The pitch presentation Coming Next from Finland was organised by Audiovisual Producers Finland to help Finnish producers attract partners on their projects and to lure foreign shoots with Finland’s 25% filming cash rebate.

The seven projects pitched were the following:

  • Enemy of the People (8X45’) (Kansan vihollinen)
    The drama thriller backed by C More/MTV is penned by writer Timo Varpio (Downshifters, Pioneer). Black Widows and Easy Living co-creators Roope Lehtinen and Mikko Pöllä are producing for Fire Monkey.

    Journalist Katja Salonen (40) is investigating the death of a football star, linked to millions of euros missing from a public stadium project. The journalist is portrayed as an unreliable narrator and gossip reporter by those who want to build a ‘better’ future for the town. Varpio questions manipulation of truth in today’s word of fake news.

    “Today’s world is difficult to understand in full and truth isn’t what it used to be. We need good journalists to do their job,” noted Pöllä. Lehtinen said the TV series bible is ready and he hopes to start production in 2020. 
  • Regret List (10x22’) (Katumuslista-Viimeinen matka)
    The drama comedy backed by Elisa Viihde is based on a script by Johanna Hartikainen (Off Key, Kotikatu) and Janne Sarja (Game Night). Riina Kullas and Mari Kinnunen are producing for Moskito TV.

    Two women in their 60s set off on a road trip with the urn of their best friend to live life to its full potential, before its’ too late. “the main characters represent grannies from a generation who was brought up with free sex and rock-n-roll,’ said Kullas and Kinnunen who believe the project has a strong remake potential. 
  • Samuel (6x50’)
    The suspense historical drama is produced by Liisa Akimof (Blind Donna) of Production House, for pubcaster Yle. Taru Mäkelä (August Fools, Storage) directs, based on a script by Raija Talvio (Little Nurse).

    The series is set in 1942, when Finland was an ally of Germany, fighting against the Soviet Union. A young Finnish Jew, responsible for translating secret military documents, finds out the fate of other Jews of Europe in the zones under German occupation. He wants to leak the information but risks exposing his and his family’s life. Akimof and Talvio said they feel strongly connected to this true story, little-known outside of Finland. Production for the €4m project is to start in 2020, with filming split between Finland and the Baltics. 
  • Täg Me in Tinder (10x20’)
    The high-concept comedy is produced by award-winning partners Kai Nordberg and Kaarle Aho of Making Movies. Actors Heidi Lindén (Bordertown, Lapland Odyssey 3) and Santeri Helinheimo Mäntylä (Hooked) are co-writers/co-creators.

    The show follows the two millennials through their symbiotic friendship and obsessive Tinder matching, as they struggle in their everyday lives. Lindén says series is planned across three seasons. “It will be loud in tone and edgy like South Park and The Simpsons”, said the actress/creator. 
  • Burning House (8X45’) (Palava Talo)
    The drama thriller is produced and co-written by Welcome to Texas’ Seija-Liisa Eskola of Warner Bros Finland. Laura Immonen (Secret Lives, Body Fat Index of Love) is co-writer. In an idyllic small town on the Russian border, four characters seem to lead a normal life. In reality they are part of the guerrilla group Last Light which plots to eradicate the internet from the world. At the same time, one of the terrorists, Aleksi is caught in a personal drama. 
  • 506 Grams of Ural (8X55’)
    The crime drama produced by Lagardère Studios’ owned Aito Media, was pitched online at C21 and selected for a networking event at Content London last fall. The crime drama is written by Melli Maikkula (Onnela) and John Lundsten (Downshifters). The series follows the unlikely pair police office Tuomo Marttinen and Russian drug king Andrey Kiuru, on a mission to find Tuomo’s son who disappeared 10 years earlier in Russia.
  • Under the Wire (6X45’) The Finnish/Canadian/UK co-production is based on the eponymous best-selling novel by William Ash and Brendan Foley. The latter is adapting the series, in collaboration with Sandra Chwialkowska (Lost Girl). Luminoir’s Markku Flink is producing.

    The WW2 prison-break drama tells of POW ‘escape artists from Denmark, Norway, North America and Britain who risk their lives through a series of ever-bolder ingenious escapes. “This is the first time we will see the women who played a pivotal role in the prisoners’ escapes,” said Flink who is looking for broadcasters in the Nordics. Canada’s CBC is attached. Foley and Flink are partners as well in the high-profile international series Cold Courage, currently filming in Finland for Viaplay and Lionsgate.