Finnish Films in Spotlight at Helsinki Festival Sidebar

The second edition of the two-day focus on local moviemaking is set to take place in late September

SARAJEVO -- The second edition of a new industry sidebar of Helsinki's Love & Anarchy Film Festival -- the Finnish Film Affair -- is set to unspool in the Finnish capital late September.

The two-day focus on Finnish films in progress, including opportunities for co-production and professional collaboration, features a new online screening room and will also showcase several titles that were works-in-progress last year and have since become international breakthroughs.

Increased interest in Finnish film has lead to an expanded guest list for the event that includes sales agents, buyers and programmers, organizers said Tuesday.

Representatives from ZDF/Arte, Celluloid Dreams, Wild Bunch, Hanway and other companies will be at the event along with schedulers from the Tribeca, Palm Springs, Rotterdam and Locarno film fetivals.

Sara Norberg, executive director of Love & Anarchy, said: "The first edition introduced the Finnish Film Affair to international decision makers. We’re very proud that the success of last year’s works-in-progress and the positive buzz around the event has attracted even more interest from the international industry.”

A total of 27 new films will be screened, including two Toronto-bound movies: last year’s work-in-progress Concrete Night by veteran Finnish director Pirjo Honkasalo and Heart of a Lion by Dome Karukoski.

Other festival hits include the documentaries Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart by Mika Ronkainen and Alcan Highway by Aleksi Salmenpera.

Works-in-progress this year include the animated film Moomins on the Riviera, youth drama Korso and documentary Wind Catchers, about streets artists in Brazil who are beginning to get attention from the international art world.

There is also a professional panel, "Rare Exports: Opportunities for Finnish-Russian Co-Productions" that will explore the opportunities for collaborations with neighboring Russia.

The Finnish Film Affair runs September 24-26.