TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


The Woodcutter Story

Mikko Myllylahti, Emilia Haukka


TFL Awards

TFL Production Award 2018 (€ 40.000)


An open-pit mine is unearthed in an idyllic town in Northern Finland, and a strange chain of dreadful events affects the life of Pepe, a kind and optimistic woodcutter.

After everything disappears around him, Pepe is faced with the question of evil: he loses his job and the love of his wife, his best friend commits suicide and even his house burns down. But no matter what happens, Pepe seems to be fine with it, as if he holds a secret to existence that is hard to grasp. The village is in turmoil and the dark underbelly reveals itself. A burning car appears from the darkness and fish and birds are talking in voices. People are losing their hope.

A mysterious character enters the village. He is a psychic singer named Jaakko who is said to be able to contact the dead. Jaakko has a message and a promise of consolidation in its most violent form: a connection to the other side.

A battle between hope and despair is unleashed and Pepe’s optimism and goodwill is put to an ultimate test.


I once encountered a peculiar woodcutter from the North, not far from my hometown. He told me about his life, how he was forced to leave the village and his family, how he lost everything. It was a sad story, but he seemed to be fine with it. He accepted his fate as if he knew a meaning of his own that I could not understand. I felt strongly that I wanted to test him, to see if I can crush the faith of this benevolent man.

Where does this integrity come from? Like Buñuel’s Nazarin or De Sica’s Miracle in Milan, The Woodcutter Story, a loose adaptation of the Book of Job, raises the question: what is hope in our contemporary world full of menaces and cynical approaches?

This is the core of this modern myth dressed as an existential dark comedy set in contemporary Northern Finland where the mining business is taking its toll.

budget, distribution & sales

The Woodcutter Story was selected for Cannes Critics’ Week’s Next Step programme 2018. The total budget of the film is aimed at € 1.300.000. The financing plan is based on the support from the two main domestic financiers Yle and The Finnish Film Foundation. As the project is a particular piece from a rising star of the art-house genre filmmaking with very concrete co-production possibilities, we believe that it is an intriguing project for co-productions. We are looking for a co-producer to boost the budget. The film is planned to go into production in December 2019 and to be released in fall 2020. Our aim is to do a well-planned and executed international launch at one of the A-list film festivals in 2020. Our main goal with the distribution of The Woodcutter Story is to establish Mikko Myllylahti as a talent with his debut feature. This means engaging the audience with an A-level festival premiere and build a momentum from that to cinema distribution. We look to collaborate with a sales agent who is interested in working long-term on Mikko Myllylahti’s films.


A woodcutter is put to a horrible test when an open-pit mine is established in his village.
Mikko Myllylahti

Scriptwriter, Film Director

Emilia Haukka


production notes

original title
Metsurin Tarina

directed by
Mikko Myllylahti

produced byAamu Film Company
Hiihtomäentie 34
00800, Helsinki