The 6th Finnish Film Affair 2017
The sixth Finnish Film Affair took place Sept 19th – 21st and the event brought together around eighty industry guests from all over the world and over 200 Finnish film industry attendants to enjoy the cosy but highly professional setting of the event.
ZsuZsi Bankuti, Venla Hellstedt, Jenny Cooney, Elli Toivoniemi and Marge Liiske. (Photo: Tanja Ryhänen)
The Finnish Film Affair continued the tradition of the Best Pitch award for the most promising Work-In-Progress to be spent on international marketing worth of 3 000 €. In 2017 the Works in Progress Best Pitch award – 3000 € courtesy of the Finnish Film Foundation, was given to Selma Vilhunen’s Stupid Young Heart, written by Kirsikka Saari and pitched by the 2015 winner Elli Toivoniemi and Venla Hellstedt from Tuffi Films, both producers of the film. Jury members included ZsuZsi Bankuti, the Head of Acquisitions from The Match Factory, Marge Liiske, Managing Director of Industry @Tallin / Baltic Event and Jenny Cooney from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The jury stated: “We had a difficult time coming to a decision and wish to congratulate all the great presentations and upcoming strong films. Having said that, we tried to judge each film by its quality, its presentation and the impact this prize could have on its international appeal.”
The jury felt Vilhunen’s coming of age story stood out on many levels. The subject matter felt edgy, relevant and focused on the dilemma of making correct choices in a complex and contemporary world, both personally and morally. Even though it is in the early stages of filming, the footage was excellent and the presentation and talent behind the project made us confident the film could reach international attention and would benefit from this prize.
Pilou Asbæk (Photo by Jaana Oksanen)
At a new sidebar event “Nordic Flair,” HIFF and Finnish Film Affair awarded the Danish actor Pilou Asbæk with the Nordic Flair Award. At Nordic Flair, 38 attending Nordic actors and directors met with the some of the top industry guests of FFA. The Nordic Flair Award is given to a person working in the film industry whilst boosting Nordic talent internationally. The award serves as a recognition of Asbæk’s brave role choices and his internationally renowned career; Asbæk is known for his leading roles in the BAFTA winning television series Borgen and the Oscar nominated film A War (2015). He has also appeared in the hit American TV series Game of Thrones and Scarlett Johansson’s Lucy (2014) and Ghost In The Shell (2017).
The event presented over 60 Finnish films, either finished or in development, to an audience of almost 80 international industry guests. The list of guests included sales agents such as XYZ Films, Wild Bunch, New Europe Film Sales, Lionsgate and Altitude Film Sales and programmers from Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, Palm Springs IFF and Roma Film Festival.
Adam Leipzig, Camille McCurry, Dana O’Keefe and Peter Trinh. (Photo by: John Grönvall)
Two popular panels were moderated by industry veteran Adam Leipzig. The popular VOD panel titled VOD from ABC to XYZ and Å too included such acclaimed panelists as Adam Chapnick (Distribber), Bobby Allen (MUBI), Aram Tertzakian (XYZ Films) and Laura Kuulasmaa (Elisa Viihde). The second panel titled Being Repped included agents and managers such as Dana O’Keefe (Cinetic Media), Camille McCurry (United Agents), and Peter Trinh (ICM Partners). Both panels were live streamed and organized in collaboration with Tekes and Audiovisual Finland.
Watch panels here:
The Finnish Film Affair 2017 was organized with partners such as Audiovisual Finland, the Finnish Film Foundation, Creative Europe / Media, the Central Organisation of Finnish Film Producers, Finland Film Commission and with the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, AVEK and the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes).
The 5th Finnish Film Affair 2016
The fifth Finnish Film Affair took place Sept 20th – 22nd and once again the event brought together over eighty industry guests from all over the world and over 200 Finnish film industry attendants to enjoy the cosy but highly professional setting of the event.
