Original title: Laika
Written by Leeni Linna and Leana Jalukse
Genre: Short Fiction, Children & Youth Film, Sci-fi
Year of production: 2020
Production country: Estonia / Finland
Starring: Otto Kahar, Anne Reemann, Tambet Tuisk, Jaan Pehk, Ursula Ratasepp
Director: Leeni Linna
Director of Photography: Daniel Lindholm
Editing: Jussi Rautaniemi
Sound Design: Harmo Kallaste
Music: Harmo Kallaste
Producer: Karin Reinberg-Shestakov
Co-Producer: Merja Ritola
Laika is a short film about a little boy, Onni, whose parents had promised him a dog for his tenth birthday - before they suddenly passed away.
When Onni sees a falling star the evening before his birthday, he wishes upon it one more time, but realises then that the bright object is falling into the forest behind his grandma's house. Having just read a comic book of aliens, he fearfully wanders to investigate. On a clearing, he finds a little spacecraft, Sputnik, and prepares for the worst. However, when the hatch of the vehicle opens, a little dog exits instead - with the name Laika engraved on his collar. But knowing that his grandma is wary of dogs, the worried child stays in the forest with the dog.
They are located soon enough, and, thanks to the dog, Onni has not even caught a cold. But Laika, frightened of the search party and its dogs, has fled. As both the doctor in the ER and a familiar policeman seem to know the space dog Laika, Onni is certain that the dog is the gift his parents had promised - sent from the heavens. But his grandma is only worried that the child is delirious with fever.
The next morning, Onni gets to work - although an internet search reveals the sad truth that Laika had died in space, Onni is certain of what he saw, and he is not going to leave the dog to his own devices now. But Laika is no longer near Sputnik and no one responds to the leaflets left in the streets. And when Grandma takes the unhappy kid to the animal shelter, Onni almost loses his four-legged friend again, as Laika is just about to be adopted by another family. But grandma recognises the scarf she had knitted tied around the animal's neck - and it is her decisive action that allows the two friends never be apart again.