Once Upon a Time in a Forest (WT)

Cannes Docs

Once Upon a Time in a Forest (WT)

Original title: Olipa kerran metsä (WT)

Directed by: Virpi SUUTARI

Produced by: Virpi SUUTARI (Euphoria film oy, Finland)

Country of production: Finland

Runtime: 90', 120'

Expected release: April, 2024

Production stage: 4/5 shot, editing has started

Budget: €455.000 (90 % in place)

1st feature: No

Looking for: Festival Premiere, Other Festivals, Distributor, Gap Financing, Strategic Guidance


Once Upon a Time in a Forest is a film about brave young people who are defending one of the last coniferous forest areas in Europe. It is a morality play and a love story of a younger generation whose main object of love is the Finnish forest. This cinematic documentary explores environmental feelings and witnesses how the 22-year old protagonist Ida grows up to be the leader of the new Forest Movement.

Director’s profile:

Virpi Suutari is an award winning filmmaker known for her personal cinematic style and emotional narratives that often challenge the borderline between documentary and fiction. One of her most beloved films is The Garden Lovers (2014). Her films have been shown in the major festivals such as IDFA, Visions du Réel, CPH: DOX, Locarno and Gothenburg film festival. Her latest feature documentary AALTO (2020) on architect Alvar & Aino Aalto has been distributed all over the world. The Idle Ones (2002) was nominated for the Best European Documentary (EFA) and she has won several awards as the best nordic documentary. Suutari has received the national film academy award, the Jussi Award, three times. Suutari has also worked as a journalist in the major newspapers in Finland. She is the member of the European Film Academy and the honorary Doctor of Arts in the University of Lapland.

Producer’s profile:

Virpi Suutari is an experienced and an award winning documentary film maker. She has worked in this field for almost 30 years and she is now one of the main owners of Euphoria film, a film production company based in Helsinki.
In the recent years Suutari has produced some of her own films such as short films Elegance (2016) and A People’s radio – Ballads from a Wooded Country (2021) and a feature documentary AALTO (2020) which has been distributed by Autlook filmsales and sold widely across the world.