“My Dear Friend” is a heartwarming short film by Finnish director & photographer Lauri Laukkanen. The film follows the deep-­r​ooted friendship of a young girl and her beloved teddy bear, through seven decades -­ beginning in the 1940’s and ending in this day and age.

The scenes span through several decades, which creates an interesting progression in the storyline, but is a challenge to convey in less than 6 minutes. That said director Laukkanen succeeds in delivering a realistic and emotionally strong story onto our screens.

“I wanted to make a film that touches people across cultures. In the past few months, we’ve seen the media spreading news and headlines filled with negativity and hatred. I felt it was time to remind people about the things that actually matter the most – family, love and friendship”, ​states the Director.

The inspiration for this mostly online­-distributed short film was drawn from another video clip on the web.

Mr. Laukkanen writes in his recent blog post: “October 28th, 2015 ­ I sat in my office and browsed around the internet pointlessly, when suddenly I bumped into a viral video that featured an iPhone­-video of a woman that was reunited with her childhood teddy bear on Christmas and experiences what the reporters called a “happiness meltdown”.

“Something in this video really touched me, and got me thinking about the importance of christmas gifts. The video ­ and especially the woman’s reaction to the gift ­ reminded me of my last year’s trip to Romania with Operation Christmas Child, where I got the opportunity to give out Christmas gifts to some of the poorest children in Europe. On that trip I got to really experience the power that one single present can have on a child’s life.”

In a genre that is often considered clichéd, and at times a bit daft, the short film “My Dear Friend” feels surprisingly genuine and honest. It is a rare example of a high­-quality, non­commercial Christmas short film.