Finnish Film Affair’s industry programme features talks on topical issues, such as representation figures in Finnish films and tv shows; the strategies of international film festivals; and the private funding of European films. The sessions will take place on Wednesday 22 and Friday 24 September both on-site and online.

Wednesday 22.9.
15:00-16:00 Opening Discussion: Let’s Hear It from the Festivals
G Livelab + streamed live

Friday 24.9.
10:00-11:30 Panel 1: Representation Now! 2.0 – Tools for Moving Forward
12:30-13:30 Panel 2: In Conversation with Private Financiers
14:30-16:00 Panel 3: Beyond Best Practices: What Should the Next Steps Be for a Sustainable Nordic Film Industry?
Valkoinen Sali + streamed online

Opening Discussion: Let’s Hear It from the Festivals

During the COVID-19 pandemic, international film festivals have had to change their strategies in a major way. While curating film programmes and planning event production, festivals have had to adapt to new models and measures often at a moment’s notice. This timely discussion gives the stage to industry experts from European festivals and markets, to share with us how these challenges have affected both their programming and production. What are the lessons learned from the past 18 months, and what would they like to take with them to the future? What other current issues are on the festivals’ agenda?

The discussion is moderated by journalist and film festival expert Marta Balaga. Confirmed speakers include Head of Industry Cia Edström from Göteborg Film Festival (Nordic Film Market & TV Drama Vision), Programmer Sandra Hezinová from Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Joana Gusmão, Director of Doclisboa and CEO Anna Möttölä of Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy.

Representation Now! 2.0 – Tools for Moving Forward

Following up from last year’s crucial Representation. Now! panel – which tackled the lack of representation in casting choices of Finnish films and TV shows – this panel discussion will continue on the topic by exploring diversity both on and off screen, and asking international and domestic experts on what are the practical tools that could help us create real change in Finland.

The discussion will be rooted in real-life examples from other countries, such as the UK and US, on how change can be initiated and nurtured. How can we ensure that diversity develops also behind the camera? How can the first steps be made easier for people from different backgrounds to access the industry in Finland?
At the beginning of the session, new statistical research made by Metropolia students will also be presented, shedding light on whether the situation on-screen has changed in Finland between 2019 and 2020.

The session is organised in collaboration with Audiovisual Producers Finland – APFI.
The panel is moderated by Max Malka and panelists are Katri Aksola, CEO of Helsinki Casting, Keely Cat-Wells, CEO and Founder of C Talent and Zetta Studios, Iyare Igiehon, Creative Diversity Partner at BBC, Magdalena Jangard, Head of Production and Development of the Swedish Film Institute, Delphine Lievens, Senior Box Office Analyst at Gower Street Analytics, and  Jasmijn Touw, Director Public Policy Benelux & Nordics – Netflix.

In Conversation with Private Financiers

In addition to the public soft money financiers that most producers are familiar with, the Nordics and Europe have seen a number of new private financiers and investors emerge in recent years. What are these companies focusing on? What kind of projects are they looking to invest in or finance? What does the commercial future for European films look like from their point of view?

To discuss this, FFA has invited expert speakers to join this year’s panel on private financing of European films. Confirmed international speakers include Céline Dornier from Logical Pictures, a French financier and producer of feature films and TV series with a strong focus on elevated genre and upcoming directorial talent (such as Ninja Thyberg’s HIFF Gala Film Pleasure).

Also on the panel is Marlon Vogelgesang, CEO of Media Finance Capital. UK based MFC co-finances or fully finances independent films worldwide with strong commercial appeal. Lauren Haber, Head of Development at Impact Partners, will speak on the groundbreaking work they do funding independent documentary storytelling. Rounding out the discussion are representatives from two examples of innovative private financing right here in Finland, IPR.VC (Managing Partner Timo Argillander) and the newly-founded The Finnish Impact Film Fund (Aurora Studios Creative Director Roosa Toivonen). The panel is moderated by Timo Suomi, Producer – Anima Vitae.

Beyond Best Practices: What Should the Next Steps Be for a Sustainable Nordic Film Industry?

This panel discussion examines sustainability on a pan- Nordic level. What are the biggest issues right now in the Nordic countries and internationally and what should we do together? What can we all do differently after the pandemic? With expert speakers, the discussion focuses on international cooperation, and new industry solutions.
The discussion is arranged in collaboration with Nordisk Film & TV Fond and the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland, and is a part of the Audiovisual Collaboration 2021 project. Moderated by Anne Puolanne, Environmental specialist at APFI.

Panelists are Lauriane Bertrand, Policy Officer at Creative Europe MEDIA, Mikael Svensson, Head of Film Commission at Southern Sweden Film Commission / Film i Skåne, Anni Wessman, Head of International at APFI. The panel will also feature video presentations by Marina Blok, Head of Drama at NTR, and Ellen Heemskerk, Producer at NTR.