Juho Kuosmanen's Compartment No. 6 won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, and now has a shot at a Golden Globe Award.
The film's producer, Jussi Rantamäki, told Yle that the nomination came as a surprise.
"There had been no hint, nor were we in the loop about the nomination. It even happened that when Juho (Kuosmanen) received the first message of congratulations, he just replied 'Thank you, that's always needed'. But then, when we found out what the congratulations were for, yes, the mood has been high here," Rantamäki explained.
Compartment No. 6 has already been successful in Europe, where it has won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, and been nominated for the European Film Awards gala. America has not yet taken notice to the same extent, and success in Europe is no guarantee of success in the USA.
"Even though the film has won an award in Cannes, there are lots of examples that it means nothing in America," Rantamäki pointed out.
Kuosmanen's film is based on the book of the same name by Rosa Liksom, which won the Finlandia prize when it was published in 2011.
It focuses on a young Finnish woman, played by Seidi Haarla, and a Russian miner, played by Yuri Borisov, forced to share a small compartment on a train from Moscow to Murmansk.
The Golden Globe nomination is a hard-to-read signal for the American market in the sense that the winner will be decided by an association of foreign film journalists living in the United States.
According to Rantamäki, thanks to the Golden Globe nomination, Compartment No. 6 is now receiving the kind of attention in North America that the success of Cannes did not give it there.
"It's a huge recognition, of course. It's regarded as perhaps the second largest film event in America after the Oscars," he notes.
Compartment No. 6 is also Finland's Oscar nominee for best international film. The film's producer, Jussi Rantamäki, says the process of shortlisting Oscar nominees is a major mystery, but the nomination at the Golden Globes is a “tremendous opening” for the film's Oscar campaign.
More than 90 films are currently in the for an international film Oscar. The shortlist of 15 films will be released on 21 December and finalists will be announced in February.