Finnish maverick Aki Kaurismaki is hatching a new movie in France called Le Havre. The film, a dramatic comedy about “a shoeblack who tries to save a refugee” has received script development funding from The Finnish Film Foundation.  

Producer Haije Tulokas has confirmed that the film is in pre-production and will shoot in the spring.  As yet, a sales agent has not been confirmed.  Le Havre will be Kaurismaki’s first feature since 2006’s Lights In The Dusk.

Kaurismaki will also feature prominently in new feature documentary Sodankvla Forever, being cooked up by Finnish filmmaker, cinephile and festival director, Peter Von Bagh. The film will feature footage of some 100 discussions conducted by Von Bagh at The Midnight Sun Film Festival in Finnish Lapland, which he organises with Kaurismaki and his brother Mika Kaurismaki. Among the interview subjects are Michael Powell, Francis Ford Coppola, Krzystof Kieslowski and Abbas Kiarostami.

Von Bagh is cutting the interviews together to create the impression that the directors are in discussion. Speaking about Kaurismaki, the film-maker said: “When he came to the [Midnight Sun] festival right at the beginning, he was very secretive. For the first five years, he was mainly in the projector cabin because he was the technical director. He almost avoided social occasions.”