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The film and TV sector in Finland is blooming

three girls laughing

Alli Haapasalo’s third feature film, Girl Picture, has been well received by audiences and critics alike. PHOTO Ilkka Saastamoinen

The Finnish film and TV industry is finding new audiences, picking up awards and offering an excellent base for international collaboration, writes Hanna Vuorinen, head of Film in Finland.

The Finnish audiovisual sector has grown and become more international in the past few years. As a result, the total revenue of production companies rose by more than 40 percent from 2017 to 2019. This upward trend continued in 2022 as films like Girl Picture.

Strong premieres and revenues

This year looks equally promising. One of the most anticipated Finnish films is Sisu, an action thriller directed by Jalmari Helander (known for Big Game and Rare Exports). The Toronto and Sitges festival-awarded film has been released across North America, smashing box office.

Finnish TV series are also thriving. According to Laura Kuulasmaa, executive director at the producers’ association APFI, Finland released 30 original, high-quality drama and comedy series  in 2022 alone. Many of these were sold internationally.

The same trend is set to continue. Anticipated Finnish series, such as Estonia  and Dance Brothers, will premiere this year.

Dance Brothers is a modern story about two brothers who start a dance company. It’s produced by YLE, Finland’s national public broadcasting company, and Netflix.

Another exciting output comes from Ilkkas’ Creative Studio in collaboration with BBC Studios Nordics to create a noir crime spoof Nordic Police Force. The series is produced by David Zucker and Pat Proft, best known for their work on Naked Gun and Airplane!. 

NoPoFo” centres on an elite team of special agents who investigate murders. In short, it’s Nordic noir meets Police Squad.

Sisu, 2023, PHOTO Freezing Point / Antti Rastivo

Animation industry promises growth potential

The animation company Gigglebug with its hit series, Unstoppable Yellow Yeti, was commissioned by Disney Channel in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the Nordic broadcasters YLE, DR, NRK and SVT.

This is just the start. Anttu Harlin, CEO and founder of Gigglebug, believes there is plenty of  growth potential in animation. Gigglebug’s turnover has grown by 500 per cent in five years and Harlin estimates its productions alone will bring about 45 million euros to Finland between 2019 and 2025.

International productions find Finnish film crews trustworthy

Jupe Louhelainen from Film Service Finland has worked with several international big-budget productions made in Finland. The interest is growing.

According to Louhelainen, in the past year, several productions have spent a total of around 18 million euros in Finland through a Film Service Finland incentive. In 2023, the incentive is estimated to bring in around 21 million euros.

This is partly thanks to Finnish service providers’ reputation as reliable and trustworthy. 

Lee Kim, a Los Angeles-based producer at Resolute Films and Entertainment, has first-hand experience: “any time you go to a new place to shoot with new people you have to build trust – and the Finns were very direct and consistently did exactly what they said they would deliver on.”

Words by Hanna Vuorinen, Head of Film in Finland, Business Finland

Abbreviation by Nette Grön

This article was originally published on Good news from Finland

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