Mimmi, Emma and Rönkkö are girls at the cusp of womanhood, trying to draw their own contours. In three consecutive Fridays two of them experience the earth moving effects of falling in love, while the third goes on a quest to find something she’s never experienced before: pleasure.

Director's Statement

"GIRL PICTURE is a film about the need to be seen. 17–18-year-old Mimmi, Emma and Rönkkö are girls at what I call a liminal age: right at the cusp of womanhood, fluctuating between childhood and adulthood. At this age, the gaze of another person feels like a superpower – it can define, strengthen or change one’s self image in an instant. Closeness with the other is very inviting; it hooks us. And then suddenly, an overwhelming realisation takes over: how to be close to another person, if you’re only just drawing your own contours?

The story follows the girls on three consecutive Fridays, during which Mimmi and Emma experience the earth moving impact of falling in love, while Rönkkö goes on a quest for something she hasn’t yet experienced: pleasure. The condensed timeframe means it’s a fragment of their lives. But because teenagers’ lives are so amplified, and every moment counts for everything, a fragment may very well encapsulate a whole universe.

Of the film’s many themes the one that became the most important for me, is the understatedly radical freedom of these girls. Mimmi, Emma and Rönkkö get to explore their identities and sexuality on their own terms, without any outside threats. They are not punished for desiring. They don’t end up in danger. They don’t get warned, belittled, shamed or patronised. In that sense, this is perhaps more a film about the world we aspire for, than the world we live in. And that’s why GIRL PICTURE invites us not only to look at girls, but to really see them.

Alli Haapasalo | June 2022"

Director's Biography

"Alli Haapasalo (b. 1977) is a Finnish director and writer. With her third feature film GIRL PICTURE (Sundance Audience Award 2022, OutShine Best Feature 2022) she continues her passion to tell strong female driven stories.

Haapasalo’s feature debut LOVE AND FURY (2016) followed a writer finding her own voice. FORCE OF HABIT (2019) – written and directed by a collective of seven writer-directors – dealt with gender bias and structural misuse of power. It traveled the world bringing home some awards and received Jussi-nominations (Finnish Film Awards) for best film, best directing and best screenplay, and was given the Nordisk Film Award in 2020. Haapasalo wrote and directed short film DOING THE RIGHT THING (2020) about the early stages of covid-19 pandemic for HBO Nordic’s series At Home. She co-directed spy thriller series SHADOW LINES (2019) season one and received a nomination for Director of the Year at the Finnish Television Awards for that.

Alli Haapasalo has a BA from Aalto University’s School of Film, Television and Scenography, and an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts."

2022 GIRL PICTURE Feature
2019 FORCE OF HABIT Feature
2016 LOVE AND FURY Feature (omnibus film)

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Alli Haapasalo

Written by: Ilona Ahti, Daniela Hakulinen

Produced by: Leila Lyytikäinen, Elina Pohjola

Cinematography: Jarmo Kiuru

Editing: Samuli Heikkilä

Production Design: Laura Haapakangas

Costume Design: Roosa Marttini

Make-Up & Hair: Kaisu Hölttä

Sound: Anne Tolkikinen

Casting: Minna Sorvoja

Cast: Aamu Milonoff (Mimmi), Eleonoora Kauhanen (Rönkkö), Linnea Leino (Emma), Sonya Lindfors (Tarja), Cécile Orblin (Karoliina), Oona Airola (Sanna), Mikko Kauppila (Jarmo)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2022