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Female Filmmakers Out in Force at Sixth Finnish Film Affair

Female filmmakers will be out in force with a record number of completed films and projects at the 6th Finnish Film Affair, an increasingly popular film showcase set in Helsinki.

As many as 22 women-directed pics will be presented at the Finnish Film Affair this year. Among the filmmakers is Selma Vilhunen, who earned an Oscar nomination in 2014 with her short “Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?” and will be on hand to pitch her second film, “Stupid Young Heart,” as well as present her documentary feature “Hobbyhorse Revolution.” Another promising female director, Kaisa El Ramly, will pitch “Scenes from a Dying Town,” one of the projects to be presented in the Work-in-Progress sidebar.

Other anticipated Work-in-Progress titles include Jakub Wrónski and Ira Karpelan’s animated film “Moomins and the Winter Wonderland,” featuring the voices of Alicia Vikander and Stellan Skarsgard, and Arto Halonen’s “Guardian Angel,” with Danish superstar Pilou Asbaek attached to star.

The Finnish Film Affair will present 28 completed films, notably Zaida Bergroth’s “Miami,” which is premiering at Toronto; Dome Karukoski’s “Tom of Finland,” the country’s candidate in the foreign-language Oscar race; and Aki Kaurismaki’s Berlinale Silver Bear winner “The Other Side of Hope.”

Among the projects that were previously presented at the Finnish Film Affair and went on to have a successful career in festivals are Teemu Nikki’s “Euthanizer,” which is premiering at Toronto, and “Tom of Finland.”

Asbaek, whose recent credits include “Ghost in the Shell” and “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” will travel to Helsinki to receive the inaugural award of The Nordic Flair, a newly launched program aimed at promoting and honoring Nordic talent. Aside from his career in Hollywood, Asbaek is known for his critically acclaimed performances in the series “Borgen” and the Oscar-nominated film “A War.”

The Finnish Film Affair will bring together a wide range of sales agents, festival programmers, distributors and TV buyers. The strong industry presence will include The Match Factory, Altitude Film Sales, Studiocanal, Lionsgate, Wild Bunch, XYZ Films, Films Boutique, New Europe Film Sales, AMP International, BBC Films and Cinetic Media. Programmers from Palm Springs IFF and Cannes Directors’ Fortnight are also expected to attend.

The forum will take place Sept. 19-21.

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