Juno Films announced today the acquisition of US rights to TOVE, a Finnish biopic about bisexual Swedo-Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson, creator of The Moomins. The film, which premiered at TIFF 2020, is directed by Zaida Bergroth (Maria’s Paradise), written by Eeva Putro, and produced by Andrea Reuter and Aleksi Bardy. TOVE broke box office records in Finland last year year in spite of the pandemic, and now ranks as the highest grossing Swedish-language Finnish film in the last 40 years. Juno Films plans to release the film in theaters across America in June, for Pride Month. The deal was negotiated by Elizabeth Sheldon, founding partner and Chief Executive Officer of Juno Films.
Set from 1944 to 1956, the Swedish-language film shows how painter Tove Jansson finds worldwide success from an unexpected side project, in the midst of artistic struggles and an unconventional personal life. Alma Pöysti stars as Jansson, alongside Krista Kosonen and Shanti Roney. Pöysti has previously played Jansson on stage at Helsinki’s Svenska Teatern, and like the artist has dual Swedo-Finnish nationality.
Jansson’s creation, The Moomins, are a family of pale, round fairy tale characters with large snouts. In all, nine books were released in the series, together with five picture books and a comic strip released between 1945 and 1993. The Moomins have since been the basis for numerous television series and films.
"The portrait of the artist Tove Janssen vividly brings to the screen a woman who defied the bourgeois norms of post War Europe to live a life of artistic and sexual freedom,” says Elizabeth Sheldon. “Director Zaida Bergroth’s luscious drama will leave audiences enchanted. We are very proud to add this film to our slate of films by and about bad ass women.”
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