Grant announcement: Regional operational support for cinemas

The application period ends: 10.01.2020
Decision: Grant decisions are made on week 10.

Application period

The application period ends 10 January 2020 at midnight.

The aim of the support

The aim of the Finnish Film Foundation is to promote the broad and comprehensive distribution of films by supporting the availability and reach of domestic films on different distribution platforms and also by supporting the availability of a wide variety of international films in Finland.

The aim of the regional operational support for cinemas is to ensure a functioning cinema network throughout the country, to promote the regional access to films and to encourage cinemas to develop new business operation models. The aim of the support is to promote the screening of a diverse selection of films that serves all demographics.

To whom?

Support may be granted to a corporation registered in Finland, a registered association or a municipality or a municipal consortium running a cinema while taking into consideration the prerequisites for professional and regular screenings. Support may also be granted for valid reasons to an individual proprietor registered in Finland in charge of running a cinema.

It may primarily be granted to cinemas and touring cinemas of small and midsized towns and municipalities. For special reasons, it may also be granted to cinemas in larger towns and municipalities.

For what purpose and how much?

Support may be applied for diversifying programming and audience development, e.g., organising local cinema events, activating young audiences, improving accessibility, artist visits, screening alternative content in collaboration with other parties or other desired activities deemed necessary by the applicant.

Applications for the operational support for cinemas are made to the Foundation in exchange for reported actualised costs after the financial year.

A cinema operating in a town or municipality of less than 50,000 inhabitants can receive a maximum of €8,000 whereas a cinema operating in a town or municipality of more than 50,000 inhabitants can receive a maximum of €4,000 in support per year.

The regional operational support for cinemas is paid retroactively in a single instalment to the recipient’s Finnish bank account in exchange for a cost statement appended to the application.

Previous support decisions may be viewed from the Foundation’s support decisions page.

How to apply?

Applications are submitted to the online application system ( by submitting the application and appendices to the Finnish Film Foundation before the deadline noted in the call for applications.

New applicants must register to the online application system. New registrations are processed within a week.

Applicants fill in an application in the online application system that consists of an electronic application form and the necessary appendices that are submitted into the system.

Instructions for the online application system

Prior to submitting an application, the applicant must carefully read the relevant grant announcement and support guide.


Obligatory application appendices:

  • the Film Foundation’s cost statement form verified by an accountant
  • a written report of the actualised activities and programming enabled by the support
  • the cinema’s lease

NOTE! The appendices submitted to the application annexes should be named after the type of the appendix.

The applicant’s obligatory appendices:

  • the current financial statement verified by an accountant: balance sheet book and audit report
  • a valid Trade Register Extract no older than six months
  • certificate of tax debts that is no older than three months
  • a certificate of paid pension insurance premiums that is no older than three months
  • a current shareholder register (Limited Liability Companies Act, chapter 3) (the shareholder register is submitted only once and updated if holdings change).

NOTE! Documents pertaining to a corporation are uploaded to the applicant’s appendices.

How are the applications evaluated?

Regional operational support for cinemas is discretionary support. Granting the support is based on the overall evaluation and comparison of the applications. The following guidelines are used to evaluate the applications:

The evaluation estimates the feasibility of the cinema’s professed activities, its professionalism and operating conditions in the area. The cinema must operate regularly throughout the year, unless the population of the area allows for an exception to this rule. The support funds available to the Foundation are also taken into account. Other funding and self-financing of the project are viewed as an advantage.

A prerequisite for granting the support is that the recipient has delivered the correct current information for maintaining film statistics and the cinema’s annual report to the Foundation.

Special conditions

The decision about the regional operational support for cinemas is made against the cinema’s actualised expenses, accounted for and recorded by the cinema’s accountant.

An appended written report must contain the measures taken by the cinema, an itemised report of actualised costs and information about any other funding.

Admissible costs in the cost statement appended to the application are the paid net costs and project costs noted in the application form not subject to VAT and recorded in the recipient’s accounts. If the recipient does not have the right to VAT deductions, the costs may be approved with VAT. The cost statement appended to the grant application must be certified by an accountant.

A favourable decision requires that the applicant has complied with possible previous support agreements and their conditions and delivered a report on the uses of previous support to the Foundation. If the applicant is involved in several projects receiving support from the Foundation, the recipient’s projects may be viewed as a single entity. The Foundation may request further materials from the applicant in order to reach a decision.

The recipient must maintain their accounts according to the Accounting Act and the Accounting Ordinance and follow sound accounting procedures. The recipient must organise the project’s audit trail – the link between the recipient’s financial statement and the project’s cost statement – in a way that it can be reliably, completely and transparently verified by a third party. The Foundation always reserves the right to fully audit the recipient’s accounting and management.

The recipient must observe and notify their accountant and their auditor of the Foundation’s instructions and guidelines concerning the film industry’s accounting, financial statement and auditing principles.

Support cannot be granted if the application is insufficient or the required information is not submitted into the online application system despite requests to do so.


The Finnish Film Foundation’s Board decides on the regional operational support based on the Director’s suggestions.

Applicants receive a written notification.

Support decisions are made on week 10.

The decision is based on the act of government funding for the advancement of cinema (1174/2018), the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (688/2001) and the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003).

Further information

Distribution and Exhibition Specialist Ilmari Arnkil,, tel. +358 9 6220 3035

Further instructions about the application process and decisions are available in the support guide.

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