Shooting has wrapped in Finland on Klaus Haro’s Second World War drama Never Alone, starring Ville Virtanen, based on the true story of how a prominent member of the Jewish community in Finland, tried to stop the police handing over Jewish refugees to the Gestapo to be deported to the death camps.
The film is produced by Ilkka Matila of Helsinki-based MRP Matila Rohr Productions, as a EUR4.9m co-production with Austria’s Samsara Filmproduktion, Estonia’s Taska Film, Germany’s Penned Pictures and Sweden’s HOBAB.
It is the 10th feature from prolific Finnish director Haro, whose previous films include Elina: As If I Wasn’t There (2003), Letters To Father Jacob (2009) and the English-language My Sailor My Love, which premiered at Toronto in 2022.
Financial backing has come from, among others, broadcasters MTV3/C More, Estonian Television, and Sweden’s SVT as well as the Finnish Film Foundation, Estonian Film Foundation, Film Estonia, the Swedish Film Institute, Nor disk Film & TV Fond, and Austria’s OFI+ incentive.
Nordisk Film will be theatrical distributor for Never Alone in the Nordic territories with Apollo overseeing the release in the three Baltic states. The Playmaker Munich handles international sales.
Never A Alone won the Screen International Best Pitch Award during the 2011 edition Baltic Event coproduction market at Tallinn’s Black Nights Film Festival. Sahraa Karaimi’s Taliban-themed drama
Flight from Kabul was this year’s winner. Based on real events in Karimi’s life when she was forced to flee her homeland after becoming a Taliban hit-list target, the drama combines a love story between a successful Afghan filmmaker Zibaa and the love of her life, Samir, with the life-changing decisions she has to make when the Taliban unexpectedly seize Kabul in August 2021.The EUR2m project was pitched in Tallinn by Adamik Hrycova of Bratislava-based Wandal Production which was also the winner of the Screen Best Pitch Award in Tallinn for Jonas Karaesek’s
The File in 2019.The script for
Flight From Kabul has been developed at the Midpoint Feature Launch programme, received the Works in Development Award at Karlovy Vary’s Eastern Promises industry platform last July, and already has Italian producer Domenico Procacci of Fandango onboard as a co-producer.Karimi’s first feature film,
Hava, Maryam, Ayesha premiered in Venice’s Orizzonti section in 2019 and was Afghanistan’s entry for the Academy Awards that year.