Cannes Critics’ Week Film ‘The Woodcutter Story’ Debuts Trailer, Totem Films Handles Sales (EXCLUSIVE)

The Cannes Critics’ Week film “The Lumberjack’s Story” has launched its trailer. It is the first feature film by a director of Mikko Myllylahti, the writer of the Cannes Un Certain Regard winner “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Makki”. The film is sold by a French sales team Totemic movies.

“The Woodcutter’s Story” centers on Pepe, a woodcutter in an idyllic small town in Finland. Over the course of a few days, a series of tragic events gradually destroys his quiet, happy life – but Pepe seems to be okay with it all, as if he has some hard-to-know secret of existence.

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Myllylahti was inspired to write the story following an encounter with a lumberjack who – despite having lost everything – “accepted his trials with a smile on his face”.

Myllylahti said: “The more I thought about him and his attitude towards life, the more I began to realize a potential for a story, a tale about the possibility of hope in our modern world filled with uncertainty and fear. I wanted to create a poetic universe where my amiable lumberjack could live, a quirky little village covered in snow and darkness, accompanied by all the strange characters.

He said it’s “a movie that’s very comedic and very serious, metaphorical and plot-driven at the same time”.

“The Lumberjack Story”  - Credit: Courtesy of Tero Ahonen/Aamu Film Company

“The Lumberjack’s Story” – Credit: Courtesy of Tero Ahonen/Aamu Film Company

Courtesy of Tero Ahonen/Aamu Film Company

He added: “For me, cinema is poetry. This is also where my journey lies: I started as a poet at 23 years old. All poetry – whether literary or cinematographic – is a reflection on language.

“A cinema that relies solely on the mechanics of storytelling is inevitably just a visualized oral narrative, a mere pale representation of reality without being that reality. Whereas a cinema that is structured on a more layered approach achieves transcendence beyond words and is capable – even in the year 2022 – of shaking us, or “shocking our souls” as Tarkovsky put it , and create sustainable scale. That’s also what I want to achieve with ‘The Woodcutter Story’. ”

The film is produced by Aamu Film Company, owned by Jussi Rantamäki and Emilia Haukka. Their credits include “Compartment No 6,” which won the Grand Prix at Cannes last year; “Fucking With Nobody”, which premiered in Venice in 2020; and “The happiest day in the life of Olli Mäki, winner of Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2016.

“The Woodcutter Story” was selected for L’Atelier Cannes in 2019 and labs such as Next Step in 2018, Torino FeatureLab in 2018, Toronto Filmmaker Lab in 2018, Jerusalem Film Lab in 2016 and Berlinale Script Station in 2015.

The film stars Jarkko Lahti (“Olli Mäki’s Happiest Day”), HP Björkman, Iivo Tuuri, Marc Gassot and Katja Küttner.

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