Although Finnish culture minister Stefan Wallin has not met their demand to increase subsidy for local cinema by at least $1.8m (Euros 1.2m), 30 Finnish feature film producers representing the entire industry have called off the strike they imposed on Sept 3.

'We have not been given direct promises, but we believe the Parliament will make the right decision, when negotiating the state budget next month (December),' they said in a statement.

The producers reacted as the announced 8% growth of production funding - which is covered by state lottery revenue - was replaced by no growth. They agreed to finish films they had already started, but refrain from instigating new productions.

In the meantime two Parliament committees have backed the producers' view that lottery profits should be used for sports and cultural activities rather than rental costs as proposed in the budget by the culture minister. The Finnish Film Foundation has also supported their claim.

'Allocations for film production and distribution should be raised by $6.2m (Euros 4.2m) in 2008, and it should reach $39.7m (Euros 27m) by 2011, as stated in the government programme,' said the foundation's CEO Irina Krohn in a paper to the Parliament's Financial Committee.

The Finnish Chamber of Films, including the Finnish Distributors and the Finnish Exhibitors association, understood 'the producers' frustration' and urged immediate measures to avoid 'the catastrophe of Finnish films disappearing from the cinemas.'

The Finnish film industry currently receives $19.8m (Euros 13.5m) state funding annually to realise 10-14 features. More than 17 productions were jeopardised by the strike, 'but by calling it off now the damage is limited,' concluded the film foundation's press and publicity manager Satu Elo.