The biopic Tom of Finland will be Finland’s Oscar submission for best foreign film – whether the US Motion Picture Academy nominates it, however, remains up in the air.
The Finnish Chamber of Films’ jury – comprising some of the Finnish film world’s producers, directors, writers, composers and others – said that they chose the film because it is a love story that tells about the human rights struggles of the homosexual community from a Finnish point of view.
In particular, the jury praised actor Pekka Strang’s performance in the title role.
Directed by Dome Karukoski, the movie chronicles the life story of one of Finland’s most famous pop artists, Touko Laaksonen, whose homoerotic drawings “became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution,” according to the movie’s production firm Helsinki Films.
The film debuted domestically in late February, and was released in several European countries, including France and the UK. It has also been screened at a handful of film festivals around the world and will be screened in New York and Los Angeles in October, according to IMDB.com.
Earlier this year one of the film’s producers, Annika Sucksdorff, acknowledged that the film’s box office sales were not as high as she had hoped. But ticket sales and online rentals of the film would likely improve if it receives a nomination from the Academy.
The US Motion Picture Academy invites all film-producing countries to submit a candidate to compete in the best foreign film category of the Academy Awards, and will announce its foreign-language film nominees on January 23 next year.