Support guide

Import support

This support guide supplements the grant announcement. Read both of them carefully before submitting your application. Grant announcements are available in Finnish and Swedish.

Application deadlinesHow to apply

Preparing an application:

  • Study the grant announcement and the support guide carefully.
  • Log in to our application system with your Suomi.fi e-Identification.
  • Fill in an application in the application system. The application consists of
    1) an application form
    2) the application’s appendices
    3) the applicant’s appendices
  • Submit the application before the deadline.

Whenever you are in contact with us regarding your application, mention the application number and the title of the film in your message!

1. General

The aim of the support

The aim of the Finnish Film Foundation is to promote an extensive and comprehensive range and distribution of films by supporting the broad availability and coverage of domestic films on different distribution channels and platforms, as well as a diverse range of international films in Finland.

The aim of film import support is to promote the import and effective distribution, marketing and presentation of high-quality, diverse film programmes that are broadly representative of world cinema culture and different film genres. The focus of the support is on those films that are not being distributed by international distribution companies, and that would not be imported without the support.

To whom?

Support may be granted to a film distribution company operating professionally, registered in Finland and managing film distribution rights in Finland.

For what purpose and how much?

Film import support is intended for the import and distribution of films that diversify the programmes shown in cinemas.

Support may be granted to the import of a film meant for cinema release, amounting to up to €15,000 and up to 70% of the actual import, distribution and marketing costs approved by the Foundation.

Support up to €19,000 and 70% of the actual costs approved by the Foundation may also be granted for the dubbing costs of children’s and family films in cinema distribution.

Import and dubbing support is applied with the same application.

Support is granted only for distribution in Finland. If the import costs of the film also include the costs of other countries, the applicant may include in the application only the part of the costs corresponding to the distribution in Finland.

The granted import support is intended exclusively for the applicant’s distribution and marketing costs in Finland, and it cannot be distributed to the film’s rightholders through distribution agreements or other agreements. The support is therefore not a return on film distribution that can be distributed to rightholders.

The total sum of the film import support from the Finnish Film Foundation and support from Nordisk Film & TV Fond for the same purpose cannot exceed 70% of the total cost of the project.

Previous support decisions can be viewed on the Film Foundation’s support decisions page.

How and when to apply?

Import support is applied for by submitting an application in the application system before the deadline given in the grant announcement.

The application consist of:

1) an application form
2) the application’s appendices
3) the applicant’s appendices

Prior to submitting an application, you must carefully read the relevant grant announcement and support guide. You should begin preparing the application well ahead of the deadline.

The applicant is responsible for submitting the application within the deadline. Applications submitted after the deadline are transferred to the next application period.

The application deadline is at 16:00 on the last day of the application period.

The import support applications are handled by:

Ilmari Arnkil

Exhibition and Distribution Specialist

• support for cinemas, distribution and festivals

+358 9 6220 3035

A good application and smooth communication

Finnish Film Foundation makes roughly 250–300 distribution and exhibition support decisions each year. It is essential for the evaluation and comparison of the applications that the application is clear and carefully prepared.

Be clear and relate the essentials in your application. Consider how the support corresponds with its goals.

Fluent processing

When uploading appendices, make sure that

  • the name of the appendix corresponds to its content.
  • all the obligatory appendices have been submitted.
  • the figures are congruent in all documentation, such as the budget and the financing plan.
  • reply to the handler’s or the system’s requests for additional information in the required time frame.

Updating appendices and information in the application system

Please note that the Foundation’s application system does not automatically inform the Foundation’s staff if you upload new appendices or update your information. Send an email about the changes to the film commissioner or other person handling the application.

Whenever you email the Foundation about your application, please state your application number and title of the film.

In addition to the obligatory appendices, you may add complementary appendices to your application .

If the drop menu in the Application’s appendices does not have a suitable appendix type, choose Other appendices (“Muut liitteet”).

What requirements must the applicant meet?

Support may be granted for the import and distribution of a film that is considered a cultural product and that

  1. forms an artistic whole;
  2. that has content based on cultural values originating in cultural identity; and
  3. that contains a significant input by creators and artists, and the share of production costs comprising salaries and fees payable to them is significant.

A film that receives support for cinema distribution must be subtitled in Finnish and Swedish.

The approvable costs of a cost survey submitted as an application appendix are the costs directly arising from the project that are in the recipient’s bookkeeping, paid net and exclusive of value added tax. If the grant recipient does not have the right to VAT deductions, the costs may be approved with VAT.

A cost survey submitted as a support application appendix must be authorised as accurate by a bookkeeper. The costs of a project that receives support must be booked to its own cost centre in the applicant’s bookkeeping. Purchases between affiliates must be entered without profit margin.

Once the Foundation has granted film import support to a film, the recipient must attach a mention of the film import support granted to the film’s press and marketing material and to its presentational information (including in the Filmikamari press service).

A prerequisite for processing a decision is that the film’s importer arranges a screening of the film for the party processing the support before the application is processed. The screening must be arranged in a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) copy. The copy must be subtitled either in the national languages or in English.

If dubbing support is being sought for a film, the screening must be arranged dubbed in a DCP copy by which it will be distributed to cinemas. The viewing copy should be sent to the Foundation prior to the end of the application period.

A prerequisite for granting film import support is that the beneficiary has submitted the accurate and up-to-date information required to maintain film statistics.

A prerequisite for a favourable support decision is, for example, that the applicant has complied with possible previous support agreements and conditions set for the granting of support, and has submitted to the Foundation the outstanding final reports on support previously granted. If the applicant has several projects in a support relationship to the Foundation, in this context these can be viewed as a single entity. For the purposes of making a decision, the Foundation may ask the applicant to supplement material that they previously submitted to the Foundation.

Support cannot be granted if the application is insufficient and the required information is not uploaded into the online application system despite requests to do so, or the film has not been presented to the person processing the application. Applications submitted after the end of the application period will be processed in the following application round.

How are the applications evaluated?

Import support support is discretionary. Granting the support is based on overall evaluation and comparison of the applications. The following guidelines are used to evaluate the applications:

The film enriches and diversifies the programmes of cinemas, and broad-mindedly represents new film countries, cultures or subcultures. The efficient, targeted distribution is evident from the film’s marketing and distribution strategies.

The available funds of the Foundation are also taken into account. Other funding and self-financing of the project are viewed as an advantage.

The focus of the support is on those films that are not being distributed by international distribution companies, and that would not be imported without the support.

How are the decisions made?

The Board of the Finnish Film Foundation decides on import support based on the presentation of the CEO. The Foundation aims to make decisions in 3–10 weeks after the deadline.

All applicants receive a written decision that contains the conditions of the support and a claim for corrections with instructions. You will get an email when the decision is made to the email address given in the Applicant’s information.

The decision is based on the act of government funding for the advancement of cinema (1174/2018), the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (688/2001) and the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003).

2. Import support application

Fill out an application in the application system consisting of the following:

  1. Application form
  2. Application’s appendices
  3. Applicant’s appendices

If it is not possible to submit certain appendices, an explanation of the missing appendices must be made and appended to the application.

The applicant must submit the following appendices to the application system by the end of the application period:

The applicant’s appendices

Before the deadline, upload the appendices pertaining to the company or organization to the the Applicant’s appendices.

Openness of documents

According to the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), a document submitted to the Finnish Film Foundation is public. Documents may also be designated confidential under the law or access to them may be discretionary. Confidential official documents include documents that contain information about private business or trade secrets.

3. Decision and support payment

After the decision made by the Finnish Film Foundation’s Board has been processed, you will receive a message to the email address you have given in the Applicant’s information.

The decision can be read in the application’s Decision (“Päätös”) window.

Import support is paid to the recipient’s Finnish bank account in two instalments: the first instalment (50%) after the support decision has been made and the second instalment after the final report for the support has been approved by the Foundation.

Maahantuontituki maksetaan tuensaajan käytössä olevalle suomalaiselle pankkitilille kahdessa erässä: ensimmäinen erä (50 % tukisummasta) tukipäätöksen jälkeen ja toinen erä kun tuen loppuselvitys on hyväksytty elokuvasäätiössä.

4. Oversight

Finnish Film Foundation oversees and supervises how the support is used. The Foundation has the right to use audits to oversee payments and how the support is used. The Foundation may also postpone payments during audits.

Organising project oversight

The recipient must maintain their accounts according to the Accounting Act and the Accounting Ordinance and follow sound accounting procedures. The recipient must organise the project’s audit trail – the link between the recipient’s financial statement and the project’s statement of charges – in a way that it can be reliably, completely and transparently verified by a third party.

The Foundation always reserves the right to fully audit the recipient’s accounting and management.

The recipient is obligated to provide their accountant and auditor the film’s support agreement and all appendices. If the recipient neglects these duties, the Foundation has the right to deliver the documents to the accountant and auditor named in the support agreement.

The recipient must observe and notify their accountant and their auditor of the Foundation’s instructions and guidelines (2021, pdf in Finnish) concerning the film industry’s accounting, financial statement and auditing principles.

5. Final report

The final report must be provided to the Foundation within one (1) year of receiving the support decision.

The costs approved in the final report are the applicant’s accounted and paid project costs in accordance with the project budget without VAT.

Final report appendices are uploaded in the Reporting and final report folder (“Raportointi ja loppuselvitys”) in the application system.

Information of the appended final report submitted to the application system (in the Reporting and final report folder) is emailed to Ilmari Arnkil, ilmari.arnkil@ses.fi.

The final report must include:

Approving the import support final report

Information of the appended final report submitted to the application system (in the Reporting and final report folder) is emailed to Ilmari Arnkil, ilmari.arnkil@ses.fi.

In the application’s Payment information (“Maksutiedot”) window you can see when each instalment has been paid.

The Foundation may request further information if it deems it necessary for the approval of the final report. The Finnish Film Foundation has the right to perform audits on the recipient’s finances and activities based on the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers, section 16. The recipient must ascertain that the Foundation has the necessary prerequisites to perform the audit.

The Foundation approves the project’s final costs and funding based on the final report. If the project’s support exceeds the actualised costs, the Foundation deducts the sum from the unpaid instalment. If the sum is larger than the unpaid instalment, the recipient must immediately return the exceeding portion of the support to the Foundation.

Repayment of discretionary government transfers

Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (688/2001) section 20

Recipients of discretionary Government transfer must repay without delay any transfer or part thereof they have received through error, in excess or manifestly without cause. Recipients must also repay a transfer or part thereof if it cannot be used as required in the transfer decision. If the repayable sum does not exceed 100 euros, it is not necessary to repay it.

In addition to the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (688/2001), section 20, the recipient must abide by the following repayment conditions:

  • The recipient is obliged to immediately repay the grant or part of the grant if the grant has not been used during the time period agreed upon by the parties and if the Foundation has not granted an extension.
  • The repayable amount must include annual interest and an added three percent following the Interest Act (633/1982), section 3, subsection 2. The interest is calculated from the last payment to the support repayment date.
  • The target of the support and application number must be mentioned in the message field during repayment.

The support must be repaid to the Finnish Film Foundation’s bank account:
Nordea Bank Abp
IBAN FI74 1572 3000 0305 77
BIC NDEAFIHH

6. Halting payment and repayment

If the recipient does not repay Finnish Film Foundation according to the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers, section 20, repayment of the support or a portion of it will proceed according to section 9 and section 10 of the act of government transfers to promote film culture.

Section 9 Halting payments

The Arts Promotion Center Finland is responsible for halting payments. Finnish Film Foundation must immediately propose to the Arts Promotion Center Finland that the government transfer be halted if the Foundation has discovered information that warrants the halting of the payments. The Arts Promotion Center decides on the halting of payments and the continuation or halting of government transfers based on the Foundation’s suggestion.

The decision of the halting of payments must be made immediately and, for special reasons, during at least two calendar years after the Finnish Film Foundation’s suggestion. Finnish Film Foundation must include sufficient and essential information to make a decision to halt payments. The Arts Promotion Center Finland also has the right to receive the necessary information from the Finnish Film Foundation to halt payments without regard to confidentiality agreements.

Section 10 Repayment

The Arts Promotion Center Finland is responsible for halting payments. Finnish Film Foundation must immediately inform the Arts Promotion Center Finland of facts that would or should warrant government transfer repayments. The Arts Promotion Center Finland makes the repayment decision.

The decision of repayments must be made immediately and, for special reasons, during at least two calendar years after the Finnish Film Foundation’s suggestion. Finnish Film Foundation must include sufficient and essential information to make a decision of repayments. The Arts Promotion Center Finland also has the right to receive the necessary information from the Finnish Film Foundation for repayments without regard to confidentiality agreements.

Finnish Film Foundation’s grants are based on the act on the government’s support for the promotion of film culture (1174/2018). The grants apply the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (688/2001). The Foundation follows the Administrative Procedure Act, the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the Language Act (423/2004), the Sámi Language Act (1086/2003), the Archives Act (831/1994), the Act on Electronic Services and Communication in the Public Sector (13/2003) and the Privacy Protection Act (9/2018).

According to the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), a document submitted to the Finnish Film Foundation is public. Documents may also be designated confidential under the law or access to them may be discretionary. Confidential official documents include documents that contain information about private business or trade secrets.