The 30-episode Cinematic Series

In the spirit of the Kalevala, we are making something that shatters your perception of cinematic storytelling and the might of music. A revolutionary and crazy artistic idea that deserves its execution.

The 30-episode cinematic series will be realised in 2021–2026. The artists responsible for the execution of the film are composer Anne-Mari Kivimäki together with director, screenwriter Tommi Kainulainen. Kivimäki has been mentioned as one of most interesting contemporary makers of new folk music, and her multidisciplinary Doctoral Thesis received a lot of attention in the media and gathered audiences in Finland as well as in international arenas. Tommi Kainulainen, the screenwriter-director of Kalevala X, is a sought-after theatre director who has graduated from the Aalto University Programme in Film to become a film director. The main cinematographer of the film is Kim Saarinen, who has received awards for his short films, while the sound designer is Antti Puumalainen, who has merits in making theatre. The producer of the film is Folk Extreme Oy (LLC). The full series of films will be complete in 2026. Separate episodes will be released between 2021 and 2026, and information about them will be published on Folk Extreme's and Anne-Mari Kivimäki's social media channels.

Kalevala X is a cinematic series, modern multidisciplinary art that is inspired by the Kalevala yet freely associates with modern-day themes. Birch bark shoes meet the Finland of corona concerns and climate anxieties. Kalevala X offers a pathway to the subconscious and to a symbolic interpretation of the modern times in a carnevalistic spirit. The keywords of the film are the subconscious, symbolism, the modern times, technology vs. folklore, greed vs. empathy. The Kalevala imagery included are the elements of water and forest.

Film Experiences and Album Releases

The film and its separate episodes will be screened as traditional film screenings. We are seeking forums for screening the film both from Finland as well as from international film and music festivals. In addition, Kalevala X explores the possibilities of combining cinematic storytelling, live musicians and dancers into a multidisciplinary performance entity in an unprecedented way.

The casting of the film will take into account the broad range of diversity when selecting performers. By sharing roles along the way for several different performers to convey, the work aims at disassociating from the stereotypical portrayals that the Kalevala offers. The aim is not an end result that follows classical storytelling and is faithful to the original work but a new epic that seeks inspiration from the source material and reflects, rather, the modern world. The screenplay arises along the way, reacting also to topics that resonate with the artists at a given time – hence, living modern art.

The film series has been divided into three parts, and three separate Kalevala X music albums will be released based on their soundtracks. The albums are independent works of art and they will also function as the soundtrack albums for the film. Both Finnish and international guest artists will perform on the albums. The sound world for the film’s music treads from hypnotic smoke shack atmosphere to proclaiming rap and excited by accordion trance to underground rock.

ProductionFolk Extreme Oy