Finnish public funding for domestic film productions is less than half of the state subsidies in other Nordic countries. In the programme of the new government, film is mentioned as an area of focus. In June Minister of Culture Stefan Wallin hinted at an increase of 1.2 million euros for film productions.
According to the film producers, Wallin is now breaking a promise. In the current budget draft for next year, the amount of state funding allocated to film production is the same as this year: 13.5 million euros. The money comes from the profits of state-owned gambling company Veikkaus.
The statement issued on Monday was signed by 28 Finnish film producers, including Jörn Donner, (former FREE! Magazine columnist) Aleksi Bardy, Timo Koivusalo, Claes Olsson, Marko Röhr, Aki Kaurismäki and Markus Selin. They have agreed not to take up any new film projects until an extra 1.2 million euros for film production is included in next year’s state budget. They have, however, promised to finish ongoing projects that have already received state funding.
Minister Wallin has admitted that he brought up the increase in public funding in talks with the directors of the Finnish Film Foundation in June, but added that he was unaware of the limits on the state budget back then. He has promised to re-consider the matter when the budget draft is finalized, however.
FREE! Magazine columns by film maker Aleksi Bardy: