Oscar 2009: Finland's Entry–Letters to Father Jacob

“Letters to Father Jacob” is Finland’s Official Selection for the 82nd Academy Awards, followed by a champagne and dessert reception. It is the fourth feature film from Haro and his third to be submitted as Finland’s foreign-language entry for Oscar consideration. After its recent debut on the festival circuit, the film has already won the Audience Award at The Nordic Film Days Lübeck Film Festival and the Main Award of the Mannheim-HeidelbergFilm Festival.

“Letters to Father Jacob” is a drama about the human condition and two wonderful, moving characters, each on their own unusual path. Leila, recently pardoned from a life-sentence for murder, goes to work as a personal assistant to Pastor Jacob. At the rectory, two completely different lives become unexpectedly intertwined, and the roles of the helper and the one being helped are turned upside down.
 
Director/writer Klaus Haro is an award-winning filmmaker, best known for “Mother of Mine” (Audience Award/Palm Springs International Film Festival; Crystal Bear/Cairo International Film Festival); “Elina: As if I Didn’t Exist” (Crystal Bear/Berlin International Film Festival) as well as “The New Man.”  In total, Haro’s films have won more than 60 prizes in festivals around the world, and in 2004 he was awarded the Ingmar Bergman Award, the winner of which is chosen by Bergman himself.  Haro works in both Sweden and Finland and is known for his skill and sensitivity at handling serious subjects.
“Letters to Father” Jacob is directed and written by Klaus Haro and stars Kaarina Hazard, Heikki Nousiainen, Jukka Keinonen and Esko Roine with cinematography by Tuomo Hutri.