New scheme has four features in the works.

The Finnish Film Foundation will introduce a fast lane to public funding for films, which have already been 50% financed, allocating €5 million ($6.9 million) for an experimental 50/50 scheme which has now set four features rolling.

”The aim is to speed up the decision-making process for projects which have half the budget in place, and to encourage producers to find financiers outside the film industry,” said head of productions Petri Kemppinen, of the foundation which can chip in up to 50% (maximum €800,000/$1.1 million) of a film’s costs.

Evaluating funding, distribution and box office potential, film commissioner Kaisu Isto has awarded €2.3 million ($3.2 million) support for Aleksi Mäkelä’s The Hijack That Went South (Kaappari), Taneli Mustonen’s Ella and Her Friends (Ella ja kaverit), Timo Koivusalo’s The Year of ’85 – Rock Your Memories (Vuonna 85) and Lauri Maijala’s Diary of a Drunk (Juoppohullun päiväkirja).

Kari Hietelahti will play the ordinary businessman – down-on-his-luck, but always with good intentions – who in 1978 took over the Oulu Helsinki flight in The Hijack That Went South, which Solar Film’s Jukka Helle and Markus Selin will produce. Mika Karttunen wrote the screenplay for Mäkelä, and Nordisk Film will release.

Produced by Juha Wuolijoki for CineWorks, with Lithuania’s Artbox, Ella and Her Friends is scripted by Aleksi Hyvärrinen about a group of pupils who team up with their teacher to save the school, which is about to move to the city centre as a Centralised Learning and Schooling Facility.

Penned by Riku Suokas, Heikki Syrjä, Heikki Vihinen,The Year of ’85 – Rock Your Memories follows a couple of young machine factory workers ”who lost their youth but did not find their adulthood.” Koivusalo will also produce for Artista Filmi,  while Buena Vista International Finland will handle the local release.

Finnish actors Joonas Saartamo and Krista Kosonen will star in Diary of a Drunk, scripted by Maijala for his feature debut, from Juha Vuorinen’s best-selling novels about Juha Berg and misfortune with women, sex, work, and drinking. Aleksi Bardy will produce for Dictator Films and Scanbox to distribute domestically.