Paris-based Kinology has acquired world rights for Finnish director Aino Suni’s psychological thriller “A Girl’s Room.”
Cannes-based Adastra Films is teaming on the project with Hamburg shingle and “System Crasher” producer Oma Inge Film and Helsinki-based Made.
Suni’s feature debut follows Elina, a 17-year-old aspiring Finnish rapper forced to leave her home for the south of France after her mother finds a French boyfriend. There, she is drawn to her new stepsister Sofia, a charismatic ballet dancer who leads a double life. Their relationship soon turns toxic, however.
The film follows Suni’s 2018 documentary “Never Again,” about Finnish rap artist Mercedes Bentso (a.k.a. Linda-Maria Roine).
Adastra has worked with Suni since 2012, when it began distributing her short works. “We were so convinced of Aino’s talent as a storyteller that we decided to work with her on her first fiction feature film,” said Adastra producer Sébastien Aubert. After reading the initial concept, they were immediately on board. “We were really touched by the story of Elina and Sofia, the two lead characters, as well as by her exploration of adolescent emotional turmoil. We felt the film placed itself at the perfect junction of mainstream and arthouse cinema.”
Made CEO Ilona Tolmunen had produced Suni’s earlier works so it was only natural that she join the production since parts of the film are set in Finland, Aubert added, noting that the producer played a big part in Suni’s career “and her artistic vision helped shape the filmmaker Aino is today.”
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With other scenes set in Germany, the company recruited Frauke Kolbmüller, head of Oma Inge Film.
The project, which is being presented at the Venice Gap-Financing Market, has already secured support from French, Finnish, EU and German sources, including the Département des Alpes-Maritimes, the Région Sud and the City of Cannes, the Finnish Film Foundation, the MEDIA program and Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein.
“A Girl’s Room” also won the €20,000 ($23,676) Eurimages Co-Production Development Award at the Tallin Black Nights Film Festival’s Baltic Event Co-Production Market in 2018.
The producers say they are primarily looking to meet TV buyers and French distributors as well as additional equity to close the project’s financing. “A Girl’s Room” is budgeted at €1.22 million ($1.44 million) and producers are looking to raise the final €150,000 ($177,574).
“A Girl’s Room” is set to shoot on location in and around Cannes as well as Hamburg and Helsinki.
Kinology’s titles also include Mia Hansen-Løve’s “Bergman Island,” Douglas Attal’s “How I Became a Super Hero” and Naël Marandin’s “Beasts.”