Recommendations from Hollywood and European panellists at the Finnish Film Affair include trust your instinct and make films for an audience, any audience.
The panel ‘Finding Stories and Concepts that travel’ held last Thursday at Helsinki’s mini-market Finnish Film Affair was moderated by Adam Lepzig (former President of National Geographic and senior VP at Walt Disney Studios, founder of Entertainment Media Partners).
Panellists comprised Claudia Lewis (former President of Production, Fox Searchlight Pictures), Mike Runagall (Altitude Films), Laura Munsterhjelm (Actors in Scandinavia) and Mike Goodridge (Protagonist Pictures).
In his introduction, Leipzig stated that independent films need to be unique to stand out on a global market, dominated by studio movies with P&As budgets north of $250m.
Uniqueness can be found in the director’s original voice, or in the script. Munsterhjelm said her clients - including Alicia Vikander - usually board a project first based on the script and casting in the film, then based on the director.
Two internationally-oriented Finnish films by directors with distinctive voices were used as case studies.