SF and Fox ink to open Finnish distrib company

Hyyti to top operation

HELSINKI — Sweden’s Svensk Filmindusti and 20th Century Fox will open a joint distribution company in Helsinki to offer theatrical and video titles on the Finnish market.

Fox marketing director Lasse Hyyti will head the Finnish operation, whose March 1 bow follows SF’s launch of a similar setup in Denmark earlier this month.

“We both felt we needed a stronger presence in Finland,” said SF topper Rasmus Ramstad, who declined speculation over whether the new venture was the first move toward further collaboration between the two companies in Scandinavia.

While Fox has no local attachment in Sweden, its product has been released in Denmark by Egmont’s Constantin Film since 1994, and by municipally owned Kommunenes Filmcentral in Norway since 1980.

Since Ramstad was named president in February 1999, he has engineered international acquisition deals that have more than doubled SF’s annual release volume. At the same time, he has doubled the number of inhouse productions.

Ramstad said that this year SF will launch more than 30 titles in Sweden and through its subsidiaries in Denmark and Norway, and slightly fewer in Finland. Both the Danish and Norwegian companies pick up local features for distribution.

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