'Concrete Night' And 'Heart of Lion'

Finnish Film Affair will present 27 features and 8 work-in-progress titles

Pirjo Honkasalo’s “Concrete Night” and Dome Karukoski’s “Heart of a Lion” are among the 27 new films set to screen at the second edition of Finnish Film Affair, the professional forum running alongside the Helsinki Intl. Film Festival.

Other completed features set to unspool at FFA include Mika Ronkainen’s docu “Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart” which opened at Karlovy Vary, and Aleksi Salmenpera’s Hot Docs player “Alcan Highway.”

In its inaugural edition, the sidebar presented a number of works-in-progress, notably “Night” and “Lion,” that went on to have successful careers in the festival circuit. As a result, the three-day event has earned a reputation as being a serious showcase of promising Nordic films with crossover potential. Both “Night” and “Lion” will have their North-American premieres at Toronto.

This year, more sales agents, buyers and programmers will be attending FFA. The expanded guest list comprising over 50 professionals includes reps from ZDF and Arte, Celluloid Dreams, Wild Bunch, Versatile, Hanway, Tribeca, Palm Springs, Rotterdam and Locarno. Participants will have access to the newly-launched online screening room to watch selected titles.

“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,” said Sara Norberg, exec director of the Helsinki Intl. Film Festival – Love & Anarchy.

The eclectic works-in-progress lineup will feature Xavier Picard’s hand-drawn “Moomins on The Riviera,” the third opus of Finland’s popular toon franchise ; Akseli Tuomivaara’s youth drama “Korso;” and Amir Escandari’s doc “The Wind Catchers,” previously presented at IDFA forum in 2011.

The industry panel, Rare Exports: Opportunities for Finnish-Russian Coproductions, will explore the opportunities for collaborations with Russia, Europe’s fourth biggest movie market.

The talk will focus on co-production and distribution avenues in Russia, and will explain recent changes in public financing; as well as opportunities to tap into private funding sources.

FFA is backed by Favex – the Finnish Film & Audiovisual Export, the Finnish Film Foundation, Media Desk Finland, the Central Organisation of Finnish Film Producers, Finland Film Commission and is supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Finnish Film Affair runs Sept 24-26.

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