Finland’s leading streamer Elisa Viihde and distributor Aurora Studios have teamed up to do a simultaneous release on October 22.
The six-part series All the Sins season 2 is created by Mika Ronkainen and Merja Aakko who won in January 2019 the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize - Best Nordic Screenplay for the opening season, produced by MRP Matila Röhr Productions for Elisa Viihde.
The ground-breaking initiative marks the first ever day-and-date launch of a TV drama simultaneously in Finnish cinemas and on a digital platform, a model most probably set to be emulated, at a time when cinemas are struggling to get fresh attractive content on the silver screen.
Speaking to nordicfilmandtvnews.com, Antti Toiviainen, CEO of the newly-launched distribution outfit Aurora Studios said that after discussing this revolutionary idea with producer Ilkka Matila, co-founder of MRP Matila Röhr Productions, he then approached Elisa Viihde and local exhibitors, and was pleasantly surprised by their enthusiastic response.
“Elisa Viihde is a great partner who understands the benefit of a joint cinema/VOD release to promote the brand and get it out there to the largest possible audience,” he said. “Exhibitors were also very positive and welcomed the opportunity to get great content for their cinema audience, at a time when the theatrical sector is suffering amid coronavirus. Although admissions are much lower than under normal circumstances, we’ve noticed that local films have actually performed quite well in cinemas since July,” he added.
The large cinema chains Finnkino, Bio Rex Cinemas, as well as independent cinemas have booked the series and will screen it in two blocks - episodes 1-2-3, then 4-5-6, for a running- time of just over two hours at a time.
Producer Ilkka Matila said he cut away the final credits of episodes 1-2 and 4-5 to allow for a smoother viewing. “It’s a new product, which relies on a very strong quality brand. It’s a trial, but if successful, it might be a game-changer for the industry. New players are entering the market. These are exciting times!” he said.
Matila also underlined the great timing of the multi-platform launch of All the Sins 2, as the first season is still performing strongly on Yle, which acquired second window rights.
According to the Finnish pubcaster, the opening episode of season 1 reached almost 400,000 viewers when it launched on Wednesday September 16 at 21.00, and an extra 400,000 viewers on Yle Areena.
“All the Sins was one of the most watched series of all time on Elisa Viihde; its launch on Yle has widened its reach, and now with the cinema release, we can lure people who enjoy the big screen experience. It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” commented Toiviainen who will put up the P&A costs.
Directed by Mika Ronkainen, All the Sins 2 is set again in the deeply religious Laestadian Lutheran community in Varjakka, northern Finland. It goes back in time to the year 1999, 20 years before the opening season. Police investigator Jussi Ritola (Matti Ristinen) is asked to investigate the case of a married couple, found dead in their kitchen. Other key cast include Inka Kallén (Arctic Circle), Laura Malmivaara (Bordertown) and Risto Tuorila (The Paradise).
Season 2 was co-produced with Estonia's Taska Film, with support from Business Finland's Audiovisual Production Incentive, Business Oulu, the North Finland Film Commission, the Estonian Film Institute and Film Estonia.
NBC Universal Global Distribution, in charge of global sales, licensed season 1 to more than 30 countries.
A third season of All the Sins is currently in development.