Tom of Finland
Courtesy: Tom of Finland

“Post Punk Disorder,” a documentary about the Finnish punk band, and Dome Karukoski’s “Tom of Finland” won the top prizes at the fifth edition of the Finnish Film Affair, a three-day work-in-progress forum running alongside the Helsinki film festival.

J-P Passi and Jukka Karkkainen’s “Post Punk Disorder,” which is produced by Sami Jahnukainen at Mouka Filmi, and “Tom of Finland,” which is produced by Annika Sucksdorff, won the first and second Best Pitch award, respectively, and will each receive a prize of 1500 Euros.

“Post Punk Disorder,” a sequel to the SXSW audience award winning “Punk Syndrome” which turns on Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivit’s last journey, and “Tom of Finland,” a biopic about groundbreaking Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, were two of the 19 work-in-progress titles presented at the forum.

Protagonist Pictures handles international sales on “Tom of Finland.”

“After a successful US focus last year, it has been a real pleasure to see the increasing interest in the relatively small Finnish film industry and it has been quite natural to follow up the focus for this edition,” said Sara Norberg, managing director of Helsinki film festival and founder of Finnish Film Affair.

This year’s edition screened 45 Finnish films, notably Taneli Mustonen’s “Bodom” and Selma Vilhunen’s “Little Wing,” and gathered execs from Protagonist Pictures, Wild Bunch, XYZ Films, Universal Pictures International, Fandango, Soda Pictures, and Nonstop Entertainment, along with festival programmers from Hong Kong, Guadalajara and Les Arcs.

The Finnish Film Affair also hosted a panel titled “Finding Concepts and Stories That Travel” which was moderated by industry veteran Adam Leipzig and included Claudia Lewis from Fox Searchlight Productions, Mike Goodridge from Protagonist Pictures and Mike Runagall from Altitude Film Sales.

Last year’s Finnish Film Affair award went to Elli Toivoniemi for his documentary feature “Once I was a Dragonfly.”

Now in its fifth year, the Finnish Film Affair has proven a launchpad for six film which attracted sales agents after participating in the confab. The last edition, for instance, showcased Juho Kuomanen’s “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki,” winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, and Klaus Härö’s Golden Globe nominated “The Fencer.”

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