Finland’s only entry for this year’s Cartoon Movie is funny and whimsical Bear Park (in Finnish titled ‘Karhupuisto’). It is the first feature-length animation that Turku-based animation studio Pyjama Films is developing with the total trust of the two directors Leena Jääskeläinen and Kaisa Penttilä.
The project is currently looking for a co-producer to join the production. The film is set also in a unique style benefiting the fluidity of 2D in characters and physicality of stop-motion in backgrounds.
Pyjama specializes in creator-driven 2D animation with high artistic ambition and breaking typical stereotypes. The studio founders Samppa Kukkonen and Terhi Väänänen, who is also a CEO for the company. also produce PlanetZ and Belzebubs series, both pitched with success in Cartoon Forum. The studio has close ties with YLE who has written a LOI for the film.
The film will be directed by the dynamic duo Leena Jääskeläinen and Kaisa Penttilä, both experienced in skiing (as the picture and the pitch video will prove), and in directing popular series with popular characters like Råtta Booris and many award-winning shorts. Both have been working at Helsinki based collective Animaatiokopla for many years.
The target audience for the feature is 5-9-year-olds, with the whole family watching together. The main character, 10 year old Bertie, wants to take part in a skiing competition with no talent in sports. As the race takes place as a relay, the challenge becomes bigger, while Bertie is not good at making friends either.
The project with the unique hybrid visual style has been supported already by Finnish Film Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, and in the fellowship program NipKow in 2019. The Finnish premiere is planned to take place at the time of skiing holidays.
Cartoon Movie takes place digitally between the 9th and 11th March making it the most important European showcase for future animated films both for the cinema and streaming platforms.
The online edition has attracted more than 878 professionals registered from 44 countries, and 307 buyers, such as Netflix, StudioCanal, Latino, LevelK, Film Constellation, Charades, Child Film, among others.
With 398 films financed for a budget of 2.63 billion EUR, Cartoon Movie has a real impact on the market since its creation in 1999.