The Finnish Film Affair continued the tradition of the Best Pitch award for the most promising Work-In-Progress to be spent on international marketing worth of 3 000 €. In 2016 the jury picked two films to share the Works in Progress Best Pitch award – each will received a prize of €1500 courtesy of the Finnish Film Foundation. The winners were directors J-P Passi, Jukka Kärkkainen and producer Sami Jahnukainen (Mouka Filmi) for their documentary film Post Punk Disorder, and director Dome Karukoski and producer Annika Sucksdorff (Helsinki Filmi) for the feature film Tom of Finland. Jury members included Sergei Rakhlin, the chair of the Foreign Language Films committee of HFPA, Scott Feinberg, a noted awards columnist at The Hollywood Reporter, Cia Edström, the head of Nordic Film Market at Göteborg Film Festival and Marie-Pierre Valle, the Head of Acquisitions at Wild Bunch. According to the jury, all the projects were notable for their quality. “In a typical year, you only have several good Works-In-Progress and the rest does not stand out, but this time they were all excellent. We had a difficult time choosing the best one” – admitted Sergei Rakhlin.
The event presented over 60 Finnish films, either finished or in development, to an audience of almost 90 international industry guests. The list of guests included sales agents such as XYZ Films, Wild Bunch, Picture Tree, Protagonist pictures and Altitude Film Sales and programmers from Hongkong, Edinburgh and Guadalajara. Press guests consisted of international trades such as the Hollywood Reporter, Screen International and Cineuropa. Additionally five members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association visited again the FFA, including the vice president and the next president of the HFPA Meher Tatna. HFPA also co-hosted an extremely popular sauna dinner at Löyly on Wed Sept 21st.
The industry panel’s theme was this year “Finding stories and concepts that travel”. The panelists were Claudia Lewis (former Fox Searchlight President of Production), Mike Runagall (Managing Director, Altitude Film Sales), Mike Goodridge (CEO, Protagonist Pictures) and Laura Munsterhjelm (Talent agent, Actors in Scandinavia). The panel was moderated by Adam Leipzig (Entertainment Executive). The industry panel was organized in cooperation with the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes).
The Finnish Film Affair 2016 was organized with partners such as Audiovisual Finland, the Finnish Film Foundation, Creative Europe / Media, the Central Organisation of Finnish Film Producers, Finland Film Commission and with the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, AVEK and the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes).
The 4th Finnish Film Affair 2015
The fourth Finnish Film Affair took place Sept 22th-24th with a record-breaking number of over ninety international industry guests and over 200 Finnish film industry attendants.
For the first time, the Finnish Film Affair sponsored a Best Pitch award for the most promising Work-In-Progress to be spent on international marketing worth of 3000€. The winner of the award was director/producer Elli Toivoniemi for the documentary Once I was a Dragonfly. The jury consisted of Berenice Fugard, senior vice president of Fortissimo Films, Robert Burke, the managing director at the TenOne Entertainment and Barbara Gasser from Hollywood Foreign Press Association. According to their jury report, “Elli has a rare talent for capturing stunning visuals and telling a complex story in a relatable way. She also understands how to create an invisible bond between the subject of her documentary and the audience.”
In 2015 the Finnish Film Affair presented nearly sixty Finnish films, either finished or in development. Attendants included sales agents such as Fortissimo Films, Picture Tree International, Memento Films, and programmers from Sundance, SXSW and Edinburgh. Press guests included international trades such as The Hollywood Reporter, Screen International, Variety, and Indiewire. Additionally nine members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) attended the Finnish Film Affair and co-hosted the traditional sauna dinner at Uunisaari Island on Wed Sept 23rd.
The industry panel “Developing a film for the American markets” proved so popular with the Finnish industry that it had to be relocated to a larger space. “Finnish films are definitely on the international radar,” says Norberg. “There is a huge appetite in the local industry to take this to the next level and we are very happy to offer them the tools that can help them and their projects work internationally.” The panelists were Jon Levin (CAA), Peter Trinh (ICM), Ryan Wickers (EuropaCorp), Hussain Currimbhoy (Sundance Film Festival), and Robert Burke (TenOne Entertainment). The industry panel was moderated by Gudrun Giddings (G4C Innovation).
