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Finnish Film Affair to showcase 31 pitches of films and series

Finnish Film Affair 2023 / PHOTO: FFA

Finnish Film Affair to showcase 31 pitches of films and series

Finnish Film Affair 2023 / PHOTO: FFA

Accreditations are open until September 13; 400+ industry delegates including 130 international guests have already signed up for the Helsinki industry event.

Buyers from MUBI, Mediawan Rights, Curzon Film, ZDF/Arte, the Spanish platform Filmin, programmers from Venice, Toronto, Tribeca, , Göteborg and Vision du Réel are expected at Helsinki’s 12th Finnish Film Affair, unspooling between September 20-22, parallel to the Helsinki Int’l Film Festival-Love & Anarchy.

“Everything we do is with the aim of making the Finnish and Nordic industry even more international,” underlines head of industry Maria Pikkalainen-Barber, who said that the networking lunches are already sold out. “It’s easy to see how interested and ready industry pros are to network again and we couldn’t be happier to help facilitate that,” she said.

As always, Finnish Film Affair’s must-attend pitch day will be showcasing 31 Nordic films and Finnish series this year. As underlined by Pikkalainen-Barber, a record number of Nordic films have been selected, due to new FFF rules allowing Finnish minor co-productions to take part.

This year’s line-up of five first and second features vying for best Nordic project includes the anticipated Danish stone-age drama Stranger, produced by MOTOR, and Norwegian marriage drama Lovable produced by The Worst Person in the World’s Thomas Robsahm.

Sweden will be represented with the coming-of age Glaspest, Iceland with Grand Finale by seasoned writer Sigurjón Kjartansson (Trapped) and Finland with the comedy Butterflies, sophomore feature by Jenni Toivoniemi (Games People Play).

Butterflies produced by Tekele will also compete for best fiction project alongside four other titles such as the Swedish/Finnish drama Raptures about a religious cult in northern Sweden, directed by Jon Blåhed.

Projects in development
include Land of Ferns by Esther Martin Bergsmark (Something Must Break) produced by Sweden’s Garagefilm and Finland’s Aamu Film Company, and the genre-oriented The Mire by Marika Harjusaari, produced by Hatching’s Silva Mysterium.

The five Finnish series in the works, selected with the export initiative Focus in Finland take in Supporting Actor from Bajijay Rights, produced by Endemol Shine Finland’s Max Malka, The Boy Next Door by Hannaleena Hauru, produced by Compartment No6’s Aamu Film Company, and The Crashing produced by Bufo (Fallen Leaves).

“There is a clear demand for us to up the number of series showcased, and next year we will be looking into doing an open call,” underlined Pikkalainen-Barber.


Finnish Film Affair to showcase 31 pitches of films and series

Maria Pirkkalainen Barber / PHOTO: Courtesy Finnish Film Affair

The head of industry also stressed the larger number of documentary submissions. “Twenty-three projects applied and our international jury did a remarkable job selecting this year’s cohort of nine-it wasn’t an easy task!" she said.

to be pitched include by Tonislav Hristov’s, Once Upon a Time in a Forest by Virpi Suutari, and The Art of Reindeer Racing, produced by Finland’s Illume with Sweden’s Ginestra Film.

For the first time since 2019, Finnish Film Affair will host market screenings with four new titles on the programme: the FFA opening film Death is a Problem for the Living by Teemu Nikki, drama comedy Family Time by Tia Kouvo, sold by The Match Factory, Light Light Light by Inari Niemi, sold by Intramovies, and the documentary Homecoming, sold by First Hand Films.

Meanwhile five rising talents selected for the innovative programme Kehittämö Talent Development lab (see details Five rising Finnish talents receive €55,000 each from AVEK’s talent scheme) will unveil their projects in development.

Top international experts set to inspire FFA delegates include former Toronto programmer Steve Gravestock, and script editor Karol Griffiths who has worked with Joel & Ethan Coen and Steven Spielberg.

In a first collaboration with the Finnish Film Affair, Sky Showtime will present its Finnish/Swedish original series Codename: Annika, ahead of the thriller’s premiere September 30 on the streaming service. Producers Mia Ylönen and Aleksi Bardy of Helsinki-filmi will discuss the creative process with moderator Marta Balaga.

Other highlights include a masterclass with US genre specialist XYZ Films about ‘The rise of Nordic genre content’, co-organised by Film Tampere, a discussion with talent agents from Europe and the US, a presentation from WIFT Finland of an ‘equality tool’ for the AV industry, and a Nostradamus update with media analyst Johanna Koljonen.

The Nordic Flair programme will be unveiled closer to the event.

Full Pitching programme:

Fiction in Development

  • Earth Song, Erol Mintaş, Sons of Lumière/Elemag Pictures
  • The Elf (Tonttu), Joonas Berghäll & Hannes Vartiainen, Oktober Oy/Rein Film
  • The Kidnapping of a President (Kyyditys), Samuli Valkama, Tack Films/Bionaut/Beo Starling
  • Land of Ferns (Ormbunkslandet), Ester Martin Bergsmark, Garagefilm Int’l/AamuFilm Company / Achtung Panda!
  • The Mire (Suonsilmä), Marika Harjusaari, Silva Mysterium
  • Swedish Bomb (Svensk bomb), Whatevergroup
  • Will-o’-the-Wisp, (Virvatuli), Hanna Västinsalo, Thinkseed Films
  • 7 P.M. On a Sunday, Sevgi Eker, Helsinki-filmi

Fiction in Progress

  • Apple Thieves (Omenavarkaat), Samppa Batal, Cinerain
  • Butterflies (Perhoset), Jenni Toivoniemi, Tekele Productions
  • Itty Bitty Princess (Prinsessa Pikkiriikki), Lauri Maijala, Helsinki-filmi
  • The Missile (Ohjus), Miia Tervo, Elokuvayhtiö Komeetta/Stellar Film
  • Raptures (Rörelser), Jon Blåhed, Iris Film/ Rabbit Films

Nordic Selection

  • Glaspest, Elina Sahlin, Makeriet
  • Grand Finale (Fullt Hus), Sigurjon Kjartansson, Nyjar Hendur ehf
  • Lovable (Elskling), Lilja Ingolfsdottir, Nordisk Film Production / Amarcord
  • Stranger (Fremmed), Mads Hedegaard, Motor ApS / Proton Cinema / Mer Film

Documentaries in Progress and Development

  • The Art of Reindeer Racing (Ohjastamisen taito), Mervi Junkkonen, Illume/Ginestra
  • Grains of Paradise, Jenni Kivistö & Jussi Rastas, Väki Films
  • The Last Misfits by The Golden River (Maa), Juho-Pekka Tanskanen, Danish Bear
  • Marotte, Mari Mantela, Aurora Pictures
  • Neurotypes (Neurotype), Maija Hirvonen, Mouka Filmi
  • Once Upon a Time in a Forest, Virpi Suutari, Euphoria film
  • Showtime in Helsinki, Arthur Franck, Polygraf
  •, Tonislav Hristov, Making Movies


  • The Boy Next Door, Hannaleena Hauru, Aamu Film Company
  • The Crashing (Kolari), Anna Äärelä, Bufo
  • Perfect Pitch (Kona!), Lotta-Kaisa Riistakoski, Rabbit Films
  • Supporting Actor (Kurjen kirous), Niklas Lindgren, Endemol Shine Finland
  • The Whorytale (Huorasatu), Malin Nyqvist & Oskari Sipola, Welhofilmi/Veli Studio