Tom is a movie about a man who has to hide his sexuality, even from those close to him, but becomes an international gay icon through his art. His works are displayed in the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art and he has been hailed as one of the five most influential artists of the 20th century. For many people, his name is the only thing they know about Finland. Vesa came face-to-face with this on many occasions while studying in the UK, and along with Henri, they decided to find out who the man behind the pseudonym was.
The movie is set in the 50's, when Touko became Tom. Both the 50's and the 60's are unspoken chapters in Finland’s history. Thousands of homosexuals were arrested in police raids and house searches, people were sentenced to jail for years, and those caught had their names published in the newspapers. Many couldn't cope with the shame of being exposed and committed suicide. These are all facts that we didn't know before we started doing background research on Touko's life. We want to make the truth about our history known and tell everybody that no-one needs to be ashamed of who they are anymore. Tom's drawings embody freedom and celebrate sexuality. We will bring his fantasies to life on screen in a way no movie has done before.
Touko himself is an interesting character in a society, where homosexuals are often stereotyped as people who have more in common with the opposite gender than their own. Touko was a decorated war hero, a pianist and composer, a sophisticated, traveled man, and a successful advertising artist. For the young women of Helsinki, he was the most eligible bachelor in town. This masculinity and immense charm, coupled with his modesty, are all things that we feel we can relate to, and simultaneously fascinate us.
We want to expand the boundaries of the Finnish movie industry, both in style and in content. Our plan is to make a movie that doesn't look or feel like it was produced in a small northern country. When asked what the style we are aiming for is, we have come up with an answer we feel sums it up quite nicely: "Boogie Nights meets The Pianist". We are both overjoyed and humbled that our movie has already found its audience and gathered thousands of active fans from around the world. We all are Tom's men!