Start to Finnish will take famed Finnish movie directors to the U.S.

The successful Finnish directors will join forces in the export venture by Bronson Club.


“Start to Finnish” is an export venture, spear-headed by the Finnish Company Bronson Club and American UnCorked Productions. The purpose is to find projects for internationally interesting Finnish directors, primarily at the markets in the U.S. In practice, the directors AJ Annila, Zaida Bergroth, Antti J. Jokinen, Dome Karukoski, Aku Louhimies and Samuli Valkama will form a creative brainstorm that will develop movie projects together.

“It’s great to get feedback and constructive ideas from your colleagues that you value yourself. In the relation to the U.S. markets, we are not exactly rivals but we all just want to make better pictures.” comments director Dome Karukoski.

The producers Jesse Fryckman (Bronson Club) and Andrew D. Corkin (New York, USA) are looking for projects to the directors and financing, both in Finland and abroad. The first concrete results of the project have already been accomplished: the horror movie “What We Were” was launched in Cannes last Thursday. The movie, to be shot in the U.S. and to be directed by AJ Annila, will be a prequel to the horror film hit “We Are What We Are”, which was screened in Cannes at Directors Fortnight series.

“This Finnish-French-American co-production is a good example of what we are aiming at. AJ will direct a movie in English language and in that way, international to start with. The movie will be shot in New York later this year”, says producer Fryckman.

“The meaning of this export venture for a director is that a Finnish producer is, after all, so much more than an agent or a manager in the U.S. We are all in this together, we are all very committed and our own producer knows what sort of films we all want to make”, analyses director AJ Annila.

The international breakthrough of the Finnish directors has always been made hard by the sheer smallness of our language area. That is why Finnish movies have primarily been made for domestic markets. The essential thing about the Start to Finnish venture is the fact that the projects are developed primarily to international markets, together with the American partners. Bronson Club and UnCorked Productions aim to combine the mechanisms of Scandinavian and American film financing, to the benefit of the Finnish directors. In Finland, even the top-notch directors are used to working with moderate budgets, seen from the American point of view.

“The Finnish directors have their own, personal voice which has a demand at the American markets”, says Andrew D. Corkin, the other helmer of the Start To Finnish venture from New York.

“It’s good to develope a story for the international audiences. This kind of co-operation gives us concrete chances to succeed”, says Aku Louhimies.

Andrew D. Corkin is a New York-based producer, whose five previous movies have all premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Jesse Fryckman is a Finnish procucer and founder of the production company Bronson Club, a subsidiary of Solar Films. Fryckman has produced several hit movies and critically acclaimed Reindeerspotting.

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