First ever biopic of the most famous Finnish leatherman in history

Tom of Finland

 

TOM OF FINLAND (dir. Dome Karukoski, Finland/Sweden/Denmark/ Germany/USA, 115 mins, 2017)

Award-winning film-maker Dome Karukoski brings to screen the life and work of one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture. TOM OF FINLAND is the beautiful and thrilling true story of Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen (1920—91) and his journey to international success.

Touko returns home after serving his country in World War II. But postwar Finland is a bleak and moralistic place where homosexuality is illegal, so Touko has to be furtive about his sexual encounters. To amuse himself and his friends, Touko starts to draw unashamedly muscular and uninhibited gay men, but these drawings have to be kept secret; even his sister Kaija doesn’t know about them. For a while, Touko leads a regular life working in an advertisement agency, and falls in love with a dancer, Veli "Nipa" Mäkinen (1932–81). But his drawings soon lead Touko to Berlin and from there to Los Angeles, where his art reaches a wide audience. His work, always with his ‘Tom of Finland’ signature, becomes widely symbolic and fans the flames of the gay movement. Tom of Finland’s art is timeless and world-famous.

Cast includes Pekka Strang (Touko/Tom), Lauri Tilkanen (Veli [Nipa]) and Jessica Grabowski (Kaija).

Dome Karukoski is one of Finland’s most acclaimed directors, chosen in 2013 as one of the Variety’s worldwide Top Ten Directors to Watch. All six of Karukoski’s films have been a success both critically and at the box office and have earned him a total of 33 nominations in the Finnish National Film Awards. Karukoski has been nominated for the best director prize with all of his six feature films, winning this twice with HOME OF THE DARK BUTTERFLIES (2008) and LAPLAND ODYSSEY (2010). His films have won numerous international prizes, with three of them taking the audience award in Finland. His films have sold to all continents and played all over the world.

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