The 12th edition of Finland’s international industry destination Finnish Film Affair came to an end on Friday. Organised in the heart of Helsinki, the international event was attended by over 500 guests from 26 countries and 3 continents.
The winner of the event’s Best Fiction Project Award was The Missile. Currently in post-production, the drama-comedy presents a story set in Lapland, 1984, where a village’s every-day life gets turned around by an investigation of a missile incident.
The project is directed by Miia Tervo of Aurora (2019) and produced by Kaisla Viitala and Daniel Kuitunen of Elokuvayhtiö Komeetta, with Stellar Film co-producing.
The jury noted that the project had stayed in their minds already from the development stage: “The director’s personal voice can be heard in the timeless but also topical northern comedy, with plenty of local character and international potential”.
Lovable wins best Nordic project
Finnish Film Affair’s Best Nordic Project Award was awarded to Norway’s Lovable, produced by Nordisk Film Production and Amarcord. Currently in post-production, Lovable explores the story of Maria while she goes through a crisis in her marriage and undergoes a life-changing process, which is also a reflection of a societal issue of dysfunctional relationship dynamics.
The project is directed by Lilja Ingolfsdottir, and produced by Thomas Robsahm (The Worst Person in the World, 2021).
When deciding on the winning project, the jury, which also chose the Best Fiction project, noted “This film has a distinctive but universal approach into the division of labour in modern relationships. It’s a compelling story with impressive potential to reach audiences around the world”.
The international jury deciding on the winning fiction projects consisted of Franziska Bioh, Acquisitions Manager at MUBI, Steve Gravestock, former Senior Programmer at Toronto International Film Festival, and Josef Kullengård, Head of Industry at Göteborg Film Festival.
Showtime in Helsinki wins best documentary
Finnish Film Affair’s Best Documentary Project Award went to Showtime in Helsinki, produced by Polygraf. The documentary follows the events of July 1975, when 35 world leaders gathered in Helsinki for the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which gave way to starting the Cold War ending.
The film is directed by Arthur Franck and produced by Oskar Forstén.
“The project sheds light to an interesting and pivotal event in political history, and addresses alarming issues with genuine humour. The jurors were impressed by the commitment and passion of the team and how the artistic vision skilfully presents to a modern audience”, noted the jury, which consisted of Oleksandra Kravchenko, Producer at Moon Man, Mita Suri, Film Programmer Producer at Sheffield Doc/Fest, and Debra Zimmerman, Executive Director at Women Make Movies.
A lot of interest in Finnish horror
Sponsored by Finnish Film Foundation, Konstsamfundet and AVEK respectively, each award is worth 3 000 € which will go towards the project’s international marketing (Best Fiction & Nordic) or making an international trailer (Best Documentary).
Alongside the awarded titles, some of the other projects that whipped up considerable attention in international meetings were the horror films The Mire and Will-o’-the-Wisp, Nordic Selection’s Glaspest, as well as Virpi Suutari’s new documentary Once Upon a Time in the Forest.
The 13th Finnish Film Affair will be organised in September 2024.