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A visually mesmerizing film—song and music take lovers Emilie & Philippe from Cherbourg to Paris, where the stress of urban living and multiple jobs begins to threaten their relationship.


Le Café de mes Souvenirs is an international, French-Finnish music film. The movie is written and directed by Valto Baltzar. The plot runs partly through songs composed originally for the film by a Finnish jazz composer Heikki Sarmanto. The movie has been filmed and edited by photographer Kimmo Koskela. The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the most respected and recorded symphony orchestras in the world, performs the score in the film. 


​​Le Café de mes Souvenirs is the love story of Emilie and Philippe. The story takes place in Helsinki, where Emilie works in her mother’s café and Philippe, a Frenchman, has moved to Finland to work as a French teacher. Their love story develops like a musical, with and song and dance – until they have to face some cold realities of life. The world surrounding our lovers grows tougher and true humanity is not easy to find. The society is becoming increasingly fragmented, and not everyone can keep up. Philippe stumbles, but despite all of his struggles decides to survive. 


The movie is an homage to the French movie classic The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg) directed by Jacques Demy. The film is filmed in Finland and France. In Finland the film is filmed in Helsinki, Porvoo, Kauniainen and Sipoo. In France the filming took place in Cherbourg and Paris. Finnish design plays a central part in the set design, for example the designs of Yrjö Kukkapuro and Marimekko can be seen in the film. The cities of Helsinki and Cherbourg are in collaboration with the film. The film is filmed using eco-friendly energy. 

​Thoughts of the film 


​“It was my turn to organize a movie night for my neighbours. In the video rental shop I just so happened to pick up the movie “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg”, which made an incredible impression on me. That was when Cherbourg first appeared in my life, and I decided to go see the town in person. On the spot I discovered it gave out that same feel as the movie, and once more I praised Jacques Demy’s genius. A small, idyllic town. First love. Deneuve. Castelnuovo. How safe and magnificent to have the chance to grow up in such an environment.

 

I have grown up in a small town, one which may seem lonely and abandoned on the outside. I’d like to remind people that there is life outside the big cities as well. We live in a time where small counties’ value goes undetected, and big cities keep hogging the attention of the authorities. The depression of the small counties goes unseen. Cherbourg got me to think of authenticity, which you often encounter outside the metropolis.

 

Valto Baltzar

Director & Scriptwriter


​"After the advent of the postmodern cinema (which I call the second new wave) it has seemed impossible to come back to a certain innocence in moviemaking. However, Valto Baltzar's new work seems to make exactly that impossible move, bearing a possibility in becoming a strong example of the third new wave of personal cinema. Baltzar's collaboration with the composer Heikki Sarmanto in the movie project "Le Café de mes Souvenirs" reminds me strongly of the collaborative work between the 1960's new wave director Jacques Demy and the composer Michel Legrand. Like Demy, Baltzar brings in his worldmaking his realm of fantasy in a close connection with the issues of the contemporary reality. Music is inseparable of the love story, which invites the spectator with itś familiarity to be surprised of how the events will develop."


 Kari Yli-Annala

 Artistic director, AVEK Awarded lecturer 


​Lyrics written by Valto Baltzar, Heikki Sarmanto is the composer of the film. Heikki Sarmanto is a Finnish jazz pianist and composer. Sarmanto began to play jazz during the 1960s. He studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Sarmanto has released numerous recordings, published scores as well as having several film scores to his credit. Sarmanto has collaborated with jazz musicians such as Sonny Rollins, Art Farmer and Helen Merrill. 


Kimmo Koskela is a Finnish cinematographer, director and producer who has been working in experimental short and feature films, dance films, documentaries, photography and various art projects since the early eighties. He has worked in collaboration with many celebrated Finnish artists such as photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen and musician Kimmo Pohjonen. His film Soundbreaker has been nominated for Jussi Award and Best Creative Film in Festival International For Arts FIFA in Montreal, Canada. 

