Events Archives

Finnish Film Affair 24.-25.9.

The Finnish Film Affair is an initiative of the Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy showcasing Finnish films to international industry professionals.
Attending sales agents, distributors, TV buyers, festival programmers and representatives of the press have an opportunity to get to know to the latest and upcoming Finnish feature films and documentaries. Approximately 300 film industry professionals from Finland and abroad are expected to attend.

 

MIP Buzzwords Were Audience Engagement

New multichannel networks (MCN) were out in force in Cannes this week. MIPTV, the main market for television programs is readying to drop the ”TV” and become a trading place for all digital content. New players have entered the arena.

The digital challenge was evident during the market as the traditional television business is getting slower: attendance is drastically down (figures weren’t available at the writing of this), no major deals were announced, there was no hype on new programs and the advertising billboards along Croisette were scarce.

YouTube was leading the pact of multiple channel operators, along with Maker Studios (recently acquaired by Disney for reported 500 million dollars), Chipotle (providing a new twist on food programs), Paris-based Melberries and a host of others.

Youth brand VICE’s founder and CEO Shane Smith was echoing the confidence of the new players. Smith said people ask him if VICE is on TV, digital, convergence? ”All I care about is content. There’s been a changing of the guards in media. Content could be online, mobile, anything. When it’s on holograms, we’ll be on holograms.”

Twitter strong on second screen

Various second screen applications were presented at MIP Cube. Promising products were in the audience metrics field. Laurent Dehasse, co-funder of French Vigiglobe presented a tool for qualitative analysis of social media intelligence. Its idea is content enrichment via research and data minig. Vigiglobe partners with Twitter ecosystem and is one of the four European Twitter partner companies.

Deb Roy, chief media scientist at Twitter presented an example of NFL embedding a 30-second clip of just-aired football footage in a tweet targeted at a Twitter user who is engaging in a hashtagged conversation –whether or not they were watching the TV. ”It is about taking tiny bits of TV and use Twitter to broadcast them and extend the reach,” he said.

Want to learn more about the applications made for accompanying screens? Commission Helsinki will present a full day seminar on Second Screen ABC in Helsinki on May 8th. Please get more information of the seminar here: /events/second-screen-abc/

”Original yes, but make it funny”

 –       Didier Joos, TEVIZZ

MIP also paraded online talent on stage. US-based online-only news program The Young Turks was participating in Digital Fronts, MIPTV’s new market place for digital-only content. The Young Turks is a fresh take on the established news broadcasts and it aims to tell things how they are. Its video channel on YouTube has over 1,5 million subscribers and has recorded almost 1.4 billion views. Most online content is based on humor, lifestyle and entertainment.

MIP presentations dealt with producing and selling to multiple platforms –and how to monetize them. It became evident that many interesting upstarts are brewing under, but real breakthroughts still remain few.

This year at MIP absent were the Asians, Russians, Americans, and the list goes on. A few countries stood up, namely Israel and Turkey. Israel is breaking through to the international market with its scripted formats, such as Prisoners of war aka Homeland and non-scrited formats. Israel is also doing active business with China.

Turkey is hitting the market, especially Near East and Eastern Europe. Long running dramas and romance are in demand and Turkey is happy to carve out its share of the business.

Film Commissions at MIP were few and apart. Wales succeeded having its own seminar slot on funding and production opportunities, along with Brussels, who presented companies shaping the future of digital content. ”Incentive award” goes to Trinidad Tobago, who claims to reimburse 50 %  of the local spend back to foreign productions.

Random notes

Cross culture drama continues strong. Scandi fare is still riding high on the vawe created by Borgen, The Bridge, Wallander, Lilyhammer and others. Sweden’s TV4 commissioned second season of Welcome to Sweden, a comedy about a New York accountant who follows his Swedish girlfriend when she returns home. The show will premiere on American NBC this July.

4K Ultra HD screenings were held throughout the week, but it seems that the only loyals for the format at this point are Japan’s NHK and the BBC. It is hard to get commitments from big broadcasters for this costly transition. Online services such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and others are able to stream 4K content, but it seems  4K remains on eperimental level for years to come.

 

Tampere festival friends

Tampere still on top

The 44th Tampere Film Festival came to a close. While the short films I watched were relatively bold selections from shorts of all genres, industry professionals had good network opportunities on e.g. TAMK party and city hall meeting. New this year was Script Tampere, a screenwriting festival which ran alongside the TFF on March 6 and 7.

  • Screenings: 123
  • Sold out screenings: 22
  • International guests: 110
  • Finnish guests: 600
  • Attendance (including all the related events): 30 000

Personal highlight for me was to meet my former classmate Sahim Omar Kalifa again, whose short ‘Baghdad Messi’ received an honorable mention at the festival. Having been selected on 100 festivals so far with his short, Sahim places Tampere in his top-3 of short film festivals across the world, and festival programmers still agree. He describes the festival being very well-organized, very welcoming and with high-class selections. Together with a Hungarian composer and an Italian documentary maker, we roamed the festival parties and made ourselves known across Tampere :)

Business Brisk at Berlinale

One of Europe’s most important film festivals took place in Berlin for the 64th time. Since it has been well over ten years since my previous visit to Berlinale, this report aims just to provide a snapshot to the state of affairs.

Despite what some say, film business is doing well. New deals on big studio titles were reported daily and also the Finnish delegation seemed to be kept busy.

The Berlin event comprises of European Film Market, Berlinale Co-production Market, Berlinale Talents and the actual film festival. Commission Helsinki participated in the Film Market and here are a few observations:

Nordic cooperation seems to be strong. The funding forum was held for the fifth time at the beautiful Nordic Embassy building. The event drew a full house of producers and distibutors interested in the Scandinavian financing opportunities. – There are a plenty of them available as 18 separate national and regional funds were indentified.

The talk around film commissions continues to center around financial incentives they offer to foreign producers. The requirements for each support type are varied. One Italian commission particulary close to local tourist authorities requires that 80 % of all exterior shots must be from the area. Another will support the film as long as the script is changed to accomodate a local actor.

So, did I see any films? Yes, but not Lars von Tier’s Nymphomaniac, director’s cut, or any other of the big titles. Berlinale’s ticket system was made so complicated that after the fourth ticker counter, I simply gave up and just attended random market screenings.

Berlinale’s most fun party was thrown by the Finns when around 1000 people gathered to the gothic Heilig Kreuz Kirche. It was a way for many to kick off the festival in an upbeat mood.

Berlinale

6.-11.2.2014

One of the most important European film festivals is happening next month. Commission Helsinki will participate in the Film Market and will release a report during the event.

Happy Filming in Helsinki!

14.1.2014

Helsinki Elinkeino-osasto and Commission Helsinki had a morning kick off for the film friendly-network among various city departments.  We heard two cases: Mieletön elokuu, presented by Markku Flink and Ei kiitos, presented by Lasse Saarinen. Commissioner Teija Raninen explained about how commission work is done in Turku.

Follow up meetings with the city departments involved in film productions will be conducted throughout this spring.

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Licensing Business

23.1.2014   Helsinki

Licensing is a growing business area which will offer new revenue possibilities for content owners and producers. Agma, Luovan talouden agentit ja managerit will organise this licensing seminar in Astoria-sali in Helsinki. Look up their site for further information!  www.lisenssibisnes.fi

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FINNISH FILM AFFAIR

24.-26.9.2013   Helsinki

The second Finnish Film Affair took place successfully in Helsinki. The event included premiers of Finnish feature films, a work in progress showcase of Finish films to be released, as well as seminars.

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MIPCOM; 2nd Screen activity is rising

7.-10.2013   Cannes, France

Second screen is still on experimental stage but it continues to gain foothold in the television business. The final day of the Mipcom market in Cannes took a close look at the content and business models of the second screen.

According to a recent study amazing 87 % of the American TV viewers used other devices, such as smart phones and tablets while watching broadcast television. Now media companies as well as advetisers are starting to wake up to the opportunities presented by the second screen. The first examples of second screen content are play along applications to a game show, multicamera views and ways how the audience can influence a program by voting or commenting on the events on the screen. Various social platforms where viewers  share thoughts about a program also are important.

The final episode of Breaking Bad drew 10,5 million viewers in the USA. Facebook recorded three milloin posts of Breaking Bad which means over 30 % of the viewing audience commented it on Facebook, and another 600 000 people tweeted 1.2 milloin tweets about the show. It is no wonder braodcasters are starting to tap into this audience engagement. But the main question still remains: how to monetise the reach?

French broadcaster M6 aired Master Chef and produced additional online advertisements, synchronized with the program’s ad breaks. It also provided cooking tips and recipies and produced a separate web series to the program. In oder to achieve all this, M6 established a task force, which combined the various deprtaments of editorial, advertising and production sectors. The expert panel at Mipcom concluded that second screen is a process of continuous education for boradcasters as well as for advertisers.

Second screen can also rejuvenate program’s audience, as was the case with Dutch consumer program Kassa. Kassa has been on air for over 20 years and its audience had aged along with the series, averaging 58 years. The producers introduced an audience panel who could test products and express their opinions about the show. Kassa panel currently has over 100 000 members and the audience age is scewing considerably younger.

Another example of a successful second screen ad campaing also comes from Holland where a drama series Divorce got Volkswagen as a sponsor. Over the course of the series, viewers could download an application and every time a set of Volswagen car keyes appeared in the series, viewer would tap the application and ”collect” keys. Five keys enabled the player to enter a draw with a VW Beetle as the main price. Both broadcaster and the sponsor were very happy with the campaign.

Film commissions rely on incentives

This year several international film commmissions were present at Mipcom. Commissioner’s panel from six countries  told TV producers that they are happy to serve also television productions, not only films. Kristy Officer from Australian Film Commission said that Australia’s main focus is on television and they have expanded their generous financial incentives to cover television, animation, and post production, for which Australia offers 30 % rebate. The same 30 % cash rebate is also offered by all production spend in Abu Dhabi and many other countries.

It is evident that film commissions no longer offer just empty locations but attempt to facilitate a full 360-degree production. This is where various media hubs also enter the picture. Malaysia is a prime example of atrracting foreign investment but this Mipcom also unveiled South Korea’s project, where the sixt largest city Gwangju is positioning itself as Asia’s cultural hub. The hub’s zones cover CGI, animation, video games, tourism and live events. The financial initiative for the period 2010 to 2023 is 135 million dollars. Qualifying international productions are offered tax incentives worth of 16,8 million dollars.

Random Notes

Facebook revealed at Mipcom new partnerships for its software tool, which enables broadcasters to measure conversations around their programs. Keyword Insight is a software that allows broadcaters to track and analyse Facebook chats which take place around specific keywords.

Public Feed API is a software that tells the total number of Facebook chats in real time. Broadcasters who have signed for the partnership with Facebook include Canal+, French TF1 and UK’s Channel 4.

Amazon studios is a concept which will give consumers the power of develop programming. Amazon studios receives scripts for pilots and then asks its clients for further ideas on how to develop the the scripts. Amazon has received over 5000 scripts from over a hundred countries. The final series remain to be seen on the screens.

Mipcom showed new vigour in its offerings and confirmed that TV business is slowly picking up again. Unfortunately, the vigour didn’t last with the French air controllers who decided to go on a strike the last day of the market. Nice airport was chaotic; several flights were cancelled and delayed. Lots of unhappy travellers!