Finnish Film Affair’s industry programme features talks on topical issues, such as Nordic programming over the span of three decades, the perspective of script editors, equality tools, and discussions with talent agents.

All panels will be held in Bio Rex Lasipalatsi, Mannerheimintie 22-24

Wednesday 20.9.
13:30-14:30 Industry Session: My Three Decades of Programming Nordic Films for TIFF – A Fireside Chat with Steve Gravestock (Bio Rex)
15:00-15:30 Industry Session: Meet the Talents: Kehittämö Talent Development Lab (Bio Rex)
15:30-16:30 Finding the Deep Voice: A Conversation with Script Editor and Producer, Karol Griffiths (Bio Rex Lasipalatsi)

Friday 22.9.
09:00-15:30 (specific times to be confirmed)
Industry Session: Nostradamus Update: Everything Changing All at Once (Bio Rex)
Industry Session: Presenting the Equality Tool for the Audiovisual Industry (Bio Rex)
Industry Session: In the Spotlight: Codename: Annika
Industry Session: XYZ Masterclass: The Rise of Nordic Genre Content (Bio Rex), organised in collaboration with Film Tampere
Industry Session: In Discussion with Talent Agents

My Three Decades of Programming Nordic Films for TIFF – A Fireside Chat with Steve Gravestock

For over 25 years, Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) Nordic programme was shaped by Senior Programmer Steve Gravestock. In this session, Gravestock, who retired at the end of 2022, will discuss his impressive track record and experience in programming Nordic films for one of the world’s leading film festivals. The fireside chat is moderated by journalist Marta Balaga.

Meet the talents: Kehittämö Talent Development Lab

Kehittämö – Talent Development Lab is a new development program by AVEK and the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the aim of which is to strengthen the personal voices of the most talented filmmakers of their generation whilst creating new audiovisual works of the highest quality. Authors selected for the program receive a €55,000 grant to develop their work within approximately six months, as well as personal mentoring from top international professionals in the field. The program is the first Finnish audiovisual development program focusing on the professional development of new filmmakers and media artists, on top of adding almost a million euros to the Finnish audiovisual funding sector.

In this session, the delegates of Finnish Film Affair get an exclusive chance to hear from the first five talents selected to the programme as well as about their projects in development. The session is moderated by Ulla Simonen, Director of AVEK.

Finding the Deep Voice: A Conversation with Script Editor and Producer, Karol Griffiths

One of the most vital topics of cinematic narratives, according to Kehittämö mentor Karol Griffiths, is finding the deep voice. Finnish Film Affair is delighted to collaborate with Kehittämö to present this discussion with Karol, moderated by curator, critic, and story consultant, Pamela Cohn. Audiences will be able to explore the essentials of what’s required and expected of script editors when assessing a script; approaches and contributions to working with writers and producers; and learn about Karol’s own career evolution from script supervisor to script editor and producer. Having worked with film luminaries such as Joel & Ethan Coen, Steven Spielberg, Seth MacFarlane, Pamela Fryman, and August Wilson, in 2014, Karol set up her own practice as a freelance script development consultant, editor and writing mentor.

This is a valuable talk for anyone developing a script, for writers and producers interested in expanding their understanding of how a script is advanced, and for those pursuing a career in script development.

Nostradamus Update: Everything Changing All at Once

Nostradamus Report is an initiative of Göteborg Film Festival and a force that continues to monitor, analyse and predict the future of the audiovisual industry. In this session, we are delighted to collaborate with Göteborg Film Festival to present FFA audiences a glimpse into this year’s fascinating report.

In 2023, new production technologies powered by AI have accelerated the restructuring of the traditional film and TV industries. With market contraction, inflation, and recession affecting the industry, new business and financing models for production and distribution will be explored and adopted at a rapid pace. The session also delves into the challenges the industry faces in remaining relevant to young audiences.

Speaker Johanna Koljonen (Participation Design Agency) is the author of the report and a media industry analyst, broadcaster, and experience designer. She lectures internationally on changes in the media sector, and on participation and narrative design. Her background is in public service broadcasting; in 2011, she received the Swedish Grand Journalism Award in the Innovator category.

Presenting the Equality Tool for the Audiovisual Industry

WIFT Finland has developed a digital tool aiming at helping those working in the industry take concrete actions and comply with the equality regulations defined in the laws. With the help of the Equality Tool for the AV Industry, those responsible for production will be able to easily devise an equality plan, while at the same time getting additional information on the requirements of the legislation.

In this quick session, the tool’s developer, executive director of WIFT Finland, and lawyer Eeva-Sofia Anttonen will introduce the tool and discuss its upcoming developments. The purpose of the tool is to raise reflections and facilitate the planning of TV and film content, work relations, and workplace safety, from a perspective of equality. The equality tool also has included a final reporting section, which provides the possibility of gathering much-needed statistical information for the field in Finland.

In the Spotlight: Codename: Annika

Finnish Film Affair is delighted to give its audiences an inside look into the creative process behind SkyShowtime’s first Finnish-Swedish original series. The eagerly awaited Codename: Annika is a thrilling crime drama created by Mia Ylönen and Aleksi Bardy of Helsinki-Filmi (Tove, Heart of a Lion) and directed by AJ Annila (Peacemaker). The series is available in September on SkyShowtime, the new European streaming joint venture of Comcast and Paramount Global.

Originally known by the working title ID, Codename: Annika stars Sannah Nedergård (Yellow Sulphur Sky) in her first major series role as Finnish art fraud investigator Emma/Annika. What follows is an intensive six-episode exploration into the worlds of high-class art fraud and double identities.

In this case study session, we will hear from producers Ylönen and Bardy, and lead actor Sannah Nedergård about creating this exciting new twist on the Nordic Noir genre. The session is moderated by journalist Marta Balaga.

XYZ Masterclass: The Rise of Nordic Genre Content

Finnish Film Affair is delighted to collaborate with Film Tampere to present their next masterclass in cooperation with XYZ Films.

This past decade, many of the international success stories of the Nordic audiovisual industry have revolved around genre films and series. Whether to do with gold diggers fighting nazis in Lapland or contemporary stories around motherhood, Nordic genre tales are on the rise.

In this masterclass, the elements of international success are explored through the case studies of Finnish genre films. The masterclass is moderated by Aram Tertzakian, co-founder of Los Angeles based genre giant XYZ Films, and hosted by Fanny Heinonen, business advisor at Film Tampere. Tampere has recently been the filming location for international genre titles such as The Dual and Avgrunden. The panelists and cases will be announced soon.

Come and discover what exciting things are coming out of the North. The masterclass is funded by European Union – Next Generation EU and is part of a business and public sector growth deal project in the Finnish audiovisual sector. #kasvusopimus #FilmTampere


In Discussion with Talent Agents

Agents play an essential role in the internationalisation of filmmaking talent. In this panel discussion, the stage is given to agents from Europe and the United States who work with talents such as actors, directors or writers. The talent agents get a chance to share their experiences and tips and to discuss current themes around their field of work.

Confirmed speakers include Raakel Huikuri (Lisa Richards Nordic, FI), Laura Munsterhjelm (Actors in Scandinavia, FI/SWE), Pete Stone (Albatros Agency / CAA, USA/SWE) and Lollo Urbansdottir (Magnolia, SWE). The session is moderated by Andrea Reuter.