Finnish production outfit Lumifilm, best known for its animated TV productions including the long running Urpo & Turpo series, this week starts shooting its first live-action feature film, Pelicanman, in Helsinki.

The children's adventure film tells of a pelican, who becomes so fascinated by humans that he tries to be like them. He gets a job at the Opera, befriends two children and falls in love with a lovely ballerina, before he is unmasked.

The film will use a mixture of traditional and digital effects, and will be shot by the multiple award-winning cinematographer Timo Salminen, long-time collaborator of Aki Kaurismaki including the Oscar-nominated The Man Without A Past.

Produced by Hanna Hemila and directed by Liisa Helminen, the duo who founded Lumifilm Oy in 1993, it is co-produced by Sweden's Anita Oxburgh's Migma Film.

William Aldridge and Liisa Helminen's script is based on Leena Krohn's Finnish children's book Ihmisen Vaatteissa.

Buena Vista will handle Finnish and Swedish distribution in December 2004 and Sweden's NonStop Sales handles international sales. Pre-sales include Finland's YLE TV2 and FST as well as Iceland's RUV.