Saara Saarela to direct The Guardian of Water

The movie based on Emmi Itäranta’s award-winning novel Memory of Water has begun filming. The Guardian of Water (Veden vartija in Finnish), with a budget of 3,5 million euro, is directed by Saara Saarela, professor of film directing at Aalto University.
Saara Saarela at the set of the movie Guardian of Water. Photo: Gabriela Urm © Bufo 2020
Saara Saarela at the set. Photo: Gabriela Urm © Bufo 2020

The movie is a futuristic fable situated in a time of water shortages, featuring locations from Estonia, Germany and Norway. Director Saara Saarela describes: “We are following a hero’s journey but also making a moral study and a social statement, and together with the whole ensemble we have worked hard in creating the futuristic world of this movie. I’m excited to be able to give life to this story with a most contemporary feel. On top of this we have two excellent young actors as the protagonists of the story.”  

The Guardian of Water is a story about Noria (played by Saga Sarkola), the new tea master of the village. In a world of severe drought, Noria is introduced to her father’s greatest secret: the location of the hidden spring from which the water for the teahouse derives. With her friend Sanja (Mimosa Willamo) she decides to find out, if there are more hidden springs, hidden by the dictatorship. Could the world still be saved? 

Ilja Rautsi’s screenplay is based on Emmi Itäranta’s modern classic Memory of water (Teos 2012, which has been translated to more than 20 different languages and has been nominated  for the Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick awards. 

The movie stars Saga Sarkola, Mimosa Willamo, Lauri Tilkanen, Pekka Strang and Minna Haapkylä. The cinematographer is Kjell Lagerroos and the set designer is Otso Linnalaakso. The movie is produced by Misha Jaari and Mark Lwoff from Bufo, co-produced by Estonian Allfilm, German Pandora Film Produktion and Norwegian Mer Film. The release date is scheduled for 2021.

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