Films Feature Films Letters to Father Jacob
The visually-stunning "Letters to Father Jacob" follows two wonderful, moving characters - each are on their own unusual path. The two paths cross when Leila, who has recently been pardoned from a life-sentence for murder, goes to work as a personal assistant for Pastor Jacob.

Each day the mailman brings letters from people asking for help from Father Jacob. Leila's job is to read aloud the letters and answer them as the pastor prays and gives encouragement. Pastor Jacob is old, he is blind. Answering the letters is his life mission; Leila thinks the whole thing is pointless. After all, she is not a Believer. But the job, which comes with a place to live, is pretty much the only option available to her at this stage in her life.

For all its beauty, the secluded parsonage in the countryside, is another form of prison for Leila. Finally, she cannot take it any more. One idea is to "borrow" some cash from the house and leave.

But one day the letters stop coming.

Father Jacob's life is shaken to its foundation. Leila cannot leave him now. Physically fragile before, now he is spiritually at his breaking point.

In the beginning it was Leila who needed a roof over her head, and a job. Now it is Father Jacob who needs to be rescued. Leila rouses Jacob from his despair and an unexpected thing happens: a door opens to Leila's past. She steps forward.

And then both she and the pastor are freed.

Cast
Leila / Kaarina Hazard
Priest Jaakob / Heikki Nousiainen
Postman / Jukka Keinonen
Prison governor / Esko Roine

Crew
director & script: Klaus Härö
cinematographer: Tuomo Hutri
gaffer: Kalle Penttilä
sound designer: Kirka Sainio
production designer: Kaisa Mäkinen
costume designer: Sari Suominen
make-up artist: Pia Mikkonen
graphic designer: Timo Hyppönen
original script: Jaana Makkonen

75 min, 35mm, 1.85, Dolby Digital, color, Finnish dialogue






Festivals and prizes


Göteborg International Film Festival, Sweden, 23.1.-2.2.2009

Cannes Marché du Film, France, 13.-24.5.2009

Vancouver International Film Festival, Canada, 1.-16.10.2009

Screening at Finnish-Norwegian Culture Institute, Oslo, Norway, 18.9.2009

Pusan International Film Festival, South Korea, 8.-16.10.2009

Roma Film Festival Market, Italy, 15.-19.10.2009

TIFF Reel Talk film series, Toronto, Canada, 18.10.2009

Nordic Film Days, Lübeck, Germany, 4.-8.11.2009

58th International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg, Germany, 5.-15.11.2009

Scanorama 2009, Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda, Lithuania, 5.-22.11.2009

24º Mar del Plata IFF, Argentina, 7.-15.11.2009

33rd Cairo International Film Festival, Egypt, 10.-20.11.2009

40th Film Festival of India "Cinema of the World", Goa, India, 23.11.-3.12.2009

Salute to Klaus Härö at Cinema Society of San Diego, CA, USA, 24.11.2009

Finnish Film Week, St. Petersburg, Russia, 27.11.-2.12.2009

Black Nights Film Festival, Tallinn, Estonia, 27.11.-6.12.2009

Plus Camerimage, Poland, 28.11.-5.12.2009

Petroskoi Finnish Film Week, Russia, 6.12.-10.12.2009

Finnish Film Week in Warsaw, Poland, 10.-16.12.2009

Chennai Int. Film Festival, India, 16.-24.12.2009

Screenings of Nordic Oscar contenders, Scandinavia House New York,USA, 5.-14.1.2010

Palm Springs International Film Festival, CA, USA, 5.-18.1.2010

Finnish Film Week in Moscow, Russia, 5.-20.1.2010

11th Annual Scandinavian Film Festival L.A., Los Angeles, USA, 9.-18.1.2010

36th Internationales Filmwochenende Würzburg, 27.-31.1.2010

The Smith Rafael Film Center, "For Your Consideration" series, USA, 29.1.-2.2.2010

33rd Göteborg International Film Festival, Sweden, 29.1.-8.2.2010

28th Fajr International Film Festival, Iran, 1.-11.2.2010

Santa Barbara International Film Festival, USA, 4.-14.2.2010

European Film Market, Berlin, Germany, 11.-19.2.2010

Portland IFF 33, USA, 12.-27.2.2010

International Film Festival CINEMA MUNDI, Brno, Czech Republic, 24.2.-3.3.2010

Finnish Film Week in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Israel, 10.-20.3.2010

