A brief review of the Finnish animation environment

First off, apologies about the long hiatus of this blog. Some of you might have heard that I started as animation producer at Rovio Entertainment Ltd. (aka ‘the Angry Birds guys’) in the beginning of July. I’ve been swamped with my old consulting gigs and new assignments, so the blog had to take a back seat. This entry is also quite short but I hope to write more soon. Thank you for reading!

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Every now and then I get an email asking me about the Finnish animation sector. I thought I’d just share my most recent reply here for everyone to read. The question was about “getting an idea about how Finnish studios are doing,  how’s the financial environment, how’s the role of government/agencies, how to collaborate with some Finnish studios.”

Here’s my answer:

The studios are doing well, the Finnish animation sector in general is growing at a good pace. Animation contributes 32% of the Finnish audiovisual exports (survey 2011 by FAVEX). A good list of studios and production companies can be found on the Finnanimation website.

The financial environment is that of a small European country. This means that there is a limited national audience (5 million inhabitants), forcing producers to seek out coproduction options. Like elsewhere in the Nordic countries, programmes are subtitled, not dubbed, which makes for easy intertanional transactions.

The Finnish Film Foundation supports short and feature films reasonably well, but takes a much more reserved role with TV projects (usually only helping to finance development and a trailer or pilot). The Centre for Audiovisual Arts (AVEK) supports small scale demo projects tailored to the new media / transmedia niche. TEKES, “The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation” also supports some projects, especially with a more technological focus.

The film investment business in Finland is quite unevolved. However there have been some recent developments and one interesting player to look at is Mediatonic.

In order to start collaborations with a Finnish producer or studio you can just approach them via phone and email. Finns are very straight forward and down to earth, so it will be easy to get an answer to your proposal. There’s not much red-tape involved in coproductions, other than certain requirements from the Film Foundation or other funding body.

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