Finland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark 2017

Synopsis

TOM OF FINLAND is a fascinating filmic portrait of Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen and his journey to international success.

In the film, Touko returns after the Continuation War to his somber and moralistic home of Finland, where homosexuality is illegal. To entertain himself and his friends, he begins drawing sketches of chiseled, free, uninhibited and proud gay men. The illustrations are considered a danger in Finland, so Touko stashes them away. He even hides them from his sister Kaija, even though the siblings are very close. While working at an advertising agency, Touko falls in love with a dancer, Veli “Nipa” Mäkinen, but they are forced to hide their relationship.
Veli encourages Touko to show people his work, and so his drawings end up taking him to Los Angeles via Berlin. In L.A. Touko finds an appreciative audience for his art with the help of his friends. Penned under the name ‘Tom of Finland’, the illustrations become wildly popular and spark a revolution.

TOM OF FINLAND is an epic story about a man called Touko Laaksonen and the artist known as Tom of Finland.

Directors Statement

Touko Laaksonen lived at a time when social laws and norms tried to deny him the right to act as his true self. He and the film are a testament to how one person alone can change the world, armed with only the tools of an artist. It is a portrait of an esteemed artist, in addition to a love story among all the other themes. Touko Laaksonen lived a truly incredible life, and it is to be shared with the entire world.

Biography

Dome Karukoski is one of Finland’s most acclaimed film directors. In 2013, Variety named him one of the Top 10 Directors to Watch. All his films have been both critical and commercial successes. Six of Karukoski’s feature films have garnered a total of 33 Jussi Awards, Finland’s premier film prize. He has been nominated for the Best Director Jussi for each of his films and received the award for THE HOME OF DARK BUTTERFLIES and LAPLAND ODYSSEY. Three of his films have received the Audience Jussi Award. Karukoski’s films have amassed numerous international accolades and his films have been sold to every continent.

Filmography:
2017 TOM OF FINLAND
2014 THE GRUMP
2013 HEART OF A LION (
2010 LAPLAND ODYSSEY
2009 FORBIDDEN FRUIT
2008 THE HOME OF DARK BUTTERFLIES
2005 BEAUTY AND THE BASTARD
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Cast & Crew

Directed by : Dome Karukoski

Written by : Aleksi Bardy

Produced by : Aleksi Bardy, Annika Sucksdorff, Miia Haavisto

Director of Photography : Lasse Frank

Editor : Harri Ylönen

Production Design : Christian Olander

Costume Design : Anna Vilppunen

Hair & Make up Artist : Johanna Eliason, Lars Carlsson

Composer : Lasse Enersen, Hildur Guðnadóttir

Sound Design : Niklas Skarp, Christian Holm

Main Cast : Pekka Strang (Touko/Tom), Jessica Grabowsky (Kaija), Lauri Tilkanen (Veli/Nipa)

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2017