Festival du Cinéma Nordique, Rouen, France, 10.-21.3.2010

21st Ankara International Film Festival, Turkey, 11.-21.3.2010

Festival International du film de Fribourg, Switzerland, 13.-20.3.2010

Cape Winelands Film Festival, South Africa, 17.-27.3.2010

Hong Kong International Film Festival, 21.3.-11.4.2010

International Film Festival Breda, The Netherlands, 24.-28.3.2010

Finnish Film Week in Paris, France, 8.-11.4.2010

Washington DC International Film Festival, USA, 15.-25.4.2010

RiverRun International Film Festival, NC, USA, 15.-25.4.2010

28th Minneapolis-St Paul International Film Festival, USA, 15.-30.4.2010

Finnish Film Week, Belgrade, Serbia, 22.-28.4.2010

Seattle International Film Festival, USA, 20.5.-13.6.2010

Transilvania International Film Festival, Romania, 28.5.-5.6.2010

Festival de Cine de Huesca, Spain, 4.-12.6.2010

Festroia, Protugal, 4.-13.6.2010

Fiuggi Family Festival, Italy, 24.-31.7.2010

Cine Nordico, Mexico, 9.-19.9.2010

Film by the Sea, The Netherlands, 10.-19.9.2010

The Scottsdale International Film Festival, USA , 1.-5.10.2010

Finnish Film Week in Murmansk, Russia, 25.10-30.10.2010

International Film Festival «Molodist», Kiev, Ukraine, 23.-31.10 2010

Nordelijk Film Festival, The Netherlands, 10.-14.11.2010

European Film Festival, cinema "Lumiere", Goettingen, Germany, 19.-28.11.2010 EU Film Festival in Tunis, Tunisia, 23.11.- 11.12.2010

Festival Vrouwen Films, Holland 5.3.2011

Trondheim International Film Festival, Norway, 4.-19.4.2011

Cheboksary Film Festival, Russia, 27.-30.4.2011

Skandinavische Filmtage, Bonn 12.-18.5.2011

EU-Filmfestival, Santiago de Chile 12.5.2011 - 12.6.2011

Scandinavian Film Festival in Nice, France 26.-29.5.2011

Prizes:
Nordic Film Days, Lübeck, Germany, 4.-8.11.2009
Interfilm Church Prize
Audience Award

58th International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg, Germany, 5.-15.11.2009
Main Award

33rd Cairo International Film Festival, Egypt, 10.-20.11.2009
The Golden Pyramid for the Best Film
The Prize for the Best Screenwriter (Klaus Härö)

Black Nights Film Festival, Tallinn, Estonia, 27.11.-6.12.2009
Jury Prize for the Best Director

28th Fajr International Film Festival, Iran, 1.-11.2.2010
Crystal Simorgh Prize for the Best Film in the Competition of Quest for Truth & Justice

33rd Göteborg International Film Festival, Sweden, 29.1.-8.2.2010
Nordic Film Music Prize (composer Dan Strömbäck)

Santa Barbara International Film Festival, USA, 4.-14.2.2010
The Best International Film Award

Festival du Cinéma Nordique, Rouen, France, 10.-21.3.2010
Best Actress Award (Kaarina Hazard)
Best Actor Award (Heikki Nousiainen)
Audience Award

Cape Winelands Film Festival, South Africa, 17.-27.3.2010
Special Mention Award (actor Heikki Nousiainen)

Hong Kong International Film Festival, 21.3.-11.4.2010
SIGNIS Commendation

RiverRun International Film Festival, NC, USA, 15.-25.4.2010
BB&T Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature

Festroia, Portugal, 4.-13.6.2010
Prize Man and His Environment

Festival de Cine de Huesca, Spain, 4.-12.6.2010
Audience Award

Fiuggi Family Festival, Italy, 24.-31.7.2010
Special mention of the jury

Cheboksary Film Festival, Russia, 27.-30.4.2011
main prize
actor prize (Heikki Nousiainen)
best camerawork