Film distribution in Finland: Gatekeepers of local cinema

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific


This chapter aims at providing an overview of how the distribution of feature length fiction films is structured in Finland. Furthermore, the powerful gatekeeping function of distribution companies for local cinema is analysed based on material collected through expert interviews, industry analysis and media reports. Through the theoretical framework provided by critical political economy of the media, this chapter hopes to offer some insights and interesting openings for further research. The initial findings introduced in this chapter highlight the importance of the distribution agreement, not only for the dissemination of the final product, but also at the pre-production stages of the film as well as the financing. The first part of this chapter introduces the central characteristics of feature film distribution through discussing how global and local distribution systems are intertwined to one other. In the second part, the structure of Finnish film distribution is discussed in relation to production, release strategies, windowing and box office revenues. The third part introduces recent examples of alternative distribution methods employed by Finnish production companies. Finally, these descriptive accounts of the system are followed by the discussion of how the division of distribution resources in Finland impacts local cinema.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitical Economy of Local Cinema in the Digital Age: A Critical Approach
PublisherPeter Lang
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-631-81331-7, 978-3-631-81330-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-631-79951-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
MoE publication typeB2 Part of a book or another research book


  • film distribution
  • critical political economy of the media
  • digitalisation
  • local cinema
  • film production


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