Country Focus: Finland
Extra €5m in public monies to protect film jobs
by Annika Pham
02/04/2009 - The Finnish Minister of Culture and Sport, Stefan Wallin, announced this week that he had awarded €5m more in funding the local film and audiovisual industries, through the Finnish Film Foundation (FFF), to protect jobs and know-how.
The extra €5m state grant, part of an overall €400m stimulus package to support the Finnish economy, will be split. Available immediately, €3m will be earmarked towards feature films (€1.2m), TV dramas (€1m), documentaries and short films (€800,000). The remaining €2m, available this spring, will go towards the modernisation and digitisation of cinemas.
Wallin’s primary concerns is to keep the level of know-how within the industry and to protect employment. “It is very important at the moment to make sure that film and audiovisual projects already in development won’t be frozen because of financial shortfalls caused by the global recession,” he said.
Last month, the biggest Finnish project ever, Mannerheim, to be directed by Renny Harlin, fell victim to the financial crisis and shooting had to be postponed by several months.
To ensure that the extra funding will be used to stimulate and support employment, Wallin has asked the FFF to add to its usual support specific guidelines explaining the effect that the project applied for will have on general employment. The employment effects will be measured by the number of paid employees and number of days per each €100,000 of the production budget, and by the number of paid employees and number of days per each €100,000 of the given subsidy.