Finnish Film Affair to showcase 49 films and projects in Helsinki


The Gravediggers Wife, Omar Abdi, Yasmin Warsame / PHOTO: Bufo

Khadar Ayderus Ahmed’s The Gravedigger’s Wife will kick-start the 10th industry event, set to unspool both online and on-site September 22-24.

“We are thrilled to celebrate our 10th anniversary this year, although it’s a shame that we won’t be able to welcome everyone in Helsinki due to the pandemic,” said Maria Pirkkalainen, head of the Finnish Film Affair, who expects half of the 350+ participants to attend on-site, and mostly from European territories. The industry event is a sidebar to the 34th Helsinki International Film Festival-Love & Anarchy (September 16-26).

This year 24 Finnish projects in development and production, and four Nordic (non-Finnish) projects will be pitched by their respective directors or/and producers, of which 29% are feature debuts and 50% directed by women or non-binary people.

Pirkkalainen said only two of the 28 projects have a global distributor attached, which makes FFA a unique opportunity for any sales agent to sign up for the event.


Finnish Film Affair to showcase 49 films and projects in Helsinki

Maria Pirkkalainen / PHOTO: Finnish Film Affair

For the first time, the five films in the Nordic selection (1st and 2nd features) will be competing for Best Nordic Project and its €3,000 cash prize sponsored by Konstsamfundet, earmarked towards the film’s international marketing.

The five competing Nordic films are:

  • Denmark’s The Great Silence (Den store Stilhed) by Katrine Brocks, produced by Monolit Film
  • Finland’s Bad Women (Huonot naiset) by Niklas Lindgren, produced by Tekele Productions
  • Sweden’s Locals (Stammisar) by Måns Nyman, produced by Grand Slam Film
  • Iceland’s 12 Hours to Destruction (Abbababb!) by actor/writer/director Nanna Kristin Magnusdóttir, nominated for the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize 2019-Best Nordic TV drama Screenplay. The family film produced by The Icelandic Film Company is co-produced by Finland’s Solar Films.
  • Norway’s Thomas in the Multiverse (Thomas i multiverset) by Jakob Rørvik, produced by Maipo Film.

Among the nine projects in development are two Teleke Productions: Viva la Vida, sophomore feature by Ulla Heikkilä (Eden), and The Beast Friend by Lauri-Matti Parppei, selected at last year’s Nordic Talents. A woman befriends a gigantic bear, trapped in an isolated house. The seemingly cute friendship gradually turns into a disturbing power play.

Compartment No.6’s production outfit Aamu Filmi, will be introducing rising talent Tia Kouvo’s Family Time, while Annika Grof (Within Limits, There Will be Spring) will pitch the suspense drama Jose, about guilt and its power to shape love and destinies.

Fictions in progress take in Omerta 6/12, The Good Driver and Bubble, pitched at Haugesund’s New Nordic Films.


Finnish Film Affair to showcase 49 films and projects in Helsinki

Finnish Film Affair / PHOTO: Finnish Film Affair Nordic Flair

Among the nine documentaries in progress and development, are three titles with a strong music theme: Alma-Who Am I?by Pamela Tola (Ladies of Steel), Michael Monroe-The Best Kept Secret in Rock’Roll by Pete Eklund and Jussi Lehtomäki, and The Cello by Kira Jääskeläinen.

All Finnish documentary and fiction projects will be competing for awards sponsored by the Finnish Film Foundation and AVEK.

Among sidebar events, the Nordic Flair initiative will not unfold this year due to uncertainties around Covid-19 and additional resources required to host the training scheme, according to Pirkkalainen. She is however looking forward to organising it in 2022 as “there is a clear demand from the industry,” she underlined.

Four panels will tackle festival strategies, representation on and off-screen, private funding of European films and sustainability, co-organised by Nordisk Film & TV Fond (details tba).

Full list of Finnish projects

Fiction in development

  • A Happy Family (Onnellinen perhe) by Paavo Westerberg, Mjölk Movies
  • After Us, The Flood (Jälkeemme vedenpaisumus) by Arto Halonen, Art Films Production
  • The Beast Friend (Karhun palvelija) by Lauri-Matti Parppei, Tekele Productions
  • Family Time (Mummola) by Tia Kouvo, Aamu Film
  • Jose by Annika Grof, Tarasow Film
  • Lex Julia by Laura Hyppönen, Greenlit Productions
  • Stormskerry Maja (Myrskyluodon Maija) by Tiina Lymi, Solar Films
  • Trash Monsters (director tba), Anima Vitae, Nusa Film, Seeding Pictures
  • Viva la Vida (Fuengirola) by Ulla Heikkilä, Tekele Productions

Fiction in progress

  • Bad Women (Huonot naiset) by Niklas Lindgren,Tekele Productions
  • Bubble (Kupla) by Aleksi Salmenperä, Rabbit Films
  • The Good Driver by Tonislav Hristov, Making Movies, Soul Food, Cinenic Film
  • The Hullabaloos (Kiljuset!) by Reetta Huhtanen, TACK Films
  • Light Light Light (Valoa valoa valoa) by Inari Niemi, Lucy Loves Drama
  • Omerta 6/12 by Aku Louhimies, Cinematic, Stellar Film

Documentaries in Progress and Development

  • Alma Who Am I? by Pamela Tola, Lucy Loves Drama
  • The Cello (Sello) by Kira Jääskeläinen, Illume
  • Clout Chasers by Krista Moisio & Anna-Maija Heinonen, Polygraf
  • Homecoming (Máhccan) by Suvi West, Vaski Filmi
  • Lynx Man (Ilveskuiskaaja) by Juha Suonpää,Wacky Tie Films, Alasti Kino, Luzid Film
  • Michael Monroe-The Best Kept Secret in Rock´n Roll by Pete Eklund & Jussi Lehtomäki, Kaiho Republic
  • Nasrin's Voice by Kaisa Rastimo, Image Club
  • Power of The People (Kansanvalta) by Mervi Enqvist (ent Inderjit Kaur Khalsa), Greenlit Productions
  • The Lock-In by Chico Pereira, Making Movies.