EXCLUSIVE: Taavi Vartia to direct Rolli And The Golden Key.

Finland’s Matila Rohr Productions of Finland is partnering with the UK’s Film & Music Entertainment and Denmark’s Nordisk on the new instalment of the Rolli franchise, Rolli and the Golden Key.

TrustNordisk will sell the live-action musical adventure family film.

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It will shoot later this year and has been backed by the new Finnish Film Foundation 50/50 fund.

Taavi Vartia (Quest For a Heart) [pictured] will direct the story, which tackles the tricky subject of Rolli growing up.

The Rolli franchise started as a TV series in the mid 1980s and then was adapted for the big screen starting in 1991 and followed in 2001 by Olli Saarela’s Rolli and the Wood Sprite.

The production will be made using some sets and some blue and green screen work, as well as some computer animated animals. Post will be done at Molinare in London; the film will be readied for Finnish release in February 2013.

“Rolli and the Golden Key offers a timeless and universal world view,” Vartia said. “Its ideas and events are not bound to any nationality or era. The big, classic elements of fairytales – adventure, friendship, courage and understanding – remain the same regardless of time and place. As the film is first and foremost a children’s movie, extra attention is paid to more thrilling scenes – what is exciting is not scary. The visual world is clearly defined and stylised.”

“Rolli tales and songs are an endless source for stories,” added producer Marko Rohr. “On this foundation, we have created the screenplay for a new fantasy musical called Rolli and the Golden Key – the film will be a fairytale truly tailor-made for families. The new Rolli film is backed by a wide selection of merchandise which is introduced to support the promotion and marketing of the film. Rolli is an authentic cross media production to embellish the blossoming market of family cinema.”

Rolli and the Golden Key reunites the production team behind Quest for A Heart.

“When Marko came with the idea of a new Rolli film,” says Film and Music Entertainment’s Mike Downey, “we couldn’t resist the challenge and the fun.  Quest for a Heart was an enormous international success and lifted the brand awareness outside of Scandinavia, now with a musical like action version we can build on that nascent market for the brand.”