"Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale" by Jalmari Helander



Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
is a feature film by Finnish director Jalmari Helander and a good example of a successful co-production - in the spirit of Cine-Regio. It is a Finnish/Norwegian/Swedish/French co-production supported by the Norwegian regional film fund FilmCamp and the Swedish regional film fund Filmpool Nord.

“FilmCamp from northern Norway was the main regional fund in the financing and was the base and studiofacility for the production during both preproduction and shooting. FilmCamp offered up to 250.000 Euros to the production as a combination of direct investment and credits. The investment was to be managed in accordance to FilmCamp’s ‘Guidelines and rules for contribution in film and TV-productions’. The total budget of the film was approximately 2 million euro”, says Norwegian producer from Pomor Film; Knut Skoglund and FilmCamp’s Svein Andersen.

The team of producers from Rare Exports met through the Film Arc project, an interregional film initiative set up by four regional film funds in the Nordic Region; Filmpool Nord, Film i Västerbotten, POEM and Filmcamp.The purpose of the initiative is to strengthen the audiovisual industries and the creative industries in Northern Sweden, Northern Finland and Northern Norway, i.e the Film Arc region.

And with Rare Exports, they have really succeded in their aim. Since the production, there is a truly increase in the interest towards the region from film producers in many different countries.

“In 2008 we met with the producers of Rare Exports and the co-operation took it’s start there, Knut Skoglund explains. Like so many other things in life, it is a lot about chemistry and for this production, there was a "match" between our construction manager and the director. They really found amazing solutions, both suitable for the film and the funding available”.

The crew were structured as a real co-production, with film workers from from Finland, Sweden and Norway.Obviously, a lot of unpredictable difficulties happens when making a co-production. Demanding scenes, language problems amongst the crew, swine flu, and a period of little snow challenged the production again and again.

Nevertheless, what sticks in memory is a priceless, unforgettable shoot like this: “Nina, our 2nd assistant director,being responsible for the extras, and the make up team, really had their moment when 15 members of the local choir, many of them retired, were transformed into naughty elves, Santas little helpers, and packed into a heated caravan close to the shooting location...naked. It was 15-20 below zero and a nasty wind, and to see these enthusiasts being dragged out of a 30 + heated caravan into the 20 below zero location while the 1st assistant director was shouting to organise the action and a helicopter was hanging few meters above their heads, was awesome and surreal! But what a scene on screen!”

“All in all, a good experience in many ways, and through this film, we want to show that the film industry in North Norway has a great potential. Our locations are unique, and there is a large untapped potential in marketing magical and diverse landscapes combined with a good infrastructure and funding possibilities. And, as early as a few months after the opening, FilmCamp got their investment back”, Knut concludes.


Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is an elaboration on the two short films Rare Exports Inc. and Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions. This feature lenght film tells the tale of Santa Claus as a nasty predator and kidnapper of naughty children.

Produced by:

Cinet Film (Finland) in co-production with Pomor Film (Norway), Davaj Film (Sweden), Love Streams Agnès B. Productions (France).

Source: Cine-Regio /September 2011