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INDUSTRY Finland

The Finnish Film Affair goes international

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- Although still focusing mainly on Finnish productions, the Finnish Film Affair will welcome international projects for the very first time during its upcoming seventh edition

The Finnish Film Affair goes international
An image from last year's Nordic Flair Award ceremony with Pilou Asbaek

The selected projects for the seventh edition of the Finnish Film Affair, an industry event taking place during the Helsinki International Film Festival Love & Anarchy (20-30 September 2018), will be pitched at the Works in Progress showcase on 26 September in Helsinki, in front of Finnish and international guests. The selection comprises fiction films and documentaries in development or in production that are still looking for financing, sales agents or co-producers. “I am very excited about opening the pitching showcase to international projects this year,” says Laura Laaksonen, who has been head of Industry since 2015. “The call for submissions ends on 31 May, and we hope to have a very compelling selection for our guests in September.”

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Ever since its inception in 2012, more than 300 film-industry professionals have attended the event every year. At past editions, the Finnish Film Affair has hosted festival programmers from the Directors’ Fortnight, Sundance and Edinburgh, as well as representatives of Wild BunchThe Match FactoryMemento Films International, XYZ Films, Films Boutique and HBO Europe, to name but a few. Among the Finnish titles that have previously been presented during the Works in Progress showcase are Timo Vuorensola’s Iron Sky: The Coming RaceSelma Vilhunen’s Little Wing [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, nominated for the Nordic Council Film Prize, Juho Kuosmanen’s multiple award-winning The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile
]
, and The Fencer [+see also:
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interview: Ivo Felt
film profile
]
by Klaus Härö, nominated for a Golden Globe. 

This year’s edition will also see the unveiling of the second Nordic Flair programme, after its launch in 2017. Apart from honouring an international star with the Nordic Flair Award (last year it went to Danish actor Pilou Asbaek, known for his work in Game of Thrones), casting directors from Nordic countries, Germany and the UK will come to Helsinki to meet with the actors. So far, confirmed guests include Debbie McWilliams, casting director for Casino Royale [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
Tanja Grunwald (The Square [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile
]
), The Danish Girl [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Paco Delgado
film profile
]
’s Anja PhilipTusse Lande (the Millennium trilogy), Jeannette Klintberg (Becoming Astrid [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alba August
interview: Pernille Fischer Christensen
film profile
]
), My Skinny Sister [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sanna Lenken
film profile
]
’s Catrin WiderydCornelia von Braun (Return to Montauk [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Ellen Sofie Michelsen (Norsemen) and Alex Johnson, who worked on The Pianist [+see also:
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film profile
]
.

“The huge number of applications proves that there is a need for a programme like this,” underlines Laaksonen. “Many Nordic actors are very interested in international work opportunities, and we have been thrilled to see so many success stories in recent years.” Still, this won’t be the final change for the Finnish initiative. “It’s a bit of a challenging year for us, since I will be stepping down in July to start my maternity leave. However, we are delighted to announce that Roosa Toivonen will be taking over for the duration of my leave. She brings a lot of experience and flair to the team.”

The Finnish Film Affair will take place from 25-27 September.

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