KINO LORBER ACQUIRES TOM OF FINLAND, A BIOPIC ABOUT THE ACCLAIMED FINNISH EROTIC ARTIST AND GAY ICON, AHEAD OF ITS NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE AT THE 2017 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
New York, NY – April 14, 2017 – Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to TOM OF FINLAND, Dome Karukoski’s biopic about the life and work of Finnish artist and gay icon Touko Laaksonen, best known by his pseudonym Tom of Finland.
A trailblazing figure in post-World War II erotic art, Touko Laaksonen drew thousands of fantasy-filled, homoerotic images of intensely masculine (and muscular) men, often liberated from the moral codes of their times. Quickly spreading throughout the world, these images went on to play a significant role in the transnational gay liberation movement that continues to make strides to this day, also becoming iconic symbols for generations of LGBT people worldwide.
Dome Karukoski’s TOM OF FINLAND is set to have its North American premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film festival, after a world premiere at the Goteborg Film Festival in February. It’s also in high demand among LGBTQ U.S. festivals. The film’s world premiere was followed by a release in its home territory, where TOM OF FINLAND has taken close to $1m at the local box office.
The deal was negotiated between head of worldwide sales Vanessa Saal for Protagonist Pictures and Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber.
‘Touko Laaksonen dared to draw and give life to his most daring and transgressive fantasies, and by doing so, inspired an entire generation of LGBT people to also live and desire freely,” said Richard Lorber. “Dome Karukoski’s film captures the man, as well as his milieu, in an incredibly cinematic and powerful way, so we’re very proud to be bringing TOM OF FINLAND to North American audiences this year.”
Vanessa Saal of Protagonist added; “We are so pleased the film has found such a good home for North America. Kino Lorber handpicks and nurtures each of its titles. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and we know they will spread TOM OF FINLAND love across America.”
Director Dome Karukoski is an acclaimed Finnish filmmaker with six features to his credit including The Grump (2014), Heart Of A Lion (2013) and Lapland Odyssey (2010).
The film was produced by Finnish production outfit Helsinki Film, with a screenplay by Aleksi Bardy. The cast includes Pekka Strang, Lauri Tilkanen, Jessica Grabowsky, Taisto Oksanen, Seumas Sargent, Jakob Oftebro and Niklas Hogner.
Aleksi Bardy, Miia Haavisto and Annika Sucksdorff of Helsinki Film produced the film. Gunnar Carlsson of Anagram Väst in Sweden, Miriam Nørgaard of Fridthjof Film in Denmark, and Ingvar Thordarson and Sophie Mahlo of Neutrinos Productions Germany were co-producers, in collaboration with Mike Downey and Sam Taylor of Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) UK.
ABOUT KINO LORBER:
With a library of 1,600 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years, releasing over 25 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Classics, and Alive Mind Cinema banners, with six Academy Award nominated films in the last eight years, including this year’s nominated documentary FIRE AT SEA, directed by Gianfranco Rosi.
In addition, the company brings over 250 titles each year to the home entertainment market through physical and digital media releases under its five house brands. It also now distributes a growing number of third party labels in all ancillary media and is a direct digital distributor to all major digital platforms including iTunes, Netflix, HULU, Filmstruck, Tribeca Shortlist, Amazon, Vimeo, VHX, Fandor, Mubi and Others.
Next from Kino Lorber are the theatrical releases for Bruno Dumont’s SLACK BAY, starring Juliette Binoche and set for an April 21 NY opening at Quad Cinema and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and Vanessa Gould’s OBIT, opening April 26 at Film Forum and Lincoln Plaza Cinema.
ABOUT PROTAGONIST PICTURES:
Protagonist Pictures is an international finance, production and sales company which has a proven track record in outstanding films and commercial successes. Based in the UK, the company handles films from around the world, always maintaining a strong focus on filmmakers with exceptional vision and storytelling skills.
Protagonist’s current slate includes Francis Lee’s Sundance award-winner GOD’S OWN COUNTRY; Charlie McDowell’s Netflix title THE DISCOVERY which stars Robert Redford, Jason Segel and Rooney Mara; Berlin competition title THE DINNER, Oren Moverman’s adaptation of the Herman Koch novel, starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall and Steve Coogan.
In distribution in 2017 are Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE, Eleanor Coppola’s PARIS CAN WAIT and Adam Smith’s feature debut TRESPASS AGAINST US. Titles in post-production include Clio Barnard’s DARK RIVER and Amma Asante’s WHERE HANDS TOUCH.