Finnish Film Affair Unveils Lineup, Touts Record Number of Female Directors

EUTHANIZER Still - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of TIFF

The industry sidebar at the Helsinki International Film Festival presents films and projects to international buyers, programmers and sales agents.

The industry sidebar of the Helsinki International Film Festival, the Finnish Film Affair, has unveiled its lineup of films and projects, touting a record number of female directors.

The event, which runs Tuesday through Thursday concurrently with HIFF, has 22 out of a total of 50 completed movies and work-in-progress titles from female filmmakers. These include Oscar-nominated Selma Vilhunen's work-in-progress Stupid Young Heart and completed film Hobbyhorse Revolution, as well as Kaisa El Ramily's pitch Scenes From a Dying Town.

The FFA showcases Finnish films which range from mid-stages of production through completion. Among the most successful projects from last year are Teemu Nikki’s Euthanizer and Dome Karukoski’s Tom of Finland, the latter of which is Finland's official selection for consideration for the foreign-language film Oscar. Tom of Finland split last year’s Best Pitch Award with Punk Voyage, which will open this year’s FFA.

The FFA, now in its sixth year, is designed to give producers, festival programmers, buyers, distributors and sales agents an exclusive look at the best of current films and projects in Finland.

This year's event will present 28 completed films, two completed TV series and 20 upcoming projects to guests that include representatives of The Match Factory, Altitude Film Sales, Studiocanal, Lionsgate, Wild Bunch, XYZ Films, Films Boutique, New Europe Film Sales, AMP International, BBC Films, Cinetic Media and others. Festival programmers from Palm Springs and Cannes Directors' Fortnight will also attend.

“In the last couple of years, we have been thrilled to witness the emergence of several new Finnish directors into the international arena and a growing awareness of the filmmaking talent coming out of Finland," said HIFF's new CEO Anna Mottola. "Furthermore, as the drive for gender equality in the film industry is growing stronger, we are excited that this year a record number of 22/50 films presented at the Finnish Film Affair are made by women. Advancing diversity in cinematic storytelling is a goal we at the FFA are passionate about.”