilmi, Finland; Wide Eyes Films, Ireland

Principal cast:

Mehemet Kurtulus - Artur

Tim Seyfi - Globe

Adnan Maral - Kerim

Mart Müürisepp - Tom

Malla Malmivaara - Angelina

Jan Uuspõld - Jüri

Rein Oja - Rain