Production team

Director & Scriptwriter

Valto Baltzar​


Composer

Heikki Sarmanto


Cinemaphotographer and editor

Kimmo Koskela​


Cast

​Lionel Nakache - Philippe​

Eveliina Kauhanen - Emilie​

Anouchka Delon - Maria

Irina Björklund - Charlotta​

Ilkka Merivaara - Elias

​Minna Koskela - Inna

​Jorma Uotinen - Ilmari​

Elias Keränen - Timo

​Victoire Vecchierini - Emma

​Ines Kakkonen - Anna​

Iida Ikonen - Ella

​Niko Saarela - Tapani

Marja Packalén - beggar

Larissa Saari - young beggar


Producers

Valto Baltzar

Kimmo Koskela


Head of production 

Alf Hemming 


Costumer

Anu Gould


Production Designer

Maria Jännes


Director's Assistant

Kari Yli-Annala​


International Distribution Partner

Kartano Audio Ltd.


Marketing Consulting

Jukka Aminoff​


Consulting

Mari-Leena Kuosa


GENERAL INFORMATION

Language of the movie: mainly in the French language

Shooting locations: France & Finland

International distribution: information on request 

Genre: drama 

Length of the film: 105 min 


For more information


Valto Baltzar

Director

valto@filmikatse.fi


Director Biography - Valto Baltzar


Valto Baltzar is a film director and screenwriter based in Helsinki, Finland. Le Café de mes Souvenirs is an international, French-Finnish musical written and directed by Baltzar. 


Songs composed for the movie are a central part of the film's plot. Valto Baltzar has written the lyrics for the songs, originally in the form of poems, and jazz composer Heikki Sarmanto has composed them into songs. Baltzar started his artistic collaboration with composer Sarmanto when Baltzar was a theatre director. 

Valto Baltzar started his career in cinema and theatre as an actor and he studied in the Finnish Theatre School in Helsinki. Baltzar has written and directed theatre plays like In your eyes, Did I fall in love? and Fourth kingdom.

www.filmikatse.fi


Valto Baltzar est un réalisateur de film et scénariste basé a Helsinki en Finlande. Le Café de mes Souvenirs est une comédie musicale Franco-Finlandaise écrite et réalisée par Baltzar. Celle-ci marque son debut en tant que réalisateur. 


Les chansons composées pour le film sont un élément central. Les paroles ont été écrites par Valto Baltzar, au départ sous forme de poèmes, qui à la suite ont été adaptées par le compositeur Heikki Sarmanto sous formes de chansons. Baltzar a débuté sa collaboration artistique avec le compositeur Sarmanto quand ce premier était metteur en scène. 


Valto Baltzar a commencé sa carrière dans le cinéma et le théâtre en tant qu’acteur puis il a étudié à l’école de théâtre finlandaise à Helsinki. Baltzar a écrit et réalisé des pièces de théâtre telle que In your eyes, Did I fall in love? et Fourth kingdom.


Director Statement

“It was my turn to organize a movie night for my neighbors. In the video rental shop, I just so happened to pick up the movie “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg”, which made an incredible impression on me. It was then that Cherbourg first appeared in my life, and 


I decided to go see the town in person. Spending time there I discovered it gave out the same feel as it was in the movie, and once more I praised Jacques Demy’s genius. A small, idyllic town. First love. Deneuve. Castelnuovo. How safe and magnificent to have the chance to grow up in such an environment. I have grown up in a small town, one which may seem lonely and abandoned on the surface. I’d like to remind people that there is life outside the big cities as well.


We live in a time where the value of small communities goes undetected and big cities keep hogging the attention of the authorities. The depression of the small counties goes unseen. Cherbourg got me to think of authenticity, which you often encounter outside of the metropolis”.

  • Year
    2021
  • Runtime
    105 minutes
  • Language
    french, Finnish
  • Country
    Finland
  • Premiere
    World Premiere
  • Director
    VALTO BALTZAR
  • Screenwriter
    Valto Baltzar
  • Producer
    Kimmo Koskela, Valto Baltzar
  • Cast
    Eveliina Kauhanen, Lionel Nakache, Anouchka Delon, Irina Björklund
  • Cinematographer
    Kimmo Koskela
  • Editor
    Kimmo Koskela