Support Guide

Marketing and distribution support for documentary and short films

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 the diverse and professional production of films in Finland. The Foundation’s values include participation, pluralism, cultural diversity and artistic freedom.

The purpose of the support is to promote the broad and extensive supply and distribution of Finnish film productions primarily in cinemas, through various distribution channels and platforms as well as to advance the availability and audience share of Finnish films.

To whom?

Support is granted primarily to films that have received the Foundation’s development and production support. Support may be granted to a professional distribution company registered in Finland who owns the film’s Finnish distribution rights, or to a production company that manages the film’s rights in Finland.

The applicant should be the party responsible for marketing who has the required expertise and skills.

For what purpose and how much?

The maximum amount of the marketing and distribution support is 45,000 euros.

For a feature-length documentary film, the support may exceed 45,000 euros and be maximum 130,000 euros only if,

  1. the film has an exceptionally high audience potential in theatrical distribution for a documentary film,
  2. the project has other confirmed financing besides the Foundation’s support,
  3. the applican will provide the film a wide, national theatrical distribution, and
  4. the applicant will organize a screening of the film for the person processing the application. The screening must happen after picture lock and on a DCP that is as finalized as possible. The screening copy must be delivered to the Foundation before the application period ends. For valid reasons, the screening may be organized on a different format.

Support that exceeds 45,000 euros may be granted primarily for the marketing and distribution costs of a theatrical distribution campaign. Support that is maximum 45,000 can be granted for impact campaigns and marketing and distribution costs of combinations of different marketing and distribution forms

Support may cover all distribution channels of the film, including DVD/Bluray and streaming platforms.

In addition, the Foundation supports audio description and subtitling to the hearing impaired by a maximum amount of 7,000 euros. Support for audio description and subtitling requires a separate application.

Previous support decisions may be viewed from the Foundation’s support decisions page.

How and when to apply?

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

The application consist of:

  • an application form
  • the application’s appendices
  • 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.

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 processes approximately 250–300 applications each application period and the production department makes roughly 1,300 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 the operating environment and realities of film distribution. Consider also how the support corresponds with its goals and what is special about this particular film.

Applications and the applicant’s information

The Foundation’s application system has two windows:

1) Applications, where all the information and appendices related to the application are submitted

2) Applicant’s appendices (“Hakijan liitteet”), where all current production company documents are submitted

Fluent processing

When uploading appendices, make sure that

  • the forms are up-to-date and include the date.
  • self-financing and possible co-operation agreements are noted in the appendices.
  • the agreements are signed by all relevant parties.
  • the figures are uniform in all documentation, including the cost estimate, financing plan and the marketing and distribution plan drafted according to the Foundation’s template.
  • fill in the marketing and distribution plan according to the Foundation’s template as completely as possible and refrain from referring to appendices.
  • you use the most recent version of the Foundation’s forms.

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 your 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”).

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.

What requirements must the applicant meet?

A positive support decision requires that:

The applicant has complied with possible previous support agreements, conditions and delivered all overdue final reports on previous support.

When the applied sum is over 45,000 euros, the applicant has organized a screening of the film for the person handling the application.

  • The DCP in the screening should be as finalized as possible, post picture lock. The screening copy has to be at the Foundation by the end of the application period. For justifiable causes, the screening can be organized with an alternative format.

A feature length documentary includes or will include audio description and subtitling for the hearing impaired. The audio description and the subtitles are available for cinemas and included on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD.

  • If the film’s dialogue is mainly in a language other than Finnish or Swedish, the Foundation may exempt a film that has received marketing and distribution support from the obligation to provide an audio description. Subtitles for the hearing impaired are, however, required in these cases, and the recipient may apply support for them.
  • Audio description and subtitles for the hearing impaired are not required from international co-productions with Finland as a minority co-production country, even if the Foundation has granted them marketing and distribution support.

Tuensaaja sitoutuu toimittamaan säätiön tilastointia varten elokuvan ajantasaiset katsojamäärät elokuvateatterijakelussa, sekä DVD- ja VOD-jakelussa.

The recipient pledges to report current viewing figures for statistical purposes in cinema, DVD and VOD distribution.

Films receiving the support must include subtitles as required in the Language Act.

