‘Sisu,’ a TIFF Midnight Madness Favorite, Acquired by Lionsgate

The Finnish action thriller follows an ex-soldier who battles with Nazis over a stolen treasure trove

Jorma Tommila in "Sisu" / ©Freezing Point Oy, photographer Antti Rastivo

Lionsgate emerged victorious from a competitive bidding war over Finnish film “Sisu,” which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews.

The Midnight Madness favorite will be released in U.S. theaters on a to-be-announced date. Sony’s Stage 6 Films financed the film and will handle international rights, with the exception of Nordics, which are held by Nordisk Film.

Written and directed by Jalmari Helander, “Sisu” begins in 1945 when ex-soldier Aatami (Jorma Tommila) discovers a golden treasure trove buried in the Finnish wilderness. On his way back into the city, a group of Nazis find his fortune, kicking into motion an outrageous, bloody revenge plot to recover what was stolen from him. Aksel Hennie, Jack Doolan, Mimosa Willamo and Onni Tommila co-star.

The film is produced by Petri Jokiranta on behalf of Subzero Film Entertainment, in association with Good Chaos. Mike Goodridge, Gregory Ouanhon and Antonio Salas serve as executive producers. The film is backed by Finnish Film Foundation, Business Finland – Audiovisual Production Incentive, Film Tampere and Finnish TV and streaming channel MTV Cmore in addition to Stage 6 Films.

“Sisu screened as a TIFF Midnight Madness selection, and it was so exciting to experience it as the audience went crazy for it. And the critics agreed – 100% on Rotten Tomatoes,” said Eda Kowan, Lionsgate’s EVP of Acquisitions & Co-Productions. “It’s a symphony of outrageous, visceral action and a real crowd-pleaser. We are confident that it will connect with a wider audience.”

Said Joe Matukewicz, Head of Sony Picture’s Stage 6 Films: “When we first read Jalmari’s script, we knew he had crafted an outrageous and explosive thrill-ride that needed to be seen in a theater. The positive response from TIFF only validated our instinct, and we are excited to be working with Lionsgate to show the world the meaning of the word Sisu.”

Eric Charles oversaw the film for Sony’s Stage 6 Films. Kowan, Michael Meyer, Christopher Davis and Kaycee Holcomb negotiated on behalf of Lionsgate. WME Independent negotiated the deal on behalf of Stage 6 Films.

Helander is repped by WME and Jerome Duboz of Ithaka Media.