International Newswire: Finland Selects ‘Tom of Finland’ as Oscar Entry

tom of finland Goteburg Film Festival
Courtesy of Protagonist Pictures

In today’s International Newswire, Dome Karukoski’s biopic ‘Tom of Finland’ reps Finland in the Oscar race, former ‘Doctor Who’ showrunner Russell T. Davies is honored, and Alexandre Henin takes a senior kid’s content role at Federation.

Finland has selected Dome Karukoski’s “Tom of Finland,” a biopic of artist Touko Laaksanon, as its candidate for the best foreign-language film Oscar. Next up, Karukoski is helming J.R.R. Tolkien biopic “Tolkien,” starring Lily Collins and Nicholas Hoult, for Fox Searchlight and Chernin Entertainment.

“Tom of Finland” chronicles the life of Laaksanon, who, as Tom of Finland, created homoerotic art that had a major influence on 20th-century gay culture. The film follows the artist, played by Pekka Strang, from postwar Finland to Los Angeles, where his work becomes widely popular and fans the flames of the gay rights movement.

The film, which opened the Gothenburg Film Festival in January, was written by Aleksi Bardy, who also produced with Miia Haavisto and Annika Sucksdorff for Helsinki-filmi. The pic is also short-listed for this year’s European Film Awards.

The Royal Television Society, which brings together Britain’s television leaders, has awarded new fellowships to high-profile industry reps, including former “Doctor Who” showrunner Russell T. Davies. The educational charity and media forum, which is commemorating its 90th anniversary, selected fellows who have “made an outstanding and exceptional contribution to the industry,” such as Anne Bulford, deputy director-general of the BBC, and “Line of Duty” creator Jed Mercurio. The nine recipients also included Irish writer and director Graham Linehan, whose credits include “Father Ted,” “Black Books,” and “The IT Crowd”; Sara Geater, chief operating officer at All3Media Group; Mike Gunton, creative director, BBC NHU and Factual at BBC Worldwide; ITN CEO John Hardie; Dan Brooke, Channel 4’s chief marketing and communications officer; and Gary Franses, head of live events at Sunset+Vine.

French production group Federation Entertainment has tapped Alexandre Henin, France Télévisions’ former children’s programming acquisitions exec, for top posts at two of its divisions. Henin joins the company’s children’s content distribution unit, Federation Kids & Family, as head of acquisitions, and sister production firm Cottonwood Media as creative producer. Henin’s primary role will be to source and invest in new children’s content, both for co-production and acquisitions, and including animated as well as live-action properties. He will report to David Michel, president of Cottonwood Media and head of Federation Kids & Family.

Cartoon Forum kicks off in the French city of Toulouse on Sept. 11. The 28th edition of the co-production platform for European animation series will present 82 new projects from 23 European countries. More than 900 producers, investors, distributors, buyers and SVoD and VoD operators will be on hand, among them execs from Netflix, Amazon, Hopster TV, MoMedia TV, SK Broadband and WildBrain Intl. A key event for Europe’s animation sector, Cartoon Forum will also host the 3 Cartoon Tributes ceremony, which presents awards to the most positive and influential broadcaster, investor/distributor and producer of the year. Cartoon Forum runs through Sept. 14.