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Finland goes 50/50 with filmmakers

Film commissioners deliver $3 mil in grants

MOSCOW — Finland’s film commission has made grants worth more than $3 million to feature films in its latest round of production support.

Using a new formula for funding launched last October, producers who have raised half of a film’s budget may apply for a grant to the value of the remainder.

The 50/50 Production Support is designed both to “accelerate decision-making for productions that have already raised financing,” and help find fresh finance outside the film industry, Kaisu Isto, one of Finland’s film commissioners said.

The new policy is rolling out at a time when local film is booming: Finnish films captured 44% of local box office in the first three months of the year, earning around $13 million with 17 local releases notching up over one million admissions, double the number for the same period last year.

Features that have won Finnish Film Foundation support this month include:

— “A Patriotic Man,” about a champion skier with a rare blood type that gives him a competitive edge. Directed by Arto Halonen, it receives Euros 740,000 ($970,000).

— “Lion Heart,” about a neo-Nazi skinhead who struggles with his inner demons when he falls in love with a woman whose son is of mixed race. (Dir: Dome Karukoski; $980,000 grant.)

“Rolli and the Golden Key,” musical fantasy about people who inhabit a city built around a big circus. (Dir: Taavi Vartia; $915,000.)

— “No Land in Sight,” a coming-of-age drama aimed at the youth audience. (Dir: Marko Aijo; $260,00.)

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