I Remember, a Chinese-Finnish production by the Chinese Gravity Pictures, Amazing Box Pictures and supported by the Finnish Oktober, filmed in Finnish Lapland and Southern Finland in the winter of 2020.
The romantic drama follows the story of two co-workers on their company trip to Finland. Their heartfelt and emotional journey takes them to various locations in Lapland, including the city of Rovaniemi and the municipalities of Kemijärvi and Kittilä. Helsinki, the Finnish capital in Southern Finland, plays a role in the film as well.
The film’s high-profile cast features Angelababy (Mojin: The Lost Legend, General and I) and Hongchi Lee (Love You Forever, Thanatos, Drunk), and a special appearance is made by Santa Claus himself. I Remember is directed by Nan Zhou, and the film is set to premiere in China this Christmas, on 24 December 2020.
TO THE FAR NORTH
So, how did the production end up filming in Finnish Lapland, of all places? According to Film Commissioner Kirsikka Paakkinen, Film Lapland might have had something to do with it.
– We had the pleasure of hosting Gravity Pictures’ Senior Executive Mr. Jay Lin on our Lapland familiarization tour in 2018. Lapland made a great impression on him, and his team contacted us in 2019 with a plan to bring I Remember to Finnish Lapland.
Producer Liu Kailuo confirms the statement.
– [Jay] got a very good first impression of Finland, and he mentioned that it might be a good fit for us. We needed a place with heavy snow and beautiful Northern hemisphere sceneries, and the locations in Finland fit our story. We also had a positive impression of Finnish crews: they are very professional and hard-working, and they know how to film in severe weather conditions.
Film Lapland was happy to provide the production with location scouting support and contacts to the local crew and support services. The production ended up working with production service company Oktober, a member of the Film Lapland Film Friendly Service Network.
According to Line and Co-Producer Satu Majava from Oktober, the Chinese-Finnish crew worked well together. The Chinese crew were experts in their field, and the differences in culture and working habits were tackled with mutual respect and understanding. However, Finland did pose minor challenges for some.
– The differences in food culture became apparent when some of the Chinese crew began to long for the food back home. But luckily, we discovered a great Chinese restaurant in Rovaniemi that eased everyone’s homesickness.
And this is where lies one of the production’s biggest successes, Majava believes. Despite the initial culture shock, Lapland and its top-notch services offered the production and its A-list stars an excellent and memorable filming experience.
– Lapland definitely has what it takes to host and delight even world-class celebrities.
THE UNIQUE AND NOVEL ARCTIC
CEO of Gravity Pictures, Catherine Xujun Ying, believes that Lapland offers an out-of-the ordinary setting for the viewers; a fresh change from the usual locations seen in Chinese cinema.
– The auroras, the reindeer and the weather in Lapland are very unique and novel. It will be an actual attraction for the Chinese audience.
Liu Kailuo agrees.
– The scenery in Lapland is very different from what the audience expects. Here, it’s like you’re seeing everything for the first time. It has opened up our eyes.
In addition to the professional aspects, bringing the production to Lapland offered memorable experiences for the crew all around. According to Liu Kailuo, the Northern Lights lit up the skies every night during production.
Catherine Xujun Ying looks back her favorite Lapland memories fondly.
– The husky safaris, the reindeer, everything. I met the real Santa Claus for the first time. And the food was great. We had very good personal experiences in Lapland, and would definitely recommend visiting, both professionally and personally.
I Remember received the 25% cash rebate offered by Business Finland.