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Finnish films find receptive audiences abroad

Aki Kaurismäki’s tragi-comedy Fallen Leaves is set to bow at the Cannes Film Festival this year, spurring further interest in Finnish cinema.

Nordisk Film

The global admissions total for Finnish films surpassed that generated by the domestic audience in 2022.

International figures from last year revealed that films with a Finnish producer or co-producer drew 1.8 million admissions outside Finland, some 200 000 more than the local total. The success of films in Finland is measured against the number of admissions instead of the box office figures typically counted in many other markets.

Some 70 Finnish films found an audience abroad in 2022. The most popular of these was Taneli Mustonen’s horror film The Twin, which was a significant draw in Latin America, where it attracted more than half a million viewers. In Mexico alone, it had 275 000 admissions. The Swedish-French-Finnish-Danish co-production Boy from Heaven (aka Cairo Conspiracy), directed by Tarik Saleh, was just behind it, second on the list.

Altogether 70 films with a Finnish producer or co-producer found a global audience in 2022, the most popular of which was the horror film The Twin.

Malla Hukkanen / Sputnik

Although it premiered in 2021, the Oscar buzz surrounding Juho Kuosmanen’s Compartment no. 6, helped add 240 000 admissions to its total in 2022 to top 500 000. The film enjoyed an initial burst in popularity after winning the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film festival in 2021. Incidentally, hoping to replicate a similar feat at Cannes this year is Aki Kaurismäki’s tragi-comedy Fallen Leaves, which was chosen as the sole Nordic title to compete in the main category at this year’s festival.

Also making headlines abroad recently is Jalmari Helander’s action film Sisu, which was the sixth-most watched film in the US during the first week of its release at the end of April and has since accumulated over five million US dollars in box office receipts.

By: James O’Sullivan