Finland Announces Soderlangvik Residence Program



Finland is ready to compete with the famed Bergman Estate on Fårö, as a new residence program for Nordic filmmakers takes shape.

Set in Söderlångvik, patron of the arts Amos Anderson’s former summer residence on Kimito Island in southwest Finland, it will target mainly actors and directors.

The initiative, a result of a collaboration between Föreningen Konstsamfundet association – founded by Anderson in 1940 – and Helsinki Int. Film Festival – Love & Anarchy, is being announced exclusively via Variety on the eve of the fest’s 36th edition.

“The comparisons to ‘Bergman Island’ make sense, because we also want to create an inspiring place that brings people together, allowing them to learn from each other and really delve into their craft,” said Love & Anarchy’s executive director Anna Möttölä.

“This place is really unique.”

Stefan Björkman, CEO of Konstsamfundet since 2018, added: “Anderson used to have a small home theater in his basement there in the late 1930s and 1940s, and I can imagine him just sitting there, watching ‘Citizen Kane.’”

“We were wondering how we can support filmmaking in other ways than just by offering money: support it and really help out the industry. We want to raise the bar, whatever that means.”

With its first open call launching in the spring and the first edition scheduled for May 3-5, Möttölä underlined the “cross-generational” aspect of the program.

“It won’t be just ‘young guns,’ but people from different backgrounds. Diversity is a value that we support. Also, you can be established, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get better,” said Björkman.

The focus on Nordic talent is also key, something the fest – and its industry sidebar Finnish Film Affair – has been consistently flirting with.

“We are very much heading in the ‘Nordic’ direction. There has been a steady demand to grow our industry initiatives also outside of Finland,” noted Maria Pirkkalainen-Barber, head of FFA and Nordic Flair.

“We hope it will put Finland on the international audiovisual map even more. Something on this scale simply isn’t happening right now.”

“It makes me happy, seeing that Nordic filmmakers want to work together. We want to celebrate that direction,” added Möttölä.

“We also want to strengthen our position [as a festival] in the Nordics and do more year-round activities. Within the Finnish film industry, we have reached a certain point and it’s time to develop. This initiative? We are in it for the long haul.”

While a masterclass held by an experienced Nordic filmmaker is also planned, the main objective is simple: establishing new connections.

“In Finland, it’s easy to be alone,” said Björkman.

“We want to give these professionals an opportunity to focus solely on film for a couple of days, but together with others. It’s all about working with people you wouldn’t have met otherwise. [In Helsinki] we have rented [director and “Fanny and Alexander” producer] Jörn Donner’s old apartment for workshops and different people meet there as well.”

“We want to create networks that create further networks.”


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