Helsinki: Best Pitch Award was split between Tom of Finland and Post-Punk Disorder.
The two films –supported by Nordisk Film & TV Fond- were among 11 new Finnish films pitched at the 5th Finnish Film Affair held in Helsinki September 20-22.
The jury of the Best Pitch award including Cia Edström (head of Nordic Film Market, Gothenburg) Sergei Rakhlin (Chair of the Hollywood Foreign Language Films Committee), Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter) and Marie-Pierre Valle (Head of Acquisitions Wild Bunch) said Post Punk Disorder is ‘so funny and engaging and made with such humanity that we are convinced it will be appreciated around the world. Regarding Tom of Finland, they praised Karukoski who ‘employed expert craftsmanship to tell a story that is unmistakably Finnish but possesses universal appeal."
When handing out the split €3,000 Best Pitch Award, Feinberg said: “We were impressed by all works in progress so our decision was not an easy one." His view was shared by many of the 70 international delegates.
“All projects pitched were very strong,” said James Fler of Toronto-based Raven Banner Entertainment who acquired in Cannes The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki for his speciality Northern Banner Label.
His Canadian counterpart Robin Smith, founder of the speciality boutique operation Kinosmith that acquired in the past Dome Karukoski’s The Grump said: “Karukoski has obviously reached the next level of filmmaking with Tom of Finland and is ready to conquer Hollywood.” The buyer that released successfully in Canada the documentary The Punk Syndrome was keen to acquire the follow up Post Punk Disorder.
French distributor Jan Roeloffs of Jupiter Communications said: “Tom of Finland was an obvious front-runner, but other projects were very impressive such as The Unknown Soldier, Love & Fury, and the documentary The Good Postman.”
Favourite works in progress also included Eternal Road by AJ Annila just picked up by TrustNordisk, Thick Lashes of Lauri Mäntyvaara by debut director Hannaleena Hauru, sold by Paris-based Premium Films, and Law of the Land by newcomer Jussi Hiltunen.
Here is the full line up of Finnish works in progress pitched in Helsinki: