Well known Finnish film director Arto Halonen, whose award-winning documentaries have been viewed all around the globe, has just spent two weeks in Croatia filming his latest feature film “Patriotic Man, a film about a doping affair in sport starring disgraced former Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, reports daily newspaper Vecernji list.
The film is based on a true story that Halonen analysed in his 2011 documentary “When Heroes Lie”, that exposes the brutal doping history of Finnish cross-country skiing and reveals the international framework of lies that exists in professional sports.
Johnson, who had his gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul stripped after he was disqualified for doping, was on set in Gorski Kotar and in Zagreb.
“One part of the film takes place at the World Championships in central Europe, and another at the Olympic Games in North America in the 1980’s. Therefore, we searched for locations that were close together that could replica Canada, USA and the former Yugoslavia. Slovenia and Croatia proved to be an ideal combination, and now when filming is coming to an end, I can say that I am absolutely satisfied with working with the Croats and I am already talking with Igor Nola from MP Produkcija about future projects,” said Arto.
Halonen joins a string of recent international film productions to film in Croatia after the Croatian audiovisual centre’s cash rebate incentive was introduced at the start of 2012 for foreign film productions made in Croatia.