Finlandia demuestra ser un socio flexible y fiable en Cracovia
por Laurence Boyce
- En el Festival de Cine de Cracovia, una conferencia reflexionó sobre el panorama de la financiación en Finlandia y los beneficios que el país ofrece a la coproducción
Este artículo está disponible en inglés.
Finland was in the spotlight as the latest Country in Focus at the 59th edition of the Krakow Film Festival (KFF), held this past week. With screenings of Finnish documentaries alongside a large delegation of the country’s filmmakers and industry professionals, those attending the KFF were given a brief snapshot of the current state of the filmmaking world in the Nordic country that has a population of approximately 5.5 million people.
The nation was in focus during the KFF’s traditional annual conference, which delved deeper into some of the benefits of making a film in Finland as well as the challenges the country currently faces. In attendance were Jukka-Pekka Laakso (the event’s moderator and director of the Tampere Film Festival), Erkko Lyytinen (commissioning editor at YLE), Sari Volanen (YLE), Pile Nokelainen (Finnish Film Foundation – FFF), Pekka Uotila (Finnish Film Foundation), Suvi Paavola (Finnish Film Foundation) and Niklas Kullström (Hillstream Pictures).
The event began with the representatives of the Finnish Film Foundation – which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – talking about their role in Finland. Approximately €24 million in support are handed out each year, and the vast majority of domestic releases receive some sort of backing from the foundation. The country also has a cash rebate of 25%, with a minimum spend of €50,000 on a minimum €350,000 budget. These figures include both shooting and post-production.
The foundation’s Pekka Uotila also gave a more detailed and concentrated examination of the documentary scene, as he talked about how the FFF supports around 30 feature-length and short documentary productions a year. This includes four to six minority co-productions. The annual budget for documentary production support is between €1.5 million and €2 million, while the average production support for a minority co-production stands at around €25,000.
Mention was made of how many Finnish productions work with the “Holy Trinity” of the Finnish Film Foundation, YLE (the Finnish national broadcaster) and AVEK (the Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture). In broad terms, it was mentioned that YLE is looking for strong, high-quality films for a Finnish audience, the Finnish Film Foundation is there to support and bolster independent Finnish production companies, while AVEK is there for the support and development of Finnish artists. Working with up to three different organisations can have its challenges – you have to try to please them all, it was pointed out – but the general consensus was that all work together so closely that it becomes relatively easy, as each is respectful of the others’ needs.
Erkko Lyytinen, commissioning editor of YLE, also noted how – as with the rest of the world – the way in which local culture is consumed is changing. But while traditional broadcasting is shrinking, 80-90% of audiences are still making use of it while the rest are using VoD only. There will be a big change to distribution in the future with more of a focus on VoD services. Lyytinen was keen to point out how YLE’s VoD services were founded at the same time as Netflix and YouTube. He noted the need to keep the services vital and dynamic, as giant corporations really have no need to support languages or cultures. In addition, there must be some kind of appeal to local audiences, even if the idea of “appeal” is sometimes difficult to quantify. We have to know how to make storytelling work, how to reach audiences and how to be relevant. We all need to support European culture and languages, and the continent’s mode of filmmaking. These are challenging times, but things will hopefully be better soon, he opined.
Finnish director Niklas Kullström, of Hillstream Pictures, also backed up much of what was said. With his documentary Eastern Memories [+lee también:
ficha del filme] (which he co-directed with Martti Kaartinen) currently doing the festival circuit, he mentioned some recent changes in Finnish law that meant that the process of funding has changed somewhat. There is now a board making the final funding decisions, and there are many people to go to and options to consider when looking for financing. He did mention that minority co-production is difficult, as it is very competitive and only a few projects get funded. It’s a lot of work to get them organised, and – much like filmmakers the world over – he is not all that fond of paperwork.
Kullström was also keen to point out the benefits of working with a Finnish crew. He pointed out that the country is becoming a world leader in sound design and foley work. The number of first-class editors and cinematographers coming out of the country is also on the rise.
The session wrapped with the important point that although Finland is expensive, Finns are reliable, do what they promise and are extremely flexible on productions. And that is why Finland is a respected, go-to place for international productions.
(Traducción del inglés)
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