The Finnish Film Affair 2015 was organized with partners such as Favex – the Finnish Film & Audiovisual Export, the Finnish Film Foundation, Creative Europe / Media, the Central Organisation of Finnish Film Producers and with the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, AVEK and the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes).
The 3rd Finnish Film Affair 2014
The third edition of the industry event of the Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy took place from September 23 to 25 in a welcoming and laid-back but highly efficient and professional setting.
The event attracted an attendance of almost 300 participants, of which nearly 100 were international and approximately 200 domestic accredited industry professionals.
The international participants included representatives of sales companies (such as Wild Bunch, Fortissimo, Memento Films, Films Transit), distributors (Koch Media, Jupiter Films etc.), tv-buyers (ZDF/Arte), festival programmers (Sundance, Sarajevo) and representatives of the press (The Hollywood Reporter, Screen International, Le film français, Filmecho/Filmwoche).
Wide range of projects presented
The event presented nearly 50 Finnish films, either finished or in development, to an audience of almost 70 international industry guests.
The seventeen works in progress received a good response from attending film buyers and were considered highly versatile. Especially The Fencer (Miekkailija) by Klaus Härö, Hobbyhorse Chicks (Kepparit) by Selma Vilhunen, Cross Your Heart (Henkesi edestä) by Petri Kotwica and Mother’s Wish (Äidin toive) by Joonas Berghäll raised interest among international guests.
Among the nineteen finished films, the representatives of the international film industry had a chance to see recent and upcoming releases such as They Have Escaped (He ovat paenneet) by J-P Valkeapää and The Grump(Mielensäpahoittaja) by Dome Karukoski, which both were screened in Toronto.
Focus in development
The core of the programme for invited buyer guests consisted of a works in progress showcase, screenings of new Finnish films and networking events.
As a part of an aim to offer more tools for the next generation of filmmakers to develop their project for the international market, a new element in the programme, the Project Development Clinic, was launched. Domestic producers, directors and scriptwriters of ten selected projects took part in round table sessions with international industry professionals to receive feedback and advice on developing their fiction feature film projects.
In addition, a group of international experts, led by Simon Perry, discussed different aspects of script development, packaging, marketing, distribution and sales in the panel How to Develop a Film That Travels. To examine bulding an international career, case studies were presented by Patrik Andersson from B-Reel (Sweden) and Katrin Kissa from Homeless Bob Productions (Estonia). The panelists included Alessandro Gropplero (Friuli Venezia Giulia Audiovisual Fund, When East Meets West co-production market), Franz Rodenkirchen (Script & Pitch, Torino Film Lab, Binger Filmlab), Jacobine van der Vloed (Under the Milky Way, Art:Film, Henneman Agency, previously Cinemart & Rotterdam Lab), and Petri Kemppinen (Nordic Film & TV Fund).
The photo gallery of the Finnish Film Affair can be browsed at: http://flic.kr/ps/2zVXBm
The Finnish Film Affair 2014 was organized with partners such as Favex – the Finnish Film & Audiovisual Export, the Finnish Film Foundation, Creative Europe / Media, the Central Organisation of Finnish Film Producers, Commission Helsinki and with the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and AVEK.
The 2nd Finnish Film Affair 2013
The second edition of the Finnish Film Affair was held in Helsinki from September 24 to 26 2013 in connection with the Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy.
The event presented over 40 Finnish films, either finished or in development, to a record audience of over 60 international industry guests. The international participants included representatives of sales companies (e.g. Fortissimo, Hanway, Wild Bunch), distributors (e.g. Soda Pictures, Eyefilm), tv-buyers (e.g. ZDF/Arte), festival programmers (e.g. Tribeca, Locarno, Rotterdam, Palm Springs) and representatives of the press (e.g. the Hollywood Reporter, Screen, Variety). Together with the domestic participants, the event attracted an attendance of almost 300 industry professionals.
The programme included screenings of new Finnish films (29 films), a works in progress showcase (14 titles), networking events and a panel on coproducing with Russia.
The Rare Exports: Opportunities for Finnish-Russian Coproductions panel gathered Finnish and Russian industry professionals for a lively debate on the current situation of working with Russia. The panel was moderated by Nick Holdsworth, a writer for The Hollywood Reporter. The panelists included Natalia Mokritskaya, Maria Gavrilova, Sam Klebanov, Konstantin Lopushansky, Andrey Siegle, Sergey Bondarev, Eda Koppel and Anna Cobb Morozova.
Both foreign guests as well as domestic participants were happy with the event.
The Finnish film industry has now taken off and is flying high. I can sense a strong energy and ambition from the producers and filmmakers. It was a pleasure to see so many high-quality Finnish projects at the event. Can’t wait to see them on the big screen. And last but not least: congrats to the organizers for their excellent work! – Marge Liiske, Managing Director, Baltic Event
The international guests (myself included) were very happy with the affair; selective, but inclusive, was a comment I heard from several – within two days, we knew everything about Finnish cinema and the Finnish film industry. No time was wasted, which film professionals appreciate, since there are so many events they need to go to. And Finns both talk and are good company. – Jørn Rossing Jensen, Nordic correspondent, Screen International/Cineuropa
Just like to thank you for another well organized Finnish Film Affair. Good and productive meetings, great saunas and nice people, simply perfect! – Michael Werner, Eyewell
To get a feeling of the event you can have a look at the picture gallery of the Finnish Film Affair at: http://flic.kr/ps/2zVXBm
The Finnish Film Affair 2013 was organized with partners such as Favex – the Finnish Film & Audiovisual Export, the Finnish Film Foundation, Media Desk Finland, the Central Organisation of Finnish Film Producers, Finland Film Commission as well as with the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and AVEK.
The 1st Finnish Film Affair 2012
Celebrating its 25th year, the Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy (HIFF) launched the first ever industry event in Finland for feature films. The Finnish Film Affair (Sept 25-27, 2012) focused on showcasing the latest Finnish feature films to international industry professionals – sales agents, TV-buyers, festival programmers, distributors, trade press and producers. Alongside the line-up of 27 titles attending industry guests had an opportunity to get to know upcoming Finnish feature and documentary films selected to the Laugh Scream Learn – Finnish Films in Developmentshowcase. The attendees had also a chance to sample works screened in the regular festival program from neighboring territories, such as Russia, Estonia and other Nordic countries.
The programme included the Focus on Film Sales panel moderated by the Editor of Screen International, Wendy Mitchell. The panel offered Finnish producers and other professionals a chance to develop their tools in selling their films abroad. Experts of film sales (Miira Paasilinna/Yellow Affair, Afolabi Kuti/The Salt Company), distribution (Emit Dey/NBC Universal Pictures, Clare Binns/City Screen Picturehouses) and marketing (Mathilde Henrot/Festival Scope, Eda Koppel/Baltic Event) discussed how Finnish films can reach the rest of the world.
EARS – Europe-Asia Roundtable Sessions introduced the new generation of Asian audiovisual professionals such as Isabella Glachant, Zhou Xingyue and Paul Yi. The EARS afternoon organized in collaboration with Pluto Finlandand FAVEX, provided the audience with an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the Asian market.
Over 200 local industry professionals and about 30 international buyers and distributors participated in the first Finnish Film Affair. The trade media representatives included Wendy Mitchell from Screen International, Nick Holdsworthfrom the Variety and Tim Appelo from The Hollywood Reporter. Among the attending sales companies were for example Clémentine Hugot from Wide Management, Matteo Lovadina from Reel Suspects and Claire Charles-Gervais from Urban Distribution.
”The Finnish Film Affair is such a welcomed initiative! Finally!”
“Very up-to-date, relevant and professionally conducted”
”Just brilliant, please do it again next year”
The Finnish Film Affair 2012 was organized with partners such as FAVEX – the Finnish Film & Audiovisual Export, the Finnish Film Foundation, the Central Organization of Finnish Film Producers, Finland Film Commissionand with the support of the Nordic Culture Fund and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.