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Nightwish film premieres in Helsinki

One of Finland’s most successful music exports Nightwish premieres its feature film “Imaginaerum” in Helsinki on Saturday night. Before the film, the theatrical heavy-rock band is playing live to tens of thousands of fans.

Nightwish band leader Tuomas Holopainen.
Tuomas Holopainen. Image: Yle

“We are the warm-up act for the film,” the band leader Tuomas Holopainen chuckles.

Imaginaerum is a fantasy film based on an inspiration Holopainen had five years ago, in the aftermath of the band’s _Dark Passion Play _-album.

“Movies and film music have always been a great resource for us, so I thought why not try out this crazy dream,” Holopainen muses.

The film praises the imagination and the privilege of life, the band’s headman reveals. Although Nightwish members are featured in the film, their roles are not prominent.

“From the very beginning the band wished it wouldn’t be given too big a role in the film, because we are all amateurs. None of us can act. The main thing is to tell a beautiful story with credibility,” Holopainen explains.

Imaginaerum is directed by Stobe Harju, and was shot in Canada. The budget is 3 million euros, half of which is the band’s own investment.    

Not looking for a new singer

With the film completed, Holopainen is looking forward to new challenges. However, the band’s first priority at the moment is their tour in South America and Australia.

The band’s real-life story reads in part like a movie script, with dramatic changes of female soloists. Only last month the Swedish singer Anette Olzon suddenly left the band, to be replaced by Dutch Floor Jansen.

“We’re not looking for a new singer at the moment. We’ve agreed with Floor Jansen that we’ll play our concerts with her until August. After that it’s a clean slate, I mean nothing has been decided,” says Holopainen.

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