On Tuesday more than 70 international delegates are set to attend the 4th Finnish Film Affair for a two-day trade fair where US-Finnish collaborations will be under the spotlight. The Finnish mini-market is held during the Helsinki International Film Festival (September 17-27).
A round table with senior US executives including Head of development Ryan Wickers (EuropaCorp US), agents Jon Levin (CAA), Peter Trinh (ICM), marketing expert Robert Burke (TenOne Entertainment), programmer Hussain Currimbhoy (Sundance Film Festival) will give Finnish professionals useful tips on ‘How to Develop a film for the US Market’.
Other US festival Programmers from SXSW, Seattle and a delegation of nine journalists from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are attending the Finnish Film Affair presenting this year 29 finished films and 19 works in progress.
Sara Norberg, HIFF Executive Director stresses that 6 out of the 19 Works in progress are female-drive projects. Little Wing, the directorial debut of Oscar-nominated Selma Vilhunen (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything), is one of the titles to watch out for says Norberg, along with The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki by Juho Kuosmanen (Cannes Cinefondation winner) and Citizen B by Hamy Ramezan (Best Narrative Short winner at Tribeca 2015). For the first time ever the Works in Progress titles will be able to compete for the €3,000 Best Pitch Award.
Meanwhile the 28th Helsinki Film Festival is platforming yet again a large array of Nordic films. “This year it’s the first time that Norway opens the festival, with Louder than Bombs,” says Norberg. Iceland is in the Focus with four films on show: Life in a Fishbowl (competing for the HIFF Audience Award), Rams, Paris of the North, and Virgin Mountain.
Virgin Mountain is also screening as part of the festival’s section ‘Best Nordic Films’ dedicated to the 2015 Nordic Council Film Prize Nominees. The four other Nominees are Denmark’s Silent Heart, Finland’s They Have Escaped, Norway’s Out of Nature and Sweden’s Gentlemen.