This year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, born 1865.


The forgotten music of Sibelius

Documentary, 56 min HD
Produced in 2015 by Douglas Productions in co-operation with Yle, SVT and DR.





This is a story that not many know; the story of Sibelius's visits to the Korpo islands in South-Western Finland at the end of the 1880´s. The beautiful music he composed there has remained unknown, the scores were lost for over a hundred years.


Sibelius








Jean Sibelius is played by the talented violinist Sebastian Silén.




The documentary´s experts are Folke Gräsbeck, Doctor of Music and world leading expert of Sibelius youth production, Andrew Barnett, General Manager of the Sibelius One Society and Professor Glenda Dawn Goss.



Albert Edelfelt  1854-1905 – A famous Finnish artist 59 min
Documentary 59 min



Also available as a shorter version, 13,5 min in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Swedish and Finnish. These can be seen on Vimeo.

Albert Edelfelt was a favorite artist among royalty and society circles in Europe and his work was also taken to far-off America. This film combines Edelfelt´s life story and artistic output with contemporary elements of Finland´s history.

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Sveaborg -The Gibraltar of the North 

Documentary 25 min

Sveaborg

Standing on a group of Islands outside Helsinki. Sveaborg – The Fortress of Sweden, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Finland´s most popular tourist attractions. Its construction began in 1748 when Finland was part of Sweden and most of the buildings date from the Swedish era. The fortress has played a key role at many turning points in Finnish history, and has been the property of tree sovereign states. From 1808 to 1907 the fortress was part of Russia and a lively garrison town. 
Available in English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Swedish and Finnish.


The Russian Tsars and their travels in the Grand Duchy of Finland
A Documentary Series 5x58 min HD



This is a story about the Russian Tsars and their travels in the Grand Duchy of Finland. These trips have remained quite unknown outside of Finland. Documentations and personal accounts tell the story of how much the emperors enjoyed these travels and how well they treated the Finnish peasantry. Within the Russian empire the Tsars’ lives were often threatened and they were under constant surveillance but in Finland they could feel safe and even managed to mix with the normal population. The Russian Tsars were the mightiest monarchs in the world and Finland was to be their Grand Duchy for over a hundred years (1809-1907). “Millions of people obey the Tsar and yet his freedom is often lesser than that of his unworthiest subject”, wrote Zachris Topelius; a contemporary Finnish journalist. While making the documentary series, we discovered that most of the emperors were very congenial. They had been forced to play a part which they might not have liked or desired. As Professor Dominic Lieven points out in the series: what modern western leader has the stamina to lead a country over ten years? The Tsars were bound to their power throughout their lives. “How happy I would be, living as a peasant in the country and spending my final years in peace with my family”, Alexander III observed on many occasions.


Aleksanteri I

ALEXANDER I - Grand Duke of Finland 1809-1825

Alexander I conquered Finland and at the same time managed to conquer the hearts of the Finnish people. He was swept off his feet by a young lady, Ulla Möllersvärd and the story of the romance between the emperor and the young Finnish girl lives on to this day. In the year 1819, Alexander travelled around Finland. Such an ill-planned stately visit had never been arranged, before or since, but the emperor was amused. He described his trip: “I have been given a proper tour of the country; a bit strenuous but not without its comic interludes. And one thing is for certain; I shall never forget this pleasant journey”.



Nikolai I

NIKOLAI I - Grand Duke of Finland 1825-1855
During the reign of Nikolai I, the stately administration of the Grand Duchy of Finland was developed and the economy was growing. The emperors turned the small town of Helsinki into a miniature version of St. Petersburg, as a symbol for their new grand duchy; and made it the new capital of Finland. Nikolai I visited the city and inspected the new and grandiose buildings. When revolutions were sweeping across Europe and the worried Russian officials began to tighten their grip on Finland, Nikolai I told them to “leave the Finns alone. Finland is the only province of my vast empire, which hasn’t given me a moment’s cause for worry. “ 



Aleksanteri II

ALEXANDER II - Grand Duke of Finland 1855-1881
Alexander II was the favourite Tsar for the Finns. He made genuine attempts to accomplish several reforms; the liberation of the Russian serfs being his biggest accomplishment. During Alexander’s reign, Finland went through a period of industrialisation and the country blossomed. The first great industrial trade fair was held Helsinki in 1876. Even the Tsar visited the fair. “His countenance brightened when he saw the level of technical knowhow that had been accomplished in Finland during his reign”, wrote Zachris Topelius. Alexander II was adored in Finland and when the Finnish peasants heard that his life was under threat; they said: “let him move to Finland, we’ll protect him!” After Alexander II´s death his statue was erected on the Senate Square in Helsinki - probably the most central location in the whole of Finland. And well over a hundred years later, the Tsar is still standing there.





ALEXANDER III – Grand Duke of Finland 1881-1894
Alexander III’s imperial yacht, The Tsarevna, or “The Czar’s daughter” was a familiar sight in the Finnish archipelago, were Alexander III spent a lot of time with his family. Many things reminding us of their time in Finland have remained. Once an adjutant rushed over to the emperor with an important telegram from Europe while he sat fishing, and so Alexander exclaimed: “While the Russian Emperor is fishing, Europe can wait.” The Imperial family had a modest fishing cabin by the riverbanks of Langinkoski, were they enjoyed a simple life. The Tsarina made food herself and the emperor chopped logs for the fire. The court felt that this lifestyle was below their position. 


Nikolai II

NIKOLAI II – Grand Duke of Finland 1894 – 1917
Nikolai II spent every summer holiday up until the outbreak of the First World War, in Vironlahti, in the Finnish archipelago, together with his family. He led the entire Russian empire from this place and even invited foreign stately guests to visit him here. The outbreak of the war forced him to interrupt his holiday and to return to St. Petersburg. As the imperial yacht, The Standard turned its course towards Kronstadt, the emperor said: “These tears that you see, might well be the first true tears in your emperor’s eyes.”


Copyright Douglas Productions Oy 2015