Whips and chains: Edgy Finnish film gets Cannes Festival debut

The film's already been described as a "hidden gem" and stars two of Finland's best known actors.

Detail from film poster for Dogs Don't Wear Pants movie / Credit: Helsinki Film

An edgy Finnish film about a man who hires the services of a dominatrix had its premier at the Cannes Film Festival in France this week.

‘Dogs Don’t Wear Pants’ stars actors Krista Kosonen and Pekka Strang in the story of a bereaved husband who tried to reconnect with his emotions after the death of his wife.

The film, directed by Jukka Pekka Valkeapää, has already caused a buzz in the south of France, with The Hollywood Reporter magazine describing it as a “hidden gem”.

Production was partly funded by the Finnish Film Foundation, and had a total budget of €1.4m.

Valkeapää told reporters that he hadn’t even watched ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ when he read the script by Johann Lumme, and so he took the actors to an S&M session run by a Helsinki dominatrix to observe.

“I was worried we would be intruding, but the man – the ‘slave’, the client – was a real exhibitionist. After the session I got a nice thank-you email” Valkeapää said in an interview.

Pekka Strang played the title role in Tom of Finland; while Krista Kosonen has appeared in numerous TV shows and had a part in Blade Runner 2049.