Aku Louhimies

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Aku Louhimies
Aku Louhimies in 2016.jpg
Aku Louhimies, photo: Juuli Aschan
Born(1968-07-03)3 July 1968
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active2000–present

Aku Louhimies (born 3 July 1968) is a Finnish film director and screenwriter. He has directed feature films, documentary films, commercials and music videos. His international breakthrough was the 2016 serial drama Rebellion.[1] He has directed and produced Unknown Soldier which is the most expensive feature film ever made in Finland.[2]


Aku attended school in the United States, graduating from Billings West High School in Montana. After he studied history at the University of Helsinki, and film directing at University of Art and Design Helsinki in Finland. Louhimies' military rank is Reserve Senior Lieutenant. He is fluent in English, Finnish, Swedish, and Spanish.[3]

December 2019 Louhimies was promoted to an officer rank of Senior Lieutenant (in reserves) by Finnish Defence Forces.


Feature films[edit]

Louhimies has directed nine feature films, among them award-winning Frozen Land (2005), war drama Tears of April (2008), multi-narrative drama Naked Harbour (2012) and hard-hitting crime-drama 8-ball (2013).

In 2017 Louhimies worked on a World War II Drama The Unknown Soldier[4] that had its premiere October 27, 2017 as a part of the official 100th anniversary of Finnish independence program. The film is based on Väinö Linna's acclaimed novel The Unknown Soldier from 1954. The international premiere was on 23 November 2017 at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, followed by Ireland, Sweden, Iceland and Norway. The film was described by critics as gritty, forlorn, honest and realistic as well as a pacifist piece confronting less pleasant sides of Finnish history. The film gathered most audience of all the Finnish films in 2017. Over 1 million people saw the film in 2018 and it is still gathering audience in 2018.[5]

Television projects[edit]

Louhimies has also directed several television projects, among others the multiple awards-winning television serie Fragments (2003).[6]

In 2019 Louhimies directed a whole season of an English language thriller series Rig 45 which will air in 2020. Starring Rune Temte, Filip Berg, Andrei Alén and Natalie Gumede. ‘Rig 45’ is one of NENT Group’s most successful original series. In 2016 Louhimies made his international breakthrough by directing the serial drama Rebellion for Irish broadcaster RTÉ and Netflix. The five-part television mini-series depicts fictional characters in Dublin during the 1916 Rising and it was commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising. The 5 parts of the serie are Young Guns, To Arms, Under Siege, Surrender and The Reckoning. The series premiered on SundanceTV in the US, on April 24, 2016 and on YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Service), on June 1, 2016. The series is available on Netflix worldwide, except in Ireland and Finland.[7]

Other projects[edit]

Aku Louhimies has also directed short films, documentaries, music videos and commercials since 1995.[8]

In 2004, Aku was elected Director of the Year by the Association of Finnish Film Directors. 2011-2014 he was the chairman of the association[9]

In 2012, Louhimies accepted the role of jury member for the first Saint Petersburg international film festival and his film Naked Harbour (Vuosaari) was added to the festival's non-competition programme "Screenings in honour of filmmakers".


The book Aku Louhimies — Elokuvaunelmia (Like, 2017) by non-fiction author Satu Jaatinen, examines the director's career from Restless to Unknown Soldier.

Selected awards[edit]

  • The Unknown Soldier (Tuntematon sotilas), 2017 Jussi Awards 2018: Best Film - Audience Award, Best Actor, Best Sound Design, Best Editing, Best Make-up[10]
  • Naked Harbour (Vuosaari), 2012 Festroia International Film Festival 2012: CICAE Award
  • Naked Harbour (Vuosaari), 2012 Nordische Filmtage Lübeck 2012: The Interfilm Church Prize
  • Frozen City (Valkoinen kaupunki), 2006 Jussi Awards 2007: Best Director
  • Frozen City (Valkoinen kaupunki), 2006 Ghent International Film Festival 2006: Best Director
  • Frozen City (Valkoinen kaupunki), 2006 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2006: Don Quijote Award – Special Mention, FIPRESCI Prize, Label Europa Cinemas
  • Frozen City (Valkoinen kaupunki), 2006 Lübeck Nordic Film Days 2006: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury – Honorable Mention
  • Frozen Land (Paha maa), 2005 Jussi Awards 2006: Best Director, Best Script
  • Frozen Land (Paha maa), 2005 Athens International Film Festival 2005: Best Screenplay
  • Frozen Land (Paha maa), 2005 Bergen International Film Festival 2005: Jury Award
  • Frozen Land (Paha maa), 2005 Göteborg Film Festival 2005: Church of Sweden Film Award, FIPRESCI Prize, Nordic Film Prize
  • Frozen Land (Paha maa), 2005 Leeds International Film Festival 2005: Golden Owl Award
  • Frozen Land (Paha maa), 2005 Lübeck Nordic Film Days 2005: NDR Promotion Prize – Honorable Mention
  • Frozen Land (Paha maa), 2005 Moscow International Film Festival 2005: Special Jury Prize[11]
  • Irtiottoja (Fragments), 2004 Venla Awards: Best Director
  • Lovers & Leavers (Kuutamolla), 2002 Durango Film Festival 2003: Jury Award Best Narrative Feature
  • Lovers & Leavers (Kuutamolla), 2002 Cinequest San Jose Film Festival 2003: Best Feature

His 2000 film Restless was entered into the 22nd Moscow International Film Festival.[12]


  1. ^ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0521803/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
  2. ^ http://cinemasentries.com/review/unknown-soldier-2017-blu-ray-review-a-gripping-world-war-ii-drama/index.php
  3. ^ http://www.lisarichards.ie/directors/aku-louhimies-director#.WrqeUsZLcaE
  4. ^ http://www.tuntematonsotilas2017.fi/en/
  5. ^ http://ses.fi/en/statistics/domestic-admissions/
  6. ^ https://solarfilms.com/en/portfolio-posts/valkoinen-kaupunki/
  7. ^ "Rebellion". Netflix. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  8. ^ http://akulouhimies.com/films/
  9. ^ https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-5352196
  10. ^ https://www.cinemascandinavia.com/the-winners-of-finlands-jussi-awards-2018/
  11. ^ "27th Moscow International Film Festival (2005)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-04-03. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
  12. ^ "22nd Moscow International Film Festival (2000)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2013-03-29.

External links[edit]