A Film by Arto Halonen


Happier than the rest of us?

Princess, based on real-life events, tells the moving story of Anna Lappalainen.  Lappalainen, claiming to be "Princess", spent 50 years of her life as a patient at Kellokoski Psychiatric Hospital, where she healed  and brought joy to those around her through her lovable personality.


  • W2 Media acquires English language remake rights to "Princess"

    23 November 2011


    Los Angeles, CA – November 6, 2011 – It was announced today that W2 Media, the Los Angeles and Vancouver based film distribution, financing and international sales company, has acquired the English language remake rights to Arto Halonen’s highly acclaimed, award winning Finnish feature PRINCESS, based on the amazing real life story of cabaret dancer Anna Lappalainen. The announcement was made by W2 Media CEO John Flock.

  • Finnish movies grab prizes in Portugal

    13 June 2011

    News 13.06.2011: Finnish box office successes Princess and Lapland Odyssey picked up awards at the Festroia International Film Festival in Portugal last weekend.

  • Princess awarded Grand Prix in South Africa

    29 March 2011

    Press release 29.03.2011: Arto Halonen's feature-film drama Princess has been awarded the Grand Prix Jury prize at the Cape Winelands Film Festival in South Africa as the best film of the festival.

  • Katja Küttner awarded Jussi Prize

    07 February 2011

    News 06.02.2011: Katja Küttner awarded Jussi Prize for best actress

  • Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film

    12 January 2011

    Press release 12.01.2011: Princess nominated for world´s largest film prize

  • Katja Küttner film actor of the year

    09 December 2010

    News 09.12.2010: Finnish actors have voted to recognize Katja Küttner (née Kukkola) as the film actor of the year.

  • Katja Küttner awarded Best Actress Prize

    08 December 2010

    Press release 08.12.2010: 14th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival PÖFF gives Princess key award in its main competition series on Friday.

  • Arto Halonen awarded Culture Prize

    26 November 2010

    Press release 26.11.2010: Film director Arto Halonen has been awarded the City of Helsinki Culture Prize 2010.

  • Arto Halonen awarded Civil Action Prize

    15 October 2010

    News 15.10.2010: Film director Arto Halonen has been awarded the Civil Action Prize for 2010.

  • Arto Halonen awarded Mental Health Prize

    08 October 2010

    News 08.10.2010: The Finnish National Mental Health Prize was awarded this year to film director Arto Halonen, who has spoken for tolerance, caring and the acceptance of difference in his works.

  • Princess continues as most viewed film

    27 September 2010

    Press release 27.09.2010: Arto Halonen's Princess continues to be the most viewed film in Finland for the third week running.

  • Princess continues to top the charts

    24 September 2010

    News 24.09.2010: Arto Halonen's Princess continues at the top of the viewing charts in Finnish cinemas, and is the most viewed film in Finland for the second week in a row.

  • Princess charms in Finnish cinemas

    20 September 2010

    Press release 20.09.2010: On its second weekend in Finnish cinemas, Princess managed to gather even more viewers than on its premiere weekend, and has risen to become the most viewed film of both the weekend and the preceding week.

  • Princess selected to Montréal and Haugesund

    10 August 2010

    Press release 10.08.2010: Princess was selected to compete at a festival in Montréal and as opening film in Haugesund.

Princess, the Movie

Princess is based on real-life events and a real person. Cabaret dancer Anna Lappalainen (Katja Kukkola), drifting from one foster home to another, ends up in psychiatric care and soon the hospital staff and her fellow patients see that she’s suffering from severe delusions. She claims to be “Princess”, a member of the English royal family from Buckingham Palace.

Although Princess herself numbers among the patients, helping others becomes her life mission. Her court is comprised of her lady-in-waiting Christina von Heyroth (Krista Kosonen), and a group of fellow patients (Peter Franzén and Pirkka-Pekka Petelius, amongst others). Her jurisdiction extends all the way to Kellokoski village and the manager of the local bank (Tapio Liinoja). From the psychiatric hospital, this broken woman finds her true home and builds a family.

The hospital staff, however, can’t agree on whether empathizing with Princess’ delusions is the best thing for her. Doctor Grotenfelt (Samuli Edelmann) is a supporter of modern treatment methods, and a new invention, lobotomy, is making its way to Finland.