Dome Karukoski set for Tom of Finland biopic

Karukoski’s English-Language Debut Will Be
Tom of Finland’s First Authorized Biopic

TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled (Detail), 1974, Graphite on paper, © 1974 Tom of Finland Foundation

TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled (Detail), 1974, Graphite on paper, © 1974 Tom of Finland Foundation

Helsinki-filmi is producing and has secured exclusive rights to all archives and images of the artist.  Repped by sales agent The Yellow Affair, the film will be the first authorized biopic of Tom of Finland, whose work is part of the permanent collections of  the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Born in 1920, Touko Laaksonen – aka Tom of Finland – ”revolutionized the image of gay men, paved the way for greater tolerance and openness (…) and has influenced such designers as Tom Ford and Jean Paul Gaultier,” among others, stated the production shingle.

“It’s impossible to overstate the impact Tom’s work has had on the image and self-image of gay men all over the world. He created the archetypes that now form an integral part of the iconography of popular culture, both gay and straight,” said Aleksi Bardy, producer and partner at Helsinki-filmi.

Casting will be announced in early 2014.

Karukoski, one of Scandinavia’s most popular young directors, has notably helmed “Lapland Odyssey” which topped the Finnish B.O. in 2010 and won a Jussi award (Finland’s top kudo) for best movie.

Karukoski’s two most recent features have premiered at Toronto International Film Festival to critical praise.

Var


By Elsa Keslassy

Tom of Finland gets biopic

EXCLUSIVE: Dome Karukoski, here in Toronto with Heart of a Lion, is now set to direct his first English-language film, a biopic of groundbreaking artist Tom of Finland.

TOM OF FINLAND (Finnish, 1920 – 1991), (Detail) © 1963 Tom of Finland Foundation

TOM OF FINLAND (Finnish, 1920 – 1991), (Detail) © 1963 Tom of Finland Foundation

This will be the only authorized biopic of the artist as cleared by the Tom of Finland Foundation.

Tom of Finland was famous for his groundbreaking sexually explicit drawings of muscular men; his work is in collections at MoMA and LACMA.

Producers Helsinki-filmi have secured exclusive rights to the entire archives and all images from the artist. “We are working quite closely with the Foundation,” producer Aleksi Bardy told Screen. “It was very important for them that we wanted to respect the copyrights for his work. He has been pirated so much over the years.”

“I think it’s a story of liberation, it’s a very universal story,” Bardy added.

Casting of an international actor will be announced in early 2014 and the film will start shooting in December 2014. “We don’t want to make a niche film,” Bardy said. “This is a universal story and we need an actor of a certain level.”

The film will shot in Finland, Germany and North America.

The story will be about his background where he suffered with anti-gay police brutality in Finland, his life during World War 2, how he conquered American and how he influenced the gay community worldwide.

“Helsinki-filmi share our vision of how to bring Tom’s life and work to the screen”, says Durk Dehner, president and co-founder of the LA-based Tom of Finland Foundation. “We are very happy to work with them on the first and only authorized portrayal of this groundbreaking artist”.

Karukoski’s films also include Lapland Odyssey.

By Wendy Mitchell

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