Juho Kuosmanen’s The Happiest Day of the Life of Olli Mäki (Hymyilevä mies) won the Un Certain Regard competition in Cannes on Sunday, May 22nd.
The film is produced by Jussi Rantamäki for Aamu Filmcompany Ltd and co-produced by Nordic major SF Studios producer Nicklas Wikström Nicastro. The film is based on a script by Mikko Myllylahti and the director Juho Kuosmanen.
The Happiest Day of the Life of Olli Mäki is inspired by real events. It tells the story of Olli Mäki, the first Finn ever to fight for the world championship in featherweight boxing, who lost the match humiliatingly in the second round by knock out in front of a packed stadium in the sixties. According to Mäki it was the best day of his life.
”The Happiest Day of the Life of Olli Mäki is not only a film about finding love. It is a film about the fear of failure and the pressure to succeed – and these were exactly the emotions that I struggled with while making this film. Now that the film is ready I feel relieved, although the opportunity to debut at the most important film festival in the world brings a new set of expectations with it. To quote the main character Olli Mäki ‘let’s fight and see how it goes’”, says director Juho Kuosmanen.
The Happiest Day of the Life of Olli Mäki is Kuosmanen’s first feature-length film. The cast include Jarkko Lahti as Olli Mäki, Oona Airola as Olli’s girlfriend Raija Jänkä and Eero Milonoff as the legendary boxer and promoter Elis Ask. The film is shot on 16 mm film in black and white by J-P Passi.
“We are very happy and extremely proud to be part of this fantastic and joyful project. Our sincere congratulations go to the director Juho Kuosmanen and we are grateful to the Un Certain Regard jury which has honored the Happiest Day of the Life of Olli Mäki with this prestigious prize”, says Nicklas Wikström Nicastro, co-producer at SF Studios.
The Happiest Day of the Life of Olli Mäki is planned for a September 2nd theatrical release in Finland.
Co-producers: SF Studios/Nicklas Wikström Nicastro, Film i Väst/Tomas Eskilsson and Katarina Krave, One Two Films/Sol Bondy and Jamila Wenske with the support of Nordisk Film & TV-fond.
About SF Studios
SF Studios, founded in 1919, is one of the world’s oldest film companies and the leading film entity in the market for production, co-production, acquisition and distribution in the Nordic region and international sales of feature films and TV series. SF Studios is part of the leading Nordic media company Bonnier