The last day of Finnish Film Festival in Singapore welcomed the very nature of Finland onto the screen in the Singaporean movie theatre The Projector. ‘Tale of a Lake’ is a documentary shot entirely in the Finnish nature, focusing on the country’s many lakes, the life within, and the ancient myths regarding these deep blue wonders.
Throughout the year, the lake changes and according to Finnish mythology it is all in harmony with the maiden of water, Ahitar. She is the daughter of Ahti and Vellamo, the god and goddess of the sea. Ahitar is a spirit born in the spring.
The film takes us down below the surface, where well-known creatures express actions, the fewest of us know about, for instance male toads wrestling to determine who gets to breed with the female. This is an act, which only can be seen within a period of a couple of days a year.
To get rare footage like this you need to be at the right place at the right time, which demands a lot of patience and quite a bit of luck. Therefore, the filming of the movie went over a period of three years, main director Marko Röhr said.
Marko Röhr was present at the screening of the film to answer questions afterwards. Here he explained to the audience some of the challenges they experienced while filming. The saimaa ringed seal is one of the most endangered species of seals in the world – only 300 are left. That was a great victory to capture on film, Röhr explicated.
‘Tale of a Lake’ sold over 200.000 tickets in Finland, which is a lot for a documentary. However, according to Röhr this slow change in what movie genres we find at the theatres does not go back to the audience:
“The audience has not changed. There has always been a sophisticated audience. It is the distribution of films which has changed – maybe even the filmmakers.”