Finland introduced a production incentive in the audiovisual branch at the beginning of the year. The incentive is a so-called payback system, where production companies receive money back on all wages paid and service purchases made in Finland. The maximum support amount is 25 per cent of the costs incurred in Finland.

Both international and Finnish productions may apply for the support for feature films, documentary films, fiction serials and animations. Productions eligible for the support must meet the minimum costs determined for the system in Finland, as well as a minimum budget for the entire production. Finland’s competitive advantage compared to other countries is the speed of the payback system and the ease of applying, as well as versatile shooting locations, a functioning infrastructure and a high level of expertise, both in live-action and animation productions.

Production incentive to increase the turnover, employment rate and internationalisation of the audiovisual branch

The production incentive may even double the number of major productions within a few years. This would mean an increase of more than MEUR 40 in the turnover of Finnish companies. An increase in the number of productions would improve the development of the industry and increase job opportunities all over Finland, because international and Finnish productions are filmed in places that can offer the best shooting locations and services.

In addition to professionals in the culture branch, producing films requires sound and shooting equipment, digital image and sound processing, construction and interior design, make-up, hair dressing, wardrobe and sewing, logistics and transport, as well as catering and accommodation services nearly each time. The production incentive will offer new job opportunities for branches that traditionally offer seasonal work or very few positions in general.

The payback system also has an impact on the development of the international expertise of professionals in the audiovisual industry, as well as service companies in the branch. Having international productions in Finland would strengthen the expertise within the industry and increase the opportunities for Finnish audiovisual companies to build international networks. The networks in turn would facilitate the export efforts within the industry in Finland.

Incentive marketed by a comprehensive consortium in the audiovisual industry

The production incentive is managed by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, who invited companies to tender for the marketing contract in December. The bid was won by a consortium of the following operators: The West Finland Film Commission (Turku Science Park), the Finnish Film Foundation, the Association of independent producers in Finland (SATU ry) and the North Finland Film Commission (Business Oulu), as well as Finnanimation ry, the East Finland Film Commission (Josek) and the South East Finland Film Commission (Cursor), who acted as subcontractors in the tender.

The marketing contract was made on 20 January 2017, and the consortium will start working immediately. The incentive is already marketed next week in Gothenburg and at the Berlin International Film Festival at the beginning of February. The goal is to have a presence in as many of the film and television industry markets, festivals and events in Asia, Europe and North America as possible, without forgetting Finnish professional events.

We need marketing, because the mere awareness of Finnish locations and expertise, as well as the incentive offered by Finland, makes it possible for international productions to come to Finland.