Finland’s biggest film industry event, Helsinki International Film Festival’s Finnish Film Affair, showcased nearly 50 Finnish films and a selection of exciting Nordic debuts in its programme this 23-25 September. Organised both in the heart of Helsinki and online, the 9th edition of the event pulled together a total of 400 film industry professionals from 27 different countries, and organised over 100 industry meetings.
The Twin, produced by Don Films, has won this year’s Best Fiction Award at Finnish Film Affair. Currently in production, the Nordic horror details the eerie story of a deceased twin who won’t leave the family alone. The project is the sixth feature film by director and co-writer Taneli Mustonen, whose previous works include Lake Bodom (2016), and is produced and co-written by Aleksi Hyvärinen. Both were on-scene to pitch the film.
“This elevated horror piece speaks to a bigger thematic with its exploration of grief, giving a unique twist to the genre. The Twin is a stand out in terms of global potential, and a film that would travel well across different platforms. The striking clip effectively conveyed the film’s atmosphere,” notes the jury, consisting of Sarah Lutton (BFI London Film Festival), Sophie Green (Bankside Films) and Vassilis Economou (Cineuropa).
This year the Finnish Film Affair presents a new honour, The Best Documentary Award, which was awarded to The Mission, produced by Danish Bear Productions. Currently in production, the film details the intimate coming of age story of young Mormon missionaries. The project is the first feature length documentary by Tania Moilanen, who pitched the project alongside producer Isabella Karhu. The documentary jury members were Sergio Fant (Berlinale), Liselot Verbrugge (Deckert Distribution) and Nick Cunningham (Business Doc Europe).
“With the USA continuing to close its borders, The Mission portrays an intimate attempt to retain a dialogue with the outside world, even if that dialogue is undertaken by evangelising Mormons within an ostensibly secular Finland. Director Tania Moilanen brings a fresh energy to the table, and we are excited to see what’s to come,” the jury notes.
Sponsored by the Finnish Film Foundation and AVEK respectively, the awards for Best Fiction and Documentary Project are 3 000 € each towards the films’ international marketing.
The inclusion of Nordic projects in the event’s showcase proved to be successful amongst the international guests, with Danish psychological thriller Superposition by Karoline Lyngbye and Frida Kempff’s Knocking (Sweden) being amongst the event’s most sought-after projects.