The Finnish Film Foundation which operates under the Ministry of Education and Culture provides
financial support for the production, distribution, exhibition and promotion of films. The Foundation receives its funding from lottery and pooled funds. 80-90% of funding is allocated for production
support. Production funding is available for production companies (registered Finnish societies). The Foundation’s support makes up around 40% of the average feature film budget. The Foundation
evaluates each project in terms of content, expression and production planning. The evaluation takes into account the applicant’s artistic, professional and financial qualifications for completing the production. Support is granted to feature-length films, short films, documentary films, animations, children’s films, television series and international co-productions. Annually the Foundation supports around 25 feature films, 30 documentaries and 25 short fiction and animation films including 8 to 10 minority co-productions. The amount of production support for minority co-productions ranges from €25,000 to €500,000, depending on the Finnish creative/technical input. There are no spend requirements for the support, nor is the support recoupable. During the last three years the Foundation
supported over 40 international co-productions with more than €10 million.
The application is made by the Finnish co-producer. There are no fixed deadlines for applying but it is recommended that the Finnish co-production partner is engaged at as early stage as possible.
Support eligibility for co-productions is determined with the following criteria:
- Involvement of a Finnish co-producer with Finnish distribution rights;
- Artistic and/or technical input from Finland;
- Distribution of the project in Finland;
- Relevance of the project for Finnish audiences;
- Possibilities for an ongoing co-operation between the parties.
In 2016 support granted by the Finnish Film Foundation totaled €25 million. 46 feature film projects
received production support. 10 of these were minority co-productions and 5 majority co-productions.
Starting from 2017 Finland introduces a 25% cash rebate scheme. It is managed by Tekes – The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation. Disbursement is available for Finnish and foreign production companies, production service companies or other audiovisual companies selected to produce part of the production and are entitled to immaterial property rights. At the same time television companies or companies in which a television company has at least a 15% interest are not eligible as well as government, municipal or parochial authorities or institutions; companies in which the State is a majority holder, or other, similar organizations or institutions.
- Purchases of goods and services, and the rental of equipment and facilities for production purposes from companies liable to pay tax in Finland;
- Salaries subject to withholding tax paid to employees who are liable to pay income tax in Finland;
- Costs incurred in Finland from actions taken to make the work more accessible to disabled persons;
- Other costs (Flatrate) max. 20% of the total sum of salaries and purchases. Other eligible costs may include travel expenses, the producer’s fee and overheads. These do not have to be itemized.
Feature films, documentaries, fiction series, animation projects may be applied. There are no fixed deadlines for applying. Applications will be handled in the order they arrive.
Productions must fulfil the requirements set for the production incentives:
- A distribution agreement for at least one platform or one territory;
- The overall production budget and spend created in Finland must meet the minimum amounts (for documentaries minimum production budget – €325,000, minimum expenditure in Finland – €50,000);
- Participation in the production by a Finnish co-producer who is entitled to intellectual property rights for the completed production, AND/OR, participation of a Finnish production coordinator in the production;
- The production involves the use of Finnish artistic or other creative expertise, such as: writing, directing, acting, production design, storyboard design, visual effects, colour grading, animation character and layout design, composing, music, sound design, product design, costume design, and/or, the production depicts Finnish locations such as landscapes or architecture, or depicts the Finnish way of life or Finnish competence in a recognisable way.
Moreover, additional funding is available for productions that are being produced in North Karelia, an East Finland Film Commission’s operation area. Regional Council launched support programme for production and post production in 2013. They have two application periods. First is at the end of March and second is at the end of August.
Finland ratified the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production. It is a member of
Eurimages, the Council of Europe’s Film Support Fund, as well as Creative Europe programmme. The MEDIA sub-programme is represented in Finland by the MEDIA Desk Finland operating at the Finnish Film Foundation.