Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

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Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Rare Exports official film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jalmari Helander
Produced by Petri Jokiranta
Screenplay by Jalmari Helander
Story by Jalmari Helander
Juuso Helander
Starring Tommi Korpela
Per Christian Ellefsen
Jorma Tommila
Jonathan Hutchings
Onni Tommila
Risto Salmi
Peeter Jakobi
Rauno Juvonen
Ilmari Järvenpää
Music by Juri Seppä
Miska Seppä
Cinematography Mika Orasmaa
Edited by Kimmo Taavila
Distributed by FS Film Oy (Finland)
Scanbox Entertainment (Norway)
Chrysalis Films (France)
Release date(s)
  • September 24, 2010 (2010-09-24) (AFF)
  • December 3, 2010 (2010-12-03) (Finland)
Running time 81 minutes[1]
Country Finland
Language Finnish
Budget 1.803 million[3]
Box office US$4,015,133[4]

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is a 2010 Finnish horror-fantasy-thriller film directed by Jalmari Helander about people living near the Korvatunturi mountain who discover the secret behind Santa Claus. The film is based on a 2003 short film Rare Exports Inc. by Jalmari and Juuso Helander.


The film focuses on a group of local reindeer herders whose Christmas is disturbed by excavations on the mountain. A scientist has ordered a team of workers to dig open what he calls "the largest burial mound in the world". An explosive used by the team uncovers what is referred to as a "sacred grave". However, the occupant of the grave is still alive.

Soon, the reindeer important to the local people are mysteriously killed, and children and supplies begin to disappear from the town. It emerges that the occupant is the source of the original Santa Claus myth; a supernatural being who, rather than rewarding good children, punishes the naughty. One family, however, manages to catch the culprit in a trap, and plans to sell it to the scientist to cover the losses caused by his excavation.



In 2003, the Finnish commercials production company Woodpecker Film published the short movie Rare Exports Inc. online.[5] Here, the film's writer and director Jalmari Helander established a band of three hunters (marker, sniper, and tracker) searching the wilderness of Lapland for the wild Santa Claus. After the positive reception from an online audience, Woodpecker Film produced and published the sequel short movie Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions in 2005,[6] again with Helander as writer-director.

In 2007, Jalmari Helander introduced producer Petri Jokiranta to his idea of a feature length Rare Exports film based on his shorts that have already acquired a cult reputation in the internet. Jokiranta's company, Cinet, picked the rights and Helander started to develop the concept together with Jokiranta.


In 2009, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale was in production and in Christmas 2010 it was released simultaneously theatrically in Finland, Norway, Germany, UK, US and Australia. The film won numerous awards such as the Variety Piazza Grande award in Locarno and Best Motion Picture and Best Director in Sitges 2010. In 2011 director Jalmari Helander and producer Petri Jokiranta received the Finnish Film State Award for their collaboration.

Box office[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received positive critics. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 89% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 87 reviews, with an average score of 7/10, making the film a "certified fresh" on the website's rating system.[7] Roger Ebert awarded the film three and a half out of four stars and called it "an original, daring, carefully crafted film".[8]

Home media[edit]

Rare Exports was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on October 25, 2011.


External links[edit]