TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


Family Time

Tia Kouvo, Jussi Rantamäki

Finland, Sweden

TFL Awards

TFL Production Award (€ 40,000)


It is Christmas time and the family is gathered at the grandparents’. Everything goes as usual: grandfather drinks too much and grandmother is trying to keep up everyone’s mood. The two middle-aged sisters keep arguing about trivial things, while the son-in-law and the teenager mostly keep to themselves. The two kids are filming a horror movie and seem to be the only ones actually having a good time.

The Christmas celebration ends in a depressing anti-climax, and after that, the family members go back to their own, private lives. Even there, the search for a meaningful human connection

"Family Time" is a subtly humourous study on family dynamics, on loneliness and being together. On how we try to find connection, but do not always succeed.


I think one of the most fascinating things to examine is what happens inside the walls of our homes. "Family Time" is a saga of one Finnish family but it extends to something universal. I
am dealing with questions such as: why is it so difficult to be a happy family? Is it possible to make a change in the family patterns?

My storytelling is thematic and relies a lot on the image. I admire filmmakers such as Mia Hansen-Love, Sofia Coppola and Jim Jarmusch for the lightness with which they deal with their themes, and Yasujiro Ozu and Roy Andersson for the firmness in their filmic language. I think that in my films, the perspective for looking at things is not as much watching what the people are doing, but that they are doing – what they are doing.

I want to look at people entangled in time, space and other people. I think it is a relief to see our connectedness to our surroundings, but also our own responsibility in changing them.


Each member of a working-class Finnish family seeks human connection in different ways.
Tia Kouvo

Scriptwriter, Film Director

Jussi Rantamäki


production notes

original title

produced byAamu Film Company
Hiihtomäentie 34
00800, Helsinki

in co-production with
Vilda Bomben – Sweden

current financial need
€ 1.350.000 (81% already secured)