24 new films and 21 projects ready for the Finnish Film Affair
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- “We will follow up on the increasing international interest in the relatively small Finnish film industry,” says Helsinki International Film Festival director Sara Norberg
Last year, Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen’s The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile] was presented as a project at the Finnish Film Affair – the market section of the Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy. At the recent Cannes Film Festival, it won the Un Certain Regard Award, it has been nominated for the Nordic Council’s Film Prize, Scandinavia’s largest, and last week (17 September), its cinematographer, J-P Passi, won the top prize for his work at the Manaki Brothers International Cinematographers' Film Festival in Bitola, Macedonia.
Finnish director Klaus Härö’s The Fencer [+see also:
interview: Ivo Felt
film profile] was also presented in Helsinki in 2015; it went on to be nominated for a Golden Globe, be shortlisted for an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-language Film, and collect five awards, including two Jussis, Finland’s national film prize, and the Estonian Film Award in Tallinn.
“After the US Focus last year, it has been a real pleasure to see the increasing international interest in the relatively small Finnish film industry, so it has been quite natural to follow it up with a delegation visit by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and a similar boost for Finnish cinema this week,” said the festival’s managing director, Sara Norberg.
Unspooling from 20-22 September, the Finnish Film Affair has programmed 24 new films and 21 projects by Finnish directors Aku Louhimies, Dome Karukoski and AJ Annila, among others. The local catalogue of completed titles comprises Selma Vilhunen’s feature debut, Little Wing [+see also:
film profile]; Antti J Jokinen's top prize winner from Shanghai, Flowers of Evil [+see also:
film profile]; and Taneli Mustonen’s horror/genre contribution, Bodom [+see also:
film profile]. For the second time, an international jury will select the Best Pitch winner from among the 11 Works-in-Progress projects.
Among the international sales agents attending are Protagonist Pictures, WestEnd Films (UK), Wild Bunch, Urban Distribution (France), Universal Pictures International, XYZ Films, Fandango (US), Global Screen, Picture Tree, Media Luna (Germany), Raven Banner, Soda Pictures (Canada), Nonstop Entertainment and Edge Entertainment (Sweden). Festival programmers from Hong Kong, Guadalajara and Les Arcs will also be in Helsinki.
The annual industry panel, moderated by US veteran Adam Leipzig, will explore “Finding Concepts and Stories That Travel”, through discussions with former Fox Searchlight president of production Claudia Lewis (USA), the UK’s Mike Goodridge (Protagonist Pictures), Mike Runagall (Altitude Film Sales) and Finnish talent agent Laura Munsterhjelm (Actors in Scandinavia).