Getting It Made for the US Market
by Birgit Heidsiek
- Finnish film and TV companies are getting ready for their take-off in the USA
The new initiative “Getting It Made for the US Market” is set to give Finnish audiovisual companies a boost by improving their business skills for the American market. Launched by the Finnish Film Foundation, FAVEX – Finnish Film and Audiovisual Export, TEKES – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Team Finland initiative kicked off with the panel discussion “How to Develop a Film for the American Markets”, hosted by the Finnish Film Affair.
“We are looking for high-concept movies,” stated Ryan Wickers, director of development at Europacorp. A film needs to be different in order to get some attention. As Jon Levin, head of literary at talent agency CAA, pointed out, original ideas are very difficult to sell. “Even if you’ve never heard of Ant-Man, you know it is Marvel.” Production companies, agencies and festivals are always searching for talents that possess passion. “We want you to make the film that you want to do,” said Wickers.
Finnish film hits such as the Oscar contender The Fencer [+see also:
interview: Ivo Felt
film profile] by Klaus Härö or the action-adventure Big Game [+see also:
film profile], which secured the biggest US distribution deal in Finnish cinema history, prove that the United States has become an increasingly attractive business platform for Finnish audiovisual production companies. The number of Finnish firms attending the American Film Market (AFM) in Santa Monica each autumn has been growing constantly over the last couple of years.
“North America is a very interesting but incredibly competitive market area,” underlined Kati Nuora, project leader of the Team Finland initiative at the Finnish Film Foundation. “By combining the knowledge and resources of the different supporting organisations under the Team Finland umbrella, we can best help the companies to achieve success in their own efforts.”
Based on their feature film or TV series projects, a total of 15 companies from the audiovisual sector have been selected to participate in the initiative. “FAVEX’s mission is to promote the growth and internationalisation of the Finnish film and TV industry, and this new joint venture is an interesting opportunity that further facilitates the achievement of these goals,” summed up Johanna Karppinen, the CEO of FAVEX. “The intent is to help to provide very concrete results and benefits for the participating companies.”