Mexican mindscape was filmed in Turku

The Port of Turku turned in February into a shooting location of a Mexican-Finnish film called Bayoneta. A new twist was added to the screenplay after the producers had first visited the Port in the autumn.

Satama tarjosi ainutlaatuiset kuvausmahdollisuudet nosturissa 25 metrin korkeudessa.

The wind is blowing on the corner of Vallihaudankatu street near the Port of Turku. The ground is covered by a few centimetres of snow. The film crew adjusts a large canvas that reflects the natural light.

In the starring role of Bayoneta the Mexican actor Luis Gerardo Méndes is far from the warm climate of his native country. This is not a filming location of the popular Netflix series Club de Cuervos. Instead Mr Méndes plays Miguel ”Bayoneta” Galindez, a former professional boxer who is training hard.

In the film’s world, Bayoneta is a man running away from his past. Life has brought him to a foreign country, Finland and Turku. In the port city the days go by as a coach at a boxing gym. Then he gets once more in the ring to face his past.

The Port of Turku’s crane operator acted as an important extra at the filming of Bayoneta. Another Port employee was recruited as an extra on the fly. Photo: © Woo Films.
”An amazing experience”

Director Kyzza Terrazas stresses how friendly the people in Turku are – they have literally opened the doors to their homes.

“Moving a big film crew from one place to another is easy here.”

The screenplay of Bayoneta underwent an unusual twist last autumn, when the producers and director Terrazas were checking the shooting locations. They were very happy just about receiving a permission for filming from the Port of Turku.

The Finnish premiere is expected in spring 2018, says Johanna Enäsuo.

“Deputy Harbour Master Antti Pekanheimo took us to see the shooting locations”, says Rafael Lay, the Mexican producer of the film. The production crew was given access anywhere, even up to a harbour crane:

“We went back to Mexico and we had to make changes to the screenplay”, Mr Lay says. The view over the port was so fascinating that they had to get it into the film. One of the turning points of the film, ”life changing discussion”, was shot in a container crane at the height of 25 metres and using TurkuSteve’s telehandler.

Shooting up in the air was challenging and there was only limited space.

“This could not have been filmed in any other place”, Mr Lay says.

“The outcome of this shoot looked good”, says the film’s Finnish producer Johanna Enäsuo from Matila Röhr Productions Oy.

The Port supports film productions

Antti Pekanheimo says that the Port aims especially at supporting the activities of the West Finland Film Commission. That shows the significance of films to marketing and their effect on promoting tourism.

“We would be happy to have a new Lord of the Rings trilogy shot here”, he chuckles. Bayoneta’s production team of 60 people is significant.

”It’s important to us that we can offer them the facilities that we have.”

The goal is to arrange the filming so that it does not interfere with the Port’s regular operations.

“The film crew even got a wintery weather. Just what they were hoping for”, Mr Pekanheimo says.

The shooting will continue in Mexico City. The Finnish actors playing in the film are Joonas Saartamo, Laura Birn, Ilkka Koivula and Ville Virtanen. The Finnish premiere is expected in spring 2018.

Text and photos Sini Silván