Finnish TIFF Title ‘JE’VIDA’ Lands International Sales Deal

EXCLUSIVE: Helsinki-based sales company The Yellow Affair has acquired world sales rights to the TIFF Centrepiece title JE’VIDA, a Sámi language historical drama by Finnish filmmaker Katja Gauriloff.

The film had its world premiere at Tribeca International Film Festival earlier this year and is one of the first feature films to feature the indigenous Skolt Sámi language. The pic also won the top prize at Finnish Film Affair, Helsinki Film Festival’s parallel industry section.

Set in a time following the Second World War when fierce policies of assimilation fueled attacks on Sami culture, the pic follows an aunt and her niece who’ve never met before when they embark on a trip to Lapland to empty a house they’ve inherited. However, it turns out the withdrawn and distrusting aunt had been a victim of the assimilation policies, and the niece must make a big decision. By taking an interest in each other, they find value in themselves and their roots.

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The rights deal was brokered by Karoliina Dwyer on behalf of The Yellow Affair and by Joonas Berghäll from the Production company Oktober. The film is produced by Joonas Berghäll, Satu Majava, and Anna Nuru for Oktober Oy. The cast includes Agafia Niemenmaa, Heidi Juliana Gauriloff, Sanna-Kaisa Palop, Seidi Haarla, Erkki Gauriloff and Matleena Fofonoff. The film was funded with support from the Finnish Film Foundation, YLE, International Sámi Film Institute, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, and Creative Europe Media.

Director Gauriloff is best known for her pics Canned Dreams and Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest, which both played Berlin. Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest opened the Berlinale NATIVe section in 2017. Gauriloff was awarded the Finnish National Film Awards (Jussi) for best documentary film in 2016. Her first feature fiction was Baby Jane (2019).

The Yellow Affair’s current slate also includes The Rooster, directed by Mark Leonard Winter, which had its world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival, Chuck Chuck Baby, directed by Janis Pugh, which debuts at Edinburgh, and Icelandic horror Delirium, directed by Arró Stefánsson.

This year TIFF runs Sept 7-17.

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