Magazine article Screen International

Finland Heats Up International Appeal with First Finnish Film Affair

Magazine article Screen International

Finland Heats Up International Appeal with First Finnish Film Affair

Article excerpt

Works in progress presented to international buyers and sellers include new films from Honkasalo and Louhimies, plus the animated family sequel Niko 2.

Finland is proving its international appeal is growing, as the Nordic country hosted its first industry-oriented Finnish Film Affair last week during the Helsinki International Film Festival.

The inaugural event attracted international guests including sales executives Alexandra Kida from TrustNordisk, Clementine Hugot from WIDE Management, former Beta Cinema executive Andreas Rothbauer, Urban Distribution International's Claire Charles-Gervais, Michael Werner of NonStop Sales, and Afolabi Kuti from the Salt Company, alongside Miira Paasilinna from The Yellow Affair (the only international sales outfit based in Finland). Buyers included Clare Binns from the UK's Picturehouse, Amit Dey from NBCUniversal, Kim Foss from Denmark's Camera Film, and Eva Esseen Arndorff from Sweden's TriArt.In addition to screenings of Finnish films (including this year's Oscar submission Purge), a panel discussion [pictured] about international sales, and a seminar about working closer with Asia, the top draw for international visitors was a presentation of 15 Finnish works in progress at various stages.They included Eurovision champs documentary Lordi - the Monsterboy by Antti Haase; fantasy-adventure Imageinaerum by Strobe Harju nad produced by local powerhouse Solar Films; Pirjo Honkasalo's Concrete Night, a black-and-white drama shooting now; Aku Louhimies gritty drama 8-Ball, his follow-up to Frozen Land and Naked Harbour, comedy August Fools by Taru Makela, relationship drama Open Up To Me directed by Simo Halinen, and family animation sequel Niko 2: Little Brother, Big Trouble.Other Finnish films in the works include Zaida Bergroth's Angela, about two stripper sisters who want to become famous. After Lapland Odyssey, director Dome Karukoski is readying The Racist, an comedy about the unlikely relationship between a neo-Nazi skinhead and a woman who has a mixed-race son. Klaus Haro is preparing Never Alone (Nie Allein), about a Finnish Jewish man, Abraham Stiller, who acted as a mediator for asylum seekers during WWII. Author Peter Franzen will adapt his own novel Above Dark Water, a family drama set in Finnish Lapland in the 1970s. …

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