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, directed by Arto Halonen, continues its success. On its second weekend (17.-19.9.) the film gathered 21,826 cinema viewers, which exceeds the results of its opening weekend (18,901 viewers) by 15 per cent. Following the success of its preceding week, Princess continues as most viewed film in Finland, leaving Toy Story 3 in 2nd place and Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D in 3rd place. In total, Princess has so far gathered 69,516 viewers since its premiere on 10.9.
"It is highly exceptional for a film to make a better result on its second weekend than its first. In addition to good reviews, Princess has received a wealth of good feedback from viewers and word has clearly gotten around. The audience has taken Princess as their own", says Peter Toiviainen, the head of marketing at the film's distributor Sandrew Metronome Distribution Finland. "Alongside the large number of viewers, it has been great to see that the film's theme of difference is raising social discussion and moving viewers. It is motivating for a filmmaker that societal issues can be brought into focus through cinema", states the film's director and producer Arto Halonen.
Princess is based on real-life events and a real person. Cabaret dancer Anna Lappalainen, drifting from one foster home to another, ends up in psychiatric care. 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, and a group of fellow patients. Her jurisdiction extends all the way to Kellokoski village and the manager of the local bank. From the psychiatric hospital, this broken woman finds her true home and builds a family. The film's roles feature the cream of Finland’s leading actors, including Katja Kukkola, Krista Kosonen, Samuli Edelmann, Pirkka-Pekka Petelius and Peter Franzén.
Princess was written by Arto Halonen, Pirjo Toikka and Paavo Westerberg. The film was shot by Hannu-Pekka Vitikainen, edited by Tuuli Kuittinen, and the music composed by Tuomas Kantelinen. Princess received its world premiere at Montréal's World Film Festival, an A-list competitive festival, in its competition series for feature length debut films.
Princess' story is also featured in a book, written by Ilkka Raitasuo and Terhi Siltala and published in Finland by Like Publishing Ltd. Since its release, the book has quickly risen to 7th place in Finnish reader's charts for non-fiction books. In September, a soundtrack CD was also released as a collaboration between AXR Music and Art Films production. In addition, a wide-scale media and social education campaign for schools has been built around Princess' themes, in collaboration with Koulukino (School Cinema Association) and Finnish Central Association for Mental Health.
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Koulukino’s Princess website:
Liisa Lehmusto, publicist, Sandrew Metronome Distribution Finland
Vilhelmiina Vilhunen, Art Films production AFP Ltd