This sexy, fun clip shows Touko, aka Tom of Finland, in 1971—before he became the erotic drawing master
Finland based Special Film Company is developing a biographical feature film based on the life of Touko Laaksonen (1920-1991), better known as the international gay icon Tom of Finland. Filming begins in spring 2014 for a 2015 release.
The movie, named Tom, is an international co-production. Besides traditional funding sources the production will involve a crowd funding campaign. Having artistic independence through independent financing is the only way to make a movie true to both Touko’s work and his life”, directors Vesa Kuosmanen and Henri Huttunen state.
Olli Rahkonen, known from the acclaimed feature film 3 Simoa, will be seen in the leading role. The actor didn’t hesitate when asked to portray Tom: “Touko’s story is a unique tale of how a man, who needs to hide his sexuality, becomes an international gay icon through his art.” Martti Manninen, who plays Touko’s young lover Veli, continues: “The subject matter is very current in today’s political climate. We are all committed to making a movie not just about a man, but also about his impact in the gay culture.”
Producer Miikka Haleyi describes the movie as “Boogie Nights meets the Pianist.” The style of the film will be faithful to Tom’s art, combining eroticism with a playful sense of humour.
We remember him through leather, huge muscles, even larger cocks and humour — empowering the masculine gay man. We know who Tom of Finland is. Now meet Touko.
TOM the Movie tells the story of how the artist Touko
Laaksonen, who needs to hide his sexuality, becomes an international gay icon,
Tom of Finland. The movie is an international independent feature film produced
by Finland based Special Film Company. The movie will be filmed in the summer
2014 and released worldwide in the early 2015.
This movie needs to be as uncompromising, passionate
and bold as Touko’s art was. To make a striking picture that Tom’s men
everywhere can be proud of, we need to look beyond traditional sources of
funding. Crowdfunding has proved its power to make independent and daring stories to come true. That’s why we have decided to rely
on the awesome community surrounding our production to ensure complete artistic
freedom to re-create Touko’s fantasies on screen.
Until the year 1971, being gay in Finland could
land you in jail for years. There was a boy born in 1920. In his childhood he
drew pictures of naked men. While drawing, he wore only leather boots. As a
young man he fought in the war and had sex with his fellow soldiers, both
Finnish and German. During his adulthood he lived a double life: by day, a
talented advertising artist and a pianist, by night a genius creator of erotic
drawings. We remember him through leather, huge muscles, even larger cocks and
humour — empowering the masculine gay man. You know the artist Tom of Finland.
Now meet Touko.
The movie is set in the 50’s, when Touko became
Tom. The era is an unspoken chapter in Finland’s history. Thousands of
homosexuals were arrested in police raids and house searches, people were
sentenced to jail for years, and those caught had their names published in the
newspapers. Many couldn’t cope with the shame of being exposed and committed
suicide. We want to make the truth about our history known and tell everybody
that no-one needs to be ashamed of who they are anymore.
Touko himself is an interesting character in a
society where homosexuals are often stereotyped as people who have more in
common with the opposite gender, than their own. Touko was a decorated war
hero, a pianist and composer, a sophisticated, travelled man and a successful
advertising artist. For the young women of Helsinki, he was the most eligible
bachelor in town. This masculinity and immense charm, coupled with his modesty,
is something that really fascinates us.
We want to expand the boundaries of the Finnish
movie industry, both in style and content. We do feel that to be true
to Touko’s story the language of the film has to be Finnish. However, we are
making a visually stunning film where action speaks louder than words. We are
making a movie that doesn’t look or feel like it was produced in a small
northern country. We like to sum the style of the film with the words
“Boogie Nights meets The Pianist”.
The movie is an unauthorized biographical film
about Touko Laaksonen and the Tom of Finland Foundation is not involved in the
project. We want to make sure that the film is faithful to Touko’s character
and his life, thus we have consulted his close friends while working on the
script. They have told us that Touko would be proud of the story and the
overall style of the film. They’ve also told us that he would have had a good
laugh reading it. That means a world to us.
Olli Rahkonen as Touko Martti Manninen as Veli
We are highly
passionate new wave filmmakers of Finnish cinema. We feel it’s a shame that in
many ways, Touko’s art is still a taboo. We want to change this by making a
bold, exciting and sexy movie, something that has not been seen in Finnish
We have burning, passionate love for the subject.
We have a dynamite first draft of the script. When finished, it will blow your
mind. TOM the Movie teaser has been watched by more than 200 000 people who all
want to see this film. Our social media is buzzing with roughly the population
of Lithuania. We have gathered a team of top-notch professionals from all walks
of life committed to the project. The team has already been working for a year
to make the film happen. The things we’ve done so far include background
research, script writing, finding suitable partners for the cause, shooting the
teaser, building websites, launching a crowdfunding campaign and organising an
exhibition celebrating Touko’s art.
To make Touko’s fantasies come alive we need your support. Think about a crowded circus tent with trapeze artists having sex in the air as the audience roars in applause. That’s Tom. That’s what we want to bring to you. With your help we will make it happen.
The money raised from this campaign will go to funding pre-production. We want to create Touko’s world as authentically as possible. That means endless hours of working on polishing the script, weeks of scouting locations both in Finland and abroad, seamstresses working for months to make clothes, designing sets and drawing storyboards to create a unique visual style, actors training intensively for the roles, casting for the smaller parts, etc. All this work needs to be done before we start shooting in the summer 2014.