Story

(born in Helsinki 1964)

director / screenwriter / author

Ville Suhonen is a film director, screenwriter and author. Since 1985, he has directed and written more than 30 films. He first came to public attention as the writer and co-director of the successful family adventure film ”Tommy and the Wildcat” (1998). The same year saw the publication of his debut book, the novel ”The Boy and the Lynx”, based on the film.

His most recent works include ”Children of War and Peace” (2024) which will have its world premiere in January 2024 at the Big Screen competition of the IFFR Rotterdam International Film Festival, ”Price of Peace” (2021), about pacifist Arndt Pekurinen, ”Seamstress” (2015), a documentary film about the last executed woman in Finland during the war in 1943 which won the Jussi Prize for best documentary film and the State Prize for Public Information, the wildlife documentary ”Tale of the Forest” (2012), which was awarded the Environmental Prize of the Year, and the award-winning ”Frozen Hell” (2011), about the prisoner-of-war camps during the Continuation War in Finland.

Ville Suhonen has also published three novels for young people, one children’s picture book, the nature book ”Tale of the Forest”, the historical non-fiction book ”Seamstress – Martta Koskinen’s death and life” and the nature book of the year nominee ”The Moss Room”. He was also one of the editors of the book on finnish filmmaker Antti Peippo ”The Great Unknown of Documentary Film”.

Suhonen, who graduated from high school in 1983, studied art history and theatre studies at the University of Helsinki from 1984 to 1988 and has been a critic since 1986. Suhonen worked as a film and culture critic for the student magazine Ylioppilaslehti from 1988-1992.

He is currently also the chairman of the Risto Jarva Association and a member of the programming team at Cinema Orion, which is the oldest operating cinema in Helsinki.

Ville Suhonen was born in Helsinki on 23 June 1964, grew up in Herttoniemi in Helsinki, played the piano, played football in HerTo, went hiking in Viikki nature area, spent summers in Häme and ate smoked bream and rooster in wine from an early age. Nowadays he plays football for the film workers’ team Liiton Woima (”The Power of the Union”) and lives in Ruskela in Vihti and Merihaka in Helsinki.

Awards

  • Peace Prize, The Committee of 100 in Finland 2021: ”Ikuiseen rauhaan”
  • WWF Nature Book of the Year Finalist 2017: ”Sammalhuone”
  • Elli and Artturi Hiidenheimo Foundation Award 2017
  • Vihti County Medal 2016 for ”long-term work as an in-depth knowledge of history and appreciation of the experiences of nature”
  • The State Award for Public Information 2016: ”Seamstress”
  • Jussi Award for the Best Documentary 2016: ”Seamstress”
  • Jussi Award Nomination Best Script 2016: ”Seamstress”
  • Special Prize in the National Competition at Tampere Film Festival 2016: ”Seamstress”
  • The State Quality Award 2016: ”Seamstress”
  • Grand Prix and Best Direction: World Mountain Documentary Festival of Qinghai China 2014: ”Tale of a Forest”
  • Prize of the Environment 2013, The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation: ”Tale of a Forest”
  • The State Quality Award 2013: ”Tale of a Forest”
  • The State Quality Award 2012: ”Frozen Hell – Prisoners of War in Finland 1941-42”
  • Best Documentary Film in Northern Character Festival in Murmansk 2012: ”Frozen Hell – Prisoners of War in Finland 1941-42”
  • Prix de la Connaissance et de la Protection de la Faune Europeénne, Fest.Int.du Film Animalier, Albert 2005: ”Song of the Whooper Swan”
  • Children’s Culture State Award 1999: ”Tommy and the Wildcat”
  • Best Children’s Film, Wildlife Europe Festival 1999: ”Tommy and the Wildcat
  • The State Quality Award 1999: ”Tommy and the Wildcat”
  • Jussi Award Nomination Best Script 1998: ”Tommy and the Wildcat”
  • Golden Gate Award San Francisco International Film Festival 1997: ”Moments in Time”
  • The Ministry of Culture Award Ekotop Film Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia 1996: ”Moments in Time”.
  • The State Quality Award 1996: ”Moments in Time”
  • Bronze Medal Documentary Category in Media & Message Festival, Finland 1996: ”Moments in Time”
  • Main Prize National Competition at Tampere Film Festival 1996: ”Moments in Time”
  • Bronze Medal National Music Video Competition 1993: ”The Mingy Maid”.
  • Special Mention International Video Dance Festival ini Cannes 1992: ”Black + White”
  • The Finnish Short Film Honorary Award 1990: ”Colony of Survivors”.

Filmography

  • Children of War and Peace (2024) documentary 65′
  • Holy Night (Pyhä yö, 2022) short film 6′
  • Price of Peace (Ikuiseen rauhaan, 2021) documentary 82′
  • Seamstress (Ompelijatar, 2015) documentary 93′
  • Tale of a Forest (Metsän tarina, 2012; co-dir, sc.) documentary 75′
  • Frozen Hell – Prisoners of War in Finland 1941-42 (Jäämarssi, 2011) documentary 85′
  • Four Journeys on the River (Neljä matkaa Vantaanjoella, 2007; co-dir, sc.) documentary 75′
  • Song of the Whooper Swan (Siipi lumihohtoinen, 2004; co-dir, sc.) documentary 50′
  • A Journey with the cranes (Matkalla kurkien kanssa, 2002; co-dir, co-sc.) documentary 55′
  • Paradise in the City (Paratiisi kaupungissa, 2000;co-dir, co-sc.) documentary 55′
  • Tommy and the Wildcat (Poika ja ilves, 1998;co-dir, co-sc.)family adventure 90′
  • A Spider Swindle (Hämähäkkihuijaus, 1997) children’s film 30′
  • The Holy Swan (Pyhä lintu, onnen lintu, 1996; script) nature documentary 25′
  • Moments in Time (Katoavat hetket, 1996) art documentary 34′
  • From Speech to Song (Puhe lauluksi, sanat musiikiksi, 1995) music documentary 60′
  • Arctica – the Mythical Migration (Linnunratojen kansaa, 1995) nature documentary 24′
  • Io (1994) music video 5′
  • Marea (1993) music video 5′
  • Pihi neito – The Mingy Maid (1993) music video and -film 5′
  • Wild-Grown City (Villiintynyt kaupunki, 1993) environmental documentary 58′
  • Dolla (1992) music video 5′
  • Black & White (1992) dance video 12′
  • Student Life (Ylioppilaselämää, 1990) documentary 20′
  • Colony of Survivors (Selviytyjät, 1990) environmental documentary 27′
  • Silent City (1989) dance video 15′
  • Helsinki. Architecture (Helsinki.Arkkitehtuuri, 1989) documentary 20′
  • Thinker (Ajattelija, 1989) dance video 6′
  • The Kumenius Case (Tapaus Kumenius, 1989) documentary 52′
  • The Last Waterfront (Viimeinen kaupunginosa, 1988) documentary 16′
  • Flame of Functionalism (Funkiksen liekki, 1988; ass.dir.) documentary 40′
  • Time of the City (Kaupungin aika, 1987) documentary 20′
  • Dream Mode (1986) short fiction 16′
  • Paris, Breakfast (1985) short fiction 20′

Bibliography

  • Leposaari – Vilan (2023) (essays)
  • Insights into Antti Peippo (2020) (editor)
  • Sammalhuone (Moss Room, 2017)
  • Seamstress – The Death and the Life of Martta Koskinen (2016)
  • Tale of the Forest (2013)
  • Källskär (2008) (photographs)
  • Tuulensieppaaja (Wind Catcher, 2005) Novel
  • Tommy and the Wildcat – Return to the Wild (2003) Sequel of the story
  • Tommy and the Wildcat (1999) Novelization of the film
  • Tommy and the Wildcat – An Adventure in the Wilderness (1999) Illustrated book for younger audience

Contact

filmiville (at) gmail.com