×

Nordisk Film & TV Fond CEO Petri Kemppinen to Step Down

Petri Kemppinen, CEO of the Nordisk Film & TV Fond, one of the region’s major film-TV financiers, will step down on Oct. 31.

His departure – for personal reasons to spend more time with his family in Helsinki – ends a near six-year mandate which has seen the ahead-of-the-curve Finnish executive react quickly to or anticipate market trends. New or strengthened initiatives delivered a effective diagnosis of major forces forging the new content landscape.

Established in 1990, and handling a NOK 97.75 million ($11.4 million) budget for  2019, the NFTVF is backed by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the five Nordic film institutes and 12 Nordic television channels.

Its primary brief is to boost high-quality film and TV productions in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, by providing top-up financing for feature films, TV-fiction, series and creative documentaries. Just how that is achieved has evolved under Petri, who was not afraid to change the Fund’s guidelines twice since taking up his position in November 2013. In 2016, the Fond determined, for example, to invest more in big Nordic “blockbusters” with cross over potential, resulting in fewer projects but more money in each project. The following year, it made distribution support more flexible and platform-neutral. In other words,  producers could tap funding for films release on any distribution platform, instead of requiring theatrical release first.

In 2017, Kemppinen launched a Nordic Genre Boost, putting up development money, a Nordic Distribution Boost to aid distributors and producers of middle-sized movies, the Goteborg Fest’s Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize for best screenplays, and raised support for documentaries (up 10%) and drama series,  which now receives almost equal support to film. The NFTVF allocated its biggest grant ever – NOK 5 million ($583,000) to NRK high-end series “Atlantic Crossing,” co-financed and distributed by Beta Film, featured in next weekend’s MipTV Buyers Summit.

Under Kemppinen, the Nordic Distribution Boost has flourished as a mainstay of distribution, Nordic Talents has become a platform and showcase for new Nordic creators, and the Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s twice-weekly newsletter has consolidated as the major source of reference for Nordic film and TV news, its readership more than doubling.

A Nordic Genre Boost ran for three years. Its rationale – to reach out to younger audiences – remains rightly a major concern for the future where funding has been secured for the next five years.  Kemppinen leaves NFTVF in good shape. One instance: For the last two editions, the Nordics and Latin America have together supplied at least half of Sundance’s highly select World Cinema Dramatic Competition.

“It’s been particularly thrilling to witness the sustained craving for Nordic drama around the world and emerging Nordic talents breaking through, not forgetting one success aspect: the hugely increased readership of our great news service,” said Kemppinen.

“Petri can be praised for the Fund’s good results,” added Stine Helgeland, chairwoman of the board of director, who called  him “knowledgeable, reactive and insightful.” She added: “He has clearly managed to stay a little ahead of industry developments and, together with his employees, he has initiated measures that have responded to industry needs.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Rugrats. Nickeoldeon Animation Studios

    Film News Roundup: 'Rugrats' Writer David N. Weiss Honored by Animation Writers

    In today’s film news roundup, David N. Weiss is honored, Rin Tin Tin is getting a modern movie and “The Shasta Triangle” finds a home. WEISS HONORED David N. Weiss will receive the animation writing award from the Animation Writers Caucus of the Writers Guild of America West. The award will be presented by Weiss’ [...]

  • Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films

    Marrakech Chief on Selecting Arthouse Films With a Big Stress on the Word 'Art'

    The 18th edition of the Marrakech Film Festival (Nov. 29-Dec. 7) – one of the leading cultural events in the Africa and Middle East region – will screen 98 films from 34 countries. The fest is also reinforcing its industry presence this year through the second edition of the Atlas Workshops, sponsored by Netflix, which [...]

  • Emma Stone Brad Pitt Damien Chazelle

    Paramount Lands Damien Chazelle's 'Babylon,' Dates It for Christmas 2021

    Paramount Pictures has landed the worldwide rights to Damien Chazelle’s next feature film “Babylon,” sources tell Variety. Insiders add the studio has dated the film for a Dec. 25, 2021 limited release, with plans to go wide on Jan. 7. The release date puts in prime position for another awards season run for Chazelle, who [...]

  • Chris Pratt

    Chris Pratt's Sci-Fi Film 'The Tomorrow War' Gets Release Date

    Chris Pratt’s upcoming sci-fi actioner, which was recently retitled “The Tomorrow War,” has set a Christmas Day 2020 release date. The Paramount film was formerly titled “Ghost Draft.” It follows a man (played by Pratt) who is drafted to fight a future war in which the fate of humanity may rely on his ability to [...]

  • Kim Dong-Ho of GIFF Chairman of

    Inaugural Gangneung Film Festival Pays Tribute to Pierre Rissient

    The opening ceremony of the first edition of the Gangneung International Film Festival was dominated by a tribute to the French film scout and festival selector Pierre Rissient, who died in May 2018. The new festival, 240 km from Seoul, counts former Busan festival co-founder Kim Dong-ho as its chairman and former Bucheon festival head [...]

  • 'Waves': Sterling K. Brown and Trey

    'Waves' Cast Reflects on the Making of the Tragic Family Drama

    “Waves,” a partially autobiographical film written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, is a visually arresting look at the fraying of an upper-middle class black family in South Florida in the aftermath of a violent tragedy. It examines themes of grief, domestic violence, substance abuse and modern-day pressures on kids to succeed. “Propelled by color, [...]

  • Gaston Pavlovich

    Gaston Pavlovich Talks About Producing 'The Irishman'

    Through his production company Fabrica De Cine, Gastón Pavlovich is one of the producers on Martin Scorsese’s two most recent movies: 2016’s “Silence” and 2019’s “The Irishman.” The 51-year-old native of Mexico first gained notice as an executive producer on the Tom Hanks comedy-drama “A Hologram for the King.” Pavlovich also began working with Scorsese [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content