Support guide

Scriptwriting Grant

This support guide supplements the grant announcement of the scriptwriting grant. Read both of them carefully before submitting your application.

Grant announcementsHow 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 information window
  • 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 definition of a film

In this support guide, film and film production refer to a feature-length or short live-action, animated or documentary film or a drama, documentary or animated series, or a combination thereof. The film should be based on an artistic plan.

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 aim of the scriptwriting grant is to promote the production of high-quality, diverse and original films in Finland. The purpose of the scriptwriting grant is to support the writing of a screenplay into further development and finally production.

To whom?

The scriptwriting grant may be granted to a professional scriptwriter or group of writers based on a scriptwriting plan.

Criteria for professionalism

Finnish Film Foundation supports professional film production. A criteria for the scriptwriting grant is that the applicant is a professional scriptwriter. The applicant’s education and previous, publicly distributed works are considered in the evaluation of the applicant’s professionalism. 

For what purpose and how much?

The scriptwriting grant is meant for the writing and related research of a film based on an artistic plan. The film can be a feature-length or short fiction film, an animated film, a documentary film, a drama series, an animated series, a documentary series or a combination thereof.

How much?

The maximum sum of the scriptwriting grant is 22 800 euros.

The grant is based on a monthly allowances and one project can receive a maximum of 12 monthly allowances. The allowance for one month is 1900 euros.

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

How and when to apply?

Scriptwriting grant 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 information

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 scriptwriting grant applications are handled by:

Kaisu Isto

Film Commissioner

• scriptwriting grants for fictional short films, feature films and drama series

+ 358 9 6220 3037

Iris Olsson

Film Commissioner

• scriptwriting grant: documentary films and series
• development support and production support: documentary films and series, short films, animated and drama series (episodes under 22 minutes)
• marketing and distribution support: short films, documentary films

+ 358 9 6220 3022

Eero Tammi

Film Commissioner

• scriptwriting grant: documentary films and series
• development support and production support: documentary films and series, short films, animated and drama series (episodes under 22 minutes)
• marketing and distribution support: short films, documentary films

+ 358 9 6220 3025

Susanna Haarla

Production Coordinator

• processing support applications: scriptwriting grant
• processing support applications and agreements: production support for short films and documentaries

+ 358 9 6220 3033

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 also how the support corresponds to its goals and what is special about this particular film.

Fluent processing

When uploading appendices, make sure that

  • the name of the appendix corresponds to its content.
  • the forms include the date.
  • fill in the scriptwriting plan according to the Foundation’s model as completely as possible and refrain from referring to other appendices.
  • Note that upload new or updated appendices, the system does not inform the Foundation staff automatically. Send an email to the film commissioner or production coordinator who is handling your application.

When you email the Foundation during any stage of the project, mention your application number and the name of the project.

In addition to the obligatory appendices, you may upload other, complementary appendices. If the drop meno does not have an appropriate appendix type, choose Other 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.

How are the applications evaluated?

The scriptwriting grant 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.

The scriptwriting grant application is evaluated as a whole in terms of content and artistic merit. In addition, the evaluation takes into account the applicant’s artistic and professional skills that contribute to the completion of the project. Other support previously granted by the Film Foundation to the applicant is also taken into account.

Finnish Film Foundation may request further information if it deems it necessary for the decision-making process.

A prerequisite for granting the support is that the recipient has met the conditions of possible earlier grants.

How are the decisions made?

The Board of the Finnish Film Foundation decides on the scriptwriting grants based on the presentation of a Film Commissioner.

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).

The support may only be used for its designated purpose.

2. Grant application

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 information

Finnish Film Foundation appoints a film commissioner to the application. Information about the film commissioner can be seen in the application’s information about a week after the deadline. If the project has a previous scriptwriting grant from the Foundation, the new application will be handled by the same film commissioner as the previous one.

If the film commissioner requires more information about the application during the processing period, they will be in contact with the applicant.

During the processing period, we do not give information about the possible decision.

The Applicant’s Information window

Always when submitting a new application make sure that your information in the Applicant’s Information window is up to date!

You will get an email when the decision is made to the email address given in the Applicant’s Information. Also your banking information is taken from the Applicant’s Information.

Applicants of the scriptwriting grant do NOT upload anything to the Applicant’s Appendices.

Obligatory appendices to a scriptwriting grant application

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

All appendices to the scriptwriting grant are uploaded in the Application Appendices in the application system. The name of the appendix should correspond to the name in the drop menu.

Other possible appendices to the scriptwriting grant application

3. Favourable grant decision and payment

Payment of the grant

The support is paid to the applicant’s Finnish bank account in two instalments:

The first (80%) instalment after the decisions and

The second (20%) after the work based on the scriptwriting plan has been approved by the Foundation.

Prior to the payment of the first instalment, the recipient must update in the Reporting and Final Report folder the months in the schedule of the application, the period when the work takes place (including dates) and the date of completion to reflect the decision.

The appendix must be submitted under the appendix type Updated Work Schedule. Information about the update is emailed to Production Coordinator Susanna Haarla at susanna.haarla@ses.fi.

Check also that your banking information is correct in the Applicant’s information.

The recipient’s pension insurance/Mela

The MYEL pension insurance applies to a Finnish artistic or scientific grants and grant recipients. The law states that the mandatory pension insurance applies to all grant recipients who have received a grant from Finland and fall under Finnish social security services. 

Those handing out grants have a duty to inform Mela about the grants. The duties are provided in the MYEL 141 b §. The duty to inform is established when the grant period and grant sum exceed the minimums quoted in the law.

The Mela webpage for grant recipients

4. Oversight

Finnish Film Foundation oversees and monitors the work and schedule defined in the project plan. The Foundation has the right to use audits to oversee payments and monitor how the support is used. The  Foundation may also postpone payments during audits.

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 and scope. 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 has processed the grant. The basis for the report is the grant decision and only a written permission from the Foundation can allow changes in its conditions.

Changes in intended use

Finnish Film Foundation may change the intended use, schedule and conditions of the support based on the recipient’s application. Changes in intended use and extensions require a written application. Applications must be submitted 30 days before the support runs out.

Extension

Request for extension due to a special cause is sent in writing.

Upload the request to the application system in the Reporting and final report folder and choose ‘Extension request for final report’ from the drop menu.

Send an email after you have uploaded the extension request to:

susanna.haarla@ses.fi

5. Report on the use of the grant

A report on the use of the grant must be submitted to the Finnish Film Foundation no later than one (1) year from the decision.

The report on the use of the grant is the work based on the scriptwriting plan which is uploaded to the Reporting and final report file.

Selvitys apurahan käytöstä on työsuunnitelman mukainen työ, joka ladataan elokuvasäätiön tukihakemusjärjestelmään Raportointi ja loppuselvitys -kansioon.

Documentary films:

A written report of changes must be emailed to the film commissioner who has processed the grant.

Feature-length, short and serialised fiction, animation or children’s film or a combination thereof:

A written report of changes must be emailed to Film Commissioner Kaisu Isto, kaisu.isto@ses.fi.

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

You can see the payment dates in the application’s Payment information window.

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.