Finns Cany Thinner Wallets

Leading independent Finnish distributor Finnkino comes to Berlin with not very high hopes; the company is expecting to spend significantly less than last year.

This year the company is represented at Berlin only by exhibition deputy manager Arto Heiskanen. Another indie distributor, Gaudeamus, will be represented by director Harri Ahokas.

Finnkino marketing director Juha Makela says the company is at the market “basically for sounding the ground, and probably looking for some low-budget independent productions and arthouse films.

“We expect to invest less than last year,” Makela continues. “The major American distributors pick up the lion’s share of the indies very early, and we are trying to cover what’s left. Our Scandinavian partners, Egmont Film and Scandinavian Media Alliance [the union of Svensk Filmindustri and Pathe-Nordisk] are major suppliers who buy rights for all of Scandinavia, and that naturally limits our operations, too.

“For us, the Berlin market has lost some of its significance; Berlin is overshadowed by AFM, which is clearly the most important marketplace for us in terms of business and contacts.”

Last year the Finns had an entry in competition at Berlin (“The Winter War”), but this year their only representative in the festival program will be “The Match Factory Girl” by Aki Kaurismaki, which will be screened at the Forum.

In addition, Finnkino will be offering “Nikita,” a new 100-minute documentary co-production on the Cuban missile crisis directed by Sergei Skvortsov.

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