New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
The topic (suicide) is very important, and it reflects this concerning phenomena among western societies. Finland is supposed to be the happiest country in the world, but still has a major and growing problems with people suffering from mental disorders.
DreamMill Productions, a Finnish film production company, acquired the re-make rights for the recently released feature drama "Just Say Goodbye." On May 9th, DreamMill's director, Harri Haanpää, attended the Los Angeles Premiere of the original U.S. based film, which was directed/co-produced by Matt Walting and written/co-produced by Layla O'shea.
As the credits rolled, Haanpää knew he had found a special story about best friends, bullying, teen suicide, and the struggles young adults sometimes encounter with depression, so he set about contacting distributor Leomark Studios about the rights.
"I was amazed how the story flows and how much they achieved with such a small budget," Haanpää says. "The topic is very important, and it reflects this concerning phenomena among western societies. Finland is supposed to be the happiest country in the world, but still has a major and growing problems with people suffering from mental disorders."
Walting, under his own production company, Walting Entertainment, was only 18 years-old when he won the Indie Spirit
Award at the Boston
International Film Festival for his interpretation of the script last year: the youngest to ever earn the award. Even with its no-budget production level of $15K raised through crowd-funding, the hard-hitting film was picked up for mass distribution. The indie film began streaming on platforms like Amazon Prime, with DVDs selling through major online outlets like Best Buy, Target and Walmart soon after its week-long theatrical release in L.A.
Screenwriter, Layla O'Shea, says she was, "already thrilled to have the screenplay produced once. But to have it produced again so soon, and this time in Finnish, I couldn't be more proud how the story is resonating across cultures."
Haanpää adds, "When we are in school, bullying is always being addressed as a very serious problem. This movie shines a light on these important issues. If we can help even one person with this movie, we have done our job well. That's why I think, this is very important movie to produce together with the young people here in Helsinki."
Young people from the local youth center from Kannelmäki were chosen to collaborate on Haanpää's production. He wanted to give his young team the freedom to choose the type of movie to create.
"We started filming within three weeks from our first meeting. But despite that, because the young people are so excited, the film is alive and powerful."
The production phase began in August and is expected to complete by early October. The final film is expected to be ready by December. Information about the original film can be found at https://www.JustSayGoodbyeFilm.com.