Finnish audiences support local productions as cinemas stay open
by Marta Bałaga
- The audience share of domestic films reached 71.6% in October, according to the Finnish Film Foundation
With no American blockbusters in sight, and even as cinemas operate at reduced capacity due to the pandemic, Finnish productions are faring relatively well at the local box-office. According to the Finnish Film Foundation, the audience share of domestic films has reached 71.6% in October, with children's film Ricky Rapper and the Fake Vincent – the eighth in a hugely popular series, directed by Maria Sid and produced by Solar Films – as well as Zaida Bergroth's take on beloved Moomin creator Tove Jansson, Tove [+see also:
interview: Zaida Bergroth
film profile] (Helsinki Filmi Oy, in co-production with Anagram Sweden), gathering more than 100,000 spectators by the end of October and counting.
The good news doesn't end there: among the ten most watched films, a whopping six are Finnish productions. They include Lost Boys (Helsinki Filmi Oy and Tekele Productions), already the most watched documentary of the year; another Solar Films offering, Ville Jankeri's Forest Giant [+see also:
film profile], recently awarded at the Nordic Film Days Lübeck; Hamy Ramezan's Any Day Now [+see also:
interview: Hamy Ramezan
film profile]; and another popular documentary, Aalto [+see also:
film profile] by Virpi Suutari, about legendary architect and designer Alvar Aalto and his wives Aino and Elissa. However, according to Ilmari Arnkil, Distribution and Exhibition Specialist at the Finnish Film Foundation, it is still too early to be overly optimistic, as the effects of the pandemic can still be felt.
“Moviegoing in Finland has been increasing steadily ever since the lockdown ended in August, but the Finnish market is struggling to reach a sustainable level of admissions,” he shared with Cineuropa, adding that October has traditionally been the month where theatres enter the high season.
“Current monthly admissions have barely reached a level that is similar to the annual low season in Finnish moviegoing, although the situation is slowly improving,” he added. “The highlight of these figures is the phenomenal performance of Finnish local titles. We are very fortunate to have a strong local film industry that is able to deliver world-class content and keep cinemas alive even in the absence of Hollywood titles. The admissions for local titles in 2020 has now exceeded the total local admissions from 2019.”
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