The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, directed by Juho Kuosmanen, has been selected by Finland´s official selection committee – The Finnish Film Foundation, as the Finnish contender for the Foreign Language Film Oscar.
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki premiered at Cannes Film Festival this year where it won the Un Certain Regard section’s top prize. The film will be seen next in Toronto International Film Festival in the Discovery section.
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is a film inspired by real events. It tells the story of Olli Mäki, the first Finn ever to fight for the world championship in featherweight boxing, who lost the match humiliatingly in the second round by knock out in front of a packed stadium. According to Mäki it was the best day of his life.
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is Kuosmanen’s first feature-length film. The main cast includes Jarkko Lahti (Olli Mäki), Oona Airola (as Olli’s girlfriend Raija Jänkä) and Eero Milonoff (as a legendary boxer and promoter Elis Ask. The film is shot on 16 mm film in black and white by J-P Passi.
The Finnish jury, consisting of film professionals, characterized The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki as an elegant film, a local true story that the talented film makers have lifted to a universal level while also infusing the touching and accomplished film with humour. A film full of personality, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki is a testament to the cinematic convictions and gifted workmanship of its makers.