Grant announcement: Operational support for regional cinemas

To whom?

Support may be granted to a corporation registered in Finland, a registered association or a municipality or a municipal consortium running a cinema. Support may also be granted for valid reasons to an individual proprietor.

Application period

Application time ends on 17.1.2022 16:00


Grant decisions are made on week 12.

Application period

The application period ends on January 17, 2022 at 16:00.

The aim of the support

The aim of the Finnish Film Foundation is to promote the broad and comprehensive distribution of films by supporting the availability and reach of domestic films on different distribution platforms and also by supporting the availability of a wide variety of international films in Finland.

The aim of the regional operational support for cinemas is to ensure a functioning cinema network throughout the country, to promote the regional access to films and to encourage cinemas to develop new business operation models. The aim of the support is to promote the screening of a diverse selection of films that serves all demographics.

To whom?

Support may be granted to a corporation registered in Finland, a registered association or a municipality or a municipal consortium running a cinema while taking into consideration the prerequisites for professional and regular screenings.

Support may also be granted for valid reasons to an individual proprietor registered in Finland in charge of running a cinema.

It may primarily be granted to cinemas and touring cinemas of small and midsized towns and municipalities. For special reasons, it may also be granted to cinemas in larger towns and municipalities.

For what purpose and how much?

Support can be applied for cinema activities that diversify the programme of the cinema and attract new audiences. These may include:

  • Diversifying the programming
  • Audience work, including local, open film events, activating the youth, increasing accessibility, filmmaker and expert appearances
  • Screening alternative programming (e.g. event cinema)
  • On a case-by-case basis, other activities deemed necessary by the applicant

Support may be granted only for costs incurred in the cinema operations. Support may also be granted for marketing and advertising costs for the activities mentioned above. The regular programming of the cinema and its marketing and advertising costs are not covered by this support.

Applications for the operational support for cinemas are made to the Foundation in exchange for reported actualised costs after the financial year.

A cinema operating in a town or municipality of less than 50,000 inhabitants can receive a maximum of 8,000 euros, whereas a cinema operating in a town or municipality of more than 50,000 inhabitants can receive a maximum of 4,000 euros in support per year.

The regional operational support for cinemas is paid retroactively in a single instalment to the recipient’s Finnish bank account in exchange for a cost statement appended to the application.

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

How to apply?

Development 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 support guide.

The applicant is responsible for submitting the application within the deadline.


Obligatory application appendices:

  • The Foundation’s cost statement form verified and signed by an accountant and the applicant. Use the form for 2022.
  • Form for screenings. Use the form for 2022.
  • An informal written report of the actualised activities and programming enabled by the support, including an itemized report of the actualised costs.
  • The cinema’s lease or an account of the ownership of the property.
  • An excerpt from accounting, including the cost unit for the project.


The applicant’s obligatory appendices:

  • The most recent financial statement verified and signed by an accountant, including:
    – all parts of the financial statement
    – the auditor’s report (if the Limited-liability Companies Act, the Audit Act or the articles of association necessitate an auditor)
    – operational inspection report
  • A valid extract from the Trade Register or the Register of Associations no older than six months
  • Certificate of tax debts that is no older than three months
  • Certificate of paid pension insurance premiums that is no older than three months
  • Current shareholder register (Limited Liability Companies Act, chapter 3) (the shareholder register is submitted only once and updated if holdings change)

PLEASE NOTE! There are separate sections in the application system for application appendices and applicant’s appendices. All appendices must be uploaded to the correct section as indicated above.

PLEASE NOTE! If an appendix cannot be provided, the applicant must upload a written statement of the missing appendices to the application. Acceptable omissions are for example the Trade Register Extract if the applicant is not in the Trade Register.

How are the applications evaluated?

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

In granting the support, the following is evaluated:

  • The realization of the activities mentioned in “For what purpose and how much?”
  • The professionality of the operations
  • The continuity of the cinema in the region
  • The cinema’s commitment to accessibility work. This will be evaluated with the help of Accessibility Guide for Cinemas (pdf, 2021), published by the Film Accessibility Forum.

Cinema operations have to be regular throughout the year, unless the population of the region permits an exception. The available funds of the Foundation are taken into consideration. Other funding and self-financing are considered to be an advantage in the evaluation.

A prerequisite for granting the support is that the recipient has delivered the correct current information for maintaining film statistics and the cinema’s annual report to the Foundation.

In addition, a prerequisite for full support is that during the operational year, the cinema has organized screenings with subtitling for the hearing-impaired and has advertised on its website the possibility for the subtitling for the hearing-impaired and audio description.

Special conditions

The decision about the regional operational support for cinemas is made against the cinema’s actualised expenses, accounted for and recorded by the cinema’s accountant. The costs of the supported project must be on its own cost center or equivalent in the applicant’s accounting.

An appended written report must contain the measures taken by the cinema, an itemised report of actualised costs and information about any other funding.

Admissible costs in the cost statement appended to the application are the paid net costs and project costs noted in the application form not subject to VAT and recorded in the recipient’s accounts. If the recipient does not have the right to VAT deductions, the costs may be approved with VAT. The cost statement appended to the grant application must be certified by an accountant.

A favourable decision requires that the applicant has complied with possible previous support conditions and delivered a report on the uses of previous support to the Foundation. If the applicant is involved in several projects receiving support from the Foundation, the recipient’s projects may be viewed as a single entity. The Foundation may request further materials from the applicant in order to reach a decision.

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 cost statement – 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 must observe and notify their accountant and their auditor of the Foundation’s instructions and guidelines concerning accounting, financial statement and auditing principles.

Support cannot be granted if the application has been submitted after the application period or is incomplete and the necessary information is not delivered in the application system despite request to do so. The handler of the support will assist in any questions regarding the application. The contact information is at the end of this grant announcement.


The Finnish Film Foundation’s Board decides on the operational support based on the CEO’s presentation.

Applicants receive a written notification.

Grant decisions are made on week 12.

The decision is based on the Act on the Government’s Support for the Promotion of Film Culture (1174/2018), the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (688/2001) and the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003).

Payment of support
Training support is paid in one instalment to the Finnish bank account used by the beneficiary after the support decision.

Further information

Exhibition and Distribution Specialist Ulla Leisio,, tel. 09 6220 3035

Next, read the support guide carefully:

Support guides

Go to the application system

The application system