”Getting it Made for the US Market” initiative kicks off

”Getting It Made for the US Market”, the newly announced Team Finland initiative for business internationalization, aims at getting Finnish audiovisual production companies ready to take on the world’s biggest market area.

The new internationalization initiative ”Getting It Made for the US Market” is a Team Finland collaboration, organized in partnership with the Finnish Film Foundation, Tekes – Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, FAVEX – Finnish Film & Audiovisual Export and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

The initiative is designed to serve the audiovisual sector’s demand for helping to develop and boost companies’ business skills specifically for the American market. In recent years, movements pertaining to the US market have encouraged Finnish producers to create more productive, cross-Atlantic partnerships. For example, last year’s Finnish hit movie Big Game, featuring a cast of international stars, piqued a lot of interest overseas, as it successfully secured the biggest US distribution deal in Finnish cinema history.

The companies participating in “Getting It Made for the US Market” are aiming at finding funding opportunities in the US – for both feature films and television series – as well as making distribution and co-production agreements. The US has become an increasingly attractive business platform for Finnish audiovisual production companies. The number of Finnish firms attending in the annual American Film Market (AFM) in Santa Monica each November has steadily increased in the past years.

A total of 15 companies from the audiovisual sector are taking part in “Getting It Made for the US Market”. Following an application process, participants were selected based on either their feature film or TV-series projects. The final slate of successfully companies comprises of:

The focal objective of the initiative is to build long-lasting business partnerships for Finnish companies in the US market, as well as help propel the implementation of their current projects in development in a very practical way.

“Right now, Finnish film has gathered major momentum in terms of the US film market, thanks to the recent success of several productions. For the sake of Finnish trade activity as a whole, creative sectors are set to become one of the leading industries,” explains Juha Markkanen, the Finnish Consul General in Los Angeles.

“The Finnish film industry has been reaching out to international markets especially through long-lasting international co-productions, supported and promoted by the Finnish Film Foundation. International cooperation right from the development stage of any given project is the approach that yields the best results, and contributes to a film’s worldwide success. North America is an interesting but acutely competitive market area. In order to ensure a positive outcome from this initiative, the multi-sector knowledge offered by Team Finland’s different operators is really beneficial. With direction coming from a wide range of specialists, we can best complement the companies’ own efforts,” explains Kati Nuora from the Finnish Film Foundation, and Project Leader for “Getting It Made for the US Market”.

“FAVEX’s mission is to promote the growth and internationalization of the Finnish film and TV industry, and this new joint venture is an interesting opportunity which further facilitates the achievement of these goals. The intent is to help provide very concrete results and benefits for the participating companies,” explains Johanna Karppinen, CEO of Favex.

“Finnish audiovisual companies have great growth potential in the world market. From our perspective, we want to actively support the international breakthrough of these companies and of Finnish productions,” adds Tekes’ Merja Salonen, Senior Advisor for the Creative Industries.

American experts in the audiovisual sector, along with lauded Finnish and international experts in the field, will be acting as coaches and mentors. It is paramount to ensure that international experts have an encompassed understanding of Finnish productions as well as of the European and Nordic markets, in addition to boasting considerable business experience in the American market.

“Getting It Made for the US Market” will be implemented this autumn, culminating in a market visit to the American Film Market in November 2015. The AFM is a film industry event that has taken place in Hollywood since 1981, acting as the most important venue for soon-to-be-released films to premiere. The event functions as a major meeting place to strike funding, distribution and co-production deals.

The “Getting It Made for the US Market” initiative is a Team Finland project.

Eero Lukin
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