For support exceeding 45,000 euros, additional funding is required.

Support cannot be granted if the application is insufficient or the required information is not uploaded into the online application system despite requests to do so.

How are the applications evaluated?

Support is discretionary. The evaluation and comparison of the applications is based on an overall assessment that considers the purpose of the funds, the grounds mentioned in the grant announcement and available funds in the budget. Other funding and self-financing of the project are viewed as an advantage.

During evaluation, the project is considered as a whole in terms of marketing and distribution while taking into account the target audiences of the genre and the measures planned to reach them. In addition, the applicant’s professional and financial ability to complete the project is taken into account. Other support previously granted by the Foundation to the applicant is also taken into account.

How are the decisions made?

The Board of the Finnish Film Foundation decides on marketing and distribution support based on the presentation of the CEO.

The Foundation aims to make decisions in 8–10 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. Marketing and distribution 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

The Foundation will appoint a film commissioner to the application. The applicant can see the name of the film commissioner in the application about a week after the deadline. If you need to supplement your application during the processing time, the film commissioner or other person handling the application will be in contact.

We do not comment on the possible decision during processing time.

Obligatory appendices of the marketing and distribution support application

You can submit the application once all the obligatory appendices are uploaded to the application system.

The applicant’s appendices

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

Audit duty

The Audit Act contains regulations about when a registered corporation is not under the obligation to select an auditor.

When the Foundation’s support is at least €20,000, the cost statement in the final report must be verified by an authorised accountant.

3. Decision

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”) view.

After the decision has been made, the Application’s appendices folder is closed.

Upload the appendices pertaining to the oversight and reporting to the Reporting and final report (“Raportointi ja loppuselvitys”) folder.

The Foundation’s logo and end credits

Marketing and distribution support recipients must use in their end credits the Foundation’s logo and a text: Marketing and distribution support / Finnish Film Foundation yyyy (decision year).

in their materials in conjunction with other financiers’ and collaborators’ logos. The logo is available in Finnish, English, Swedish and Northern Sámi.

The Foundation’s logo must be included in other marketing materials (e.g. posters) in conjunction with other financiers’ and collaborators’ logos.

Download the current logos in different languages on our website:

Download the logos

4. Support payment

Marketing and distribution support is paid to the recipient’s Finnish account in two or more instalments: the first of these after the decision and the last one (20%) after the final report has been approved by the Foundation.

The decision confirms the project’s marketing and distribution plan, budget and funding. Deviation from the verified budget and support focus are possible only with the Foundation’s written agreement. The recipient is responsible for executing the project in the manner and within the schedule agreed to in the agreement.

5. 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.

Extensions

Extensions for the use of the support must be applied for in writing.

Upload the extension request to the application system in the Reporting and final report (“Raportointi ja loppuselvitys”) folder under the appendix type Extension request for final report (“Loppuselvityksen lisäaikapyyntö”).

After you have uploaded the request, send an email to ilmari.arnkil@ses.fi.

Disclosure requirement

The recipient must provide the Finnish Film Foundation the correct and sufficient information to enable oversight of the support decision’s conditions.

The recipient must inform the Foundation of all changes that influence the way the support is used without delay. Changes that influence the use of the support include changes in the project’s quality, breadth and funding. The Foundation also always has the right to receive information about the project’s current status and follow the project’s progress.

A written report of changes must be emailed to the film commissioner who presented the support to the Foundation’s Board. The basis for the report is the support agreement between the recipient and the Foundation which can only be changed with written permission from the Foundation.

6. Final report

The final report must be delivered to the Foundation after no later than one (1) year. The deadline is included in the decision letter.

The final report must include:

Auditing procedure

Upload the final report to the application system in the Reporting and final report (“Raportointi ja loppuselvitys”) folder.

Information on the submitted final report is emailed to Accounting Specialist Pirjo Harmainen, pirjo.harmainen@ses.fi.

An automatic message indicating that the final report is missing is only removed when the final report has been approved by the Foundation and the final instalment of the support has been paid.

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

Finnish Film Foundation may request further information if it deems it necessary for the approval of the final report. The Foundation has the right to perform audits on the recipient’s finances and 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.

Finnish Film 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

7. 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.