Exclusive: The Helsinki Film Festival’s industry sidebar has partnered Nordisk Film & TV Fond on the Nordic Flair talent programme and a focus on distribution.

For its 9th edition to be held both live at Helsinki and online from September 23-25, Finnish Film Affair has bolstered its Nordic focus across its programme. 

For the first time, the Nordic Flair programme set up to boost Nordic talents’ career, will focus on Nordic emerging sales agents and distributors early in their career.

Between 6-10 junior sales execs and distributors are invited to submit their applications.

Participants will be able to attend workshops, tutoring and networking sessions.  “We’ve always aimed to highlight different ranges of talents in the industry and had great success in the past with spotlights on actors, but we feel sales agents and distributors are in a sector where there are less training opportunities,” said Maria Pirkkalainen, Head of Finish Film Affair.

“At the same time,” she adds, “ the industry is undergoing massive changes, and we need new talents with game changing ideas in national and international distribution. We feel timing couldn’t be better to launch such an initiative and are pleased to get the support again from Nordisk Film & TV Fond,” said Pirkkalainen. 

Application to Nordic Flair opens June 22.

Nordisk Film & TV Fond also collaborates with Finnish Film Affair on a curated afternoon session on September 23, dedicated to the past, present and future of the Fund’s Nordic Distribution Boost. The two former editions of the distribution training scheme were also held in Helsinki.

Nordic Distribution Boost was initially set up in 2018 to help Nordic producers and distributors of 2nd and 3rd time feature film directors hone their marketing skills and knowledge of distribution across the Nordics.

Finnish Film Affair attendees will be able to follow case studies of films that benefitted from Nordic Distribution Boost, as well as a panel debate about the future of distribution and exhibition in the Nordics. 

Liselott Forsman, CEO at Nordisk Film & TV Fond said: “Even before the pandemic, our industry was in constant change. Today we need to find new strategies to keep our Nordic industry globally strong after standstills and lockdowns that might come back. Collaboration is the key here too, and we are very happy to partner up with Finnish Film Affair. Having presented the Fund’s popular Nordic Distribution Boost in Helsinki through case studies, we will go into a dialogue with the event’s top professionals on how the Fund can best help Nordic films travel in the future.”

Finnish Film Affair’s main feature, the works in progress sessions with around 20 new Finnish fiction and documentary films in production or post-production, will also include for the first time four Nordic projects (one for Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway) from first and second-time filmmakers. 

“The Helsinki International Film Festival is a vocal advocate for emerging Nordic talents and last year we hosted for the first time the Göteborg Nordic Film Lab. Again, this is a natural extension to our ongoing work to nurture new talents,” added Pirkkalainen.

Regarding Covid-19 restrictions and impact on attendance from international guests, the head of Helsinki’s industry event is optimistic. “We are constantly monitoring the situation,” she tells nordicfilmandtvnews.com. “We are hoping that most travel bans will be lifted, at least in Europe, but in any case, we will offer online solutions for international guests who can’t attend the physical event. We have already received very good feedback from industry people saying they hope to come to Helsinki or follow the virtual event,” she said. 

Programme updates on the Finnish Film Affair will be announced in August and early September.

Meanwhile the main Helsinki International Film Festival - Love & Anarchy - is set to unspool live September 17-27 in 11 cinemas of the greater Helsinki area. 

“Finland is gradually opening up again, and we are thrilled at the prospect of bringing HIFF – Love & Anarchy to audiences in September and to experience the shared pleasures of watching films in cinemas again,” said Anna Möttölä, CEO of HIFF”, adding that she and her team will be closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation during the summer. “The health and safety of everyone attending is our priority,” she said. 

For further information about Love & Anarchy and Nordic Flair CLICK HERE.

For details about Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s Nordic Distribution Boost scheme, CLICK HERE.