Niko - the Finnish, CGI-animated young reindeer – will ride again, trying to repeat Finland’s biggest iinternational success.
The Finnish Film Foundation has chipped in $1.1m (€800,000) for the production of Niko 2, which Finnish director Kari Juusonen will shoot on a record $10.2 million (€ 7.4 million) budget from a script by Hannu Tuomainen and Marteinn Thorisson.
Produced by Petteri Pasanen and Tuomainen, for Finland’s Animaker, backed by Finnish state broadcaster YLE and Denmark’s TV2, the film will go before the cameras in July. Nordisk Film will handle domestic distribution, heading for an Oct 12, 2012, premiere.
Niko 1 or Niko & The Way to the Stars (Niko – lentäjän poika), which Juusonen co-directed with Denmark’s Michael Hegner, was a local hit, which Germany’s Telepool sold to more than 100 countries, where it reached more than three million admissions.
This year’s first package of production funding from the Finnish Film Foundation — $5.1 million (€3.7 million) — will set six features rolling, including another sequel, Mari Rantasila’s Ricky Rapper and the Cool Blue Wendy (Risto Räppääjä ja villeä Venla).
Rantasila’s first family venture sold 328,000 tickets domestically in 2010, to become No 2 on the charts. Written by Sinikka and Tiina Nopola, the follow-up will lense from this month for Kinotar; Nordisk Film will cater for the local release in February 2012.
Finnish veteran director Aleksi Mäkelä will stay in the drama-thriller genre with Life for Sale (Kotirauha), following an unlucky man’s way to disaster. Marko Leino scripted the film whick Markus Selin’s Solar Films will produce for Nordisk Film to release this autumn.