Finnish director Aku Louhimies is is pushing ahead with his next project, She-Wolf, putting controversy over his last film behind him.

Produced by Aleksi Bardy of Helsinki Film, the new film begins shootingin April. Based on a novel by Leena Lander, it is a love story set inthe Finnish civil war.

Greek and German co-producers are on board the $2.2m drama which was presented in Rotterdam's CineMart lastyear.

Once She-Wolf is finished, Louhimies has another project in advanceddevelopment. Playground, as the project is called, is being set up as aFinnish-German co-production with Hamburg-based Polyphon. The film willagain be produced by Aleksi Bardy.

It's a welcome return for the director, who could only watch with dismay earlier this year as his box-office hit Man Exposed was abruptly pulled from Finnish cinemas because of a row between the producer Harri Ratl and the screenwriter (and Protestant priest) Veli-Pekka Hanninen over rights.

DVDs were called back from shops and festival invitations were declined as the row escalated.

'The good thing is that this scandal hasn't stopped Aku's career,' Bardy commented of Louhimies' plans to shoot the two new movies almost back to back.

Despite the dispute over Man Exposed, Louhimies doesn't harbour any bitterness toward Hanninen. 'He wants to blame me because that's the way to get more publicity. He might have some problems, but he is a nice guy,' the director says. 'I cannot believe that they will destroy the negative of the film.'