• Golden Globe Awards

Forest Giant (Finland)

The setting of Forest Giant is a very Finnish one. Finland is a country full of forests and lakes which has survived largely because of its wood factories. The storyline of Forest Giant is a sad one as it is one that happens regularly in real life. The heart of a small town is the plywood factory, but if it is owned by an international company, they may decide that it is not profitable enough.
In the film, Pasi (Jussi Vatanen) returns to his childhood town to make changes at the local milling factory. With a child on the way with his upper-class wife, Linda (Sara Soulié), Pasi sees this as an opportunity: it is his ticket to climb the professional ladder in the company. However, on arrival, he bumps into his childhood friend, Janne (Hannes Suominen), who works in the factory he is about to downsize. Pasi begins to struggle with the fact that he is supposed to care for the profits – not for the people.
Directed by Ville Jankeri and produced by Rimbo Salomaa of Solar Films, Forest Giant takes us inside a very real drama. The subject matter is dark, but there is still humor in the story. Jankeri jokes that it is a “hilarious” topic to be downsizing a factory. “Forest Giant is a drama-comedy where (the) acting feels real, leaving time and space for comical moments, characters and observations.”
Jankeri knows what living in the countryside is. “I wasn’t born in a village, but I moved to Lapland when I was young. That’s when you experience new things, and this makes these friendships last. I moved away, and we barely speak anymore, but I still consider these guys my best friends.”
When Pasi meets the plywood factory workers, the foreman informs him that they have scored a new production record. But this is of no concern to a corporation that has thousands of such operations around the world. The company wants to start firing a whole bunch of people, whom Pasi has known his entire life – including his best friend since childhood, Janne.
Forest Giant is director Ville Jankeri’s third feature-length film. The story is based on the book by Miika Nousiainen.