Finland is home to sweeping plains, snowy forests and, particularly in the lake district, a lake everywhere you turn. It’s one of diverse and scenic landscapes. Being one of the least densely populated countries in Europe, Finland offers vast wilderness areas and quietness while our cities are on the cutting edge of culture and technology.
The Finnish Arctic region of