The winners of the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival were announced on Saturday, and The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki was awarded the main prize.
In accepting the award for his first feature film, director Juho Kuosmanen said: “Thank you for your weird taste in cinema. I am so surprised and happy.”
In the summer of 1962, Olli Mäki had a shot at the world featherweight boxing title. From the Finnish countryside to the bright lights of Helsinki, everything had been prepared for his fame and fortune. All Olli had to do was lose weight and concentrate.
But Olli Mäki lost the title fight to Davey Moore in the second round by a knock out in front of a packed stadium. According to him, it was the best day of his life, even though his girlfriend Raija was the only person to stand by him through it all.
The Hollywood Reporter described the film as a “delicate balance of humour, melancholy and sensitive human insight.”