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Finnish Cannes winner on nomination shortlist for European Film Award

Finnish filmmaker Juho Kuosmanen has landed on the shortlist for the European Film Awards for his drama film, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki. The breakout film director snatched the top prize in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ category in the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

Elokuvasta Hymyilevä mies
Jarkko Lahti reprises the lead role of Finnish featherweight boxer Olli Mäki in The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, directed by Juho Kuosmanen. Image: EPA

Fairly fresh from claiming the top prize in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ category following its screening at the Cannes Film Festival in May this year, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki  (Hymyilevä mies in Finnish) is set to score another breakthrough for the Finnish art form.

Co-written and directed by Juho Kuosmanen, the film is one of 50 titles listed for a nomination in the European Film Awards. Kuosmanen is in elite company – he’s competing against the likes of internationally acclaimed Spanish screenwriter-producer-director Pedro Almodóvar, recommended for the film Julieta.

The nominees will be selected by the 3,000-member European Film Academy and will be announced in November during the Seville Film Festival.

The official awards gala will take place in Wrocław, Poland on December 10. Prizes will be awarded to Europe’s best feature films in 22 categories.

Kuosmanen’s black-and-white film is a re-telling of a true story, the prelude to the 1962 world featherweight title championship face-off between country baker Olli Mäki and American reigning champion Davey Moore.

The film was a nominee for the Golden Camera award at Cannes, and received another nomination for Best Film by an Emerging Director at the Munich Film Festival.

Kuosmanen has managed to sell the rights for the film to countries such as the USA, the UK, Germany and France. It will hit the silver screen in Finland on September 2.

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