October 16, 2021

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Los Sarinen, CEO of the Finnish Film Foundation, plans to cut the budget

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The Finnish Film Foundation, which receives funding from the Lottery and Pool Funds allocated to the development of the film industry through the Ministry of Education and Culture, is facing new budget cuts. Its chief executive officer, Los Sarinen, spoke Diversity About his fight to reduce casualties.

A cut of 440,000 euros ($ 515,000) launched this year could result in an additional 1.94 million euros ($ 2.28 million), making up about 8.8% of the foundation’s subsidy and operating budget. The changes proposed by the ministry could take effect in the fall or winter.

“It will be cut towards ‘cultural’. At first, it was supposed to be 18 million euros. Now, I hear it will be 17.5 million. But how they share it – it can still change. And that’s why we’re talking about it, “said Sarinen.

Sarinen, who wrote an open letter to the government, eventually co-signed by board chairman Ann Brunila, was vocal about the case.

“I have heard that the letter has already‘ annoyed ’several top officials. They didn’t want the cuts to be publicly known, especially since we had such a big year, “he said, referring to international success such as Juho Kuosmanen’s victory in Cannes,” Compartment No. 6 “, which was accompanied by a Grand Prix by Asghar Farhadir ‘

“In a way, we fixed everything, we ticked all the boxes and that’s how they‘ rewarded ’us. Typically, our market share of domestic films reaches 23% -25%, which puts us in the top 5 countries in Europe. Audiences love Finnish movies – they keep the small town movies alive. Which is ironic, because the same cities support the Center Party, where the Minister of Science and Culture [Antti Kurvinen] Came from, “Sarinen said, calling the situation” stupid. “

The state-owned gambling company Veikkaus’s revenue continues to decline কারণে due to both epidemics and bans on gambling এটি it offers a possible solution, with a streaming levy, during the new settlement, Sarinen noted in his open letter. He called on ministers to implement Article 13 (2) of the EU Audiovisual Media Services Direct, so that EU countries could set separate fees for streaming services.

“Finland must join the 15 countries that have already made this decision. This will help offset the planned downturn in the sector and build confidence in the future, ”he wrote.

“Did we go against the will of the ministry when we are among the top five performing countries in Europe in terms of subsidy distribution? The most important international awards in the sector, such as the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, mean nothing? Isn’t the growing exposure of domestic TV series to foreign TV channels and streaming services important, as well as the industry’s growing export earnings? Overall and its chances of success, both at home and abroad.

“Every euro we pay brings back 1,5 or 2 euros in state taxes. The state always wins, and yet they don’t care. It’s insane, ”he said, noting that the total expenditure on Finnish culture is already comparatively lower than in Sweden, Denmark or Norway.

He notes that although the cuts will not necessarily affect the amounts paid for production, the foundation may eventually be forced to support fewer films.

“If we reduce all marketing and distribution subsidies, we will get a lot of media attention. But we will hurt the film, distributors and Finnish producers who have already suffered so much because of COVID-19, ”he said, adding that even the top players in the industry seem to be watching the new developments with growing concern.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” notes director Alexei Salmenpar, whose upcoming title “Bubble” was awarded Best Fiction Project at the recently concluded art event Finnish Film Affair in Helsinki.

“It doesn’t look very promising. I’m a little worried about the future of feature films in Finland. ”

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