FilmSharks nabs ‘Hella W’

Buenos Aires -based world sales agent FilmSharks announced its most recent acquisition of a high quality film from Finland, entitled HELLA W, for the international marketplace outside Scandinavia and Estonia.

HELLA W, a visually stunning drama directed by the award-winning Finnish director Juha Wuolijoki, recounts the true story of Hella Wuolijoki, an internationally acclaimed businesswoman, playwright and politician who during WWII faces charges of treason.

HELLA W opened in January 2011 in Finland to the top of the local box office, racking up more than 80,000 admissions and 650,000 Euros ($914,875) so far. Scandinavian distribution is handled by Sandrew Metronome Distribution.

“The international sales campaign of HELLA W will be initiated at Cannes,” FilmSharks’ Guido Rud said. “We picked up the film because of its name director and story.”

Director and producer Juha Wuolijoki, founder of the Helsinki and New York -based production shingle Snapper Films, is thrilled to be working with FilmSharks. “Guido Rud’s enthusiasm and energy, combined with an impressive track record, are unique in the business,” Wuolijoki said.

JUHA WUOLIJOKI is an award-winning Finnish director. His family feature Christmas Story was the top-grossing Finnish film of 2007 and has spread wider than any Finnish feature, selling to 120 countries with theatrical releases in several territories, including China and Spain. Wuolijoki directed a version of Christmas Story dubbed into English, featuring the voices of Cannes winner John Turturro (Transformers, Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, Barton Fink) and Noah Emmerich (Fair Game, The Truman Show). Wuolijoki’s film Gourmet Club (2004), starring Emmy Award winner Michael Badalucco and executive produced by Ben Barenholtz (Requiem for a Dream, Miller’s Crossing), won numerous awards including the Golden Nymph Award at the 45th Monte Carlo Television Festival.

HELLA W (Finland 2011) is a biopic about Hella Wuolijoki, Finnish history’s most complex, talented and influential woman. It recounts the true story of an internationally acclaimed businesswoman, playwright and politician, who is determined to leave her mark on the European psyche. In the beginning of the 1920s she had already made millions, written several politically incendiary plays and was under careful observation by British, Russian and Finnish intelligence services. Soon, as the Second World War unfolds, Hella W finds herself in a situation in which there seems to be no right choices. She faces the same task as the Finnish agent put on her tail: finding out who she really is, and what hides behind the multi-faceted mask of Hella W.

FILMSHARKS’ current sales slate includes the Patagonik-produced “Igualita a mi,” in the Guadalajara film fest’s Vox Populi Box Office sidebar, Spanish blockbuster “Torrente 4: Crisis Letal” (Lethal Crisis), which will have its international premiere at Buenos Aires’ Bafici fest, Miguel Angel Lamata’s healthily-selling “Tension sexual no resulta,” produced by Segura, and two pics from Barcelona’s Eddie Saeta: Agusti Vila’s “The Mosquito Net,” which topped Karlovy Vary, and Sergio Caballero’s “Finisterrae,” which won a Rotterdam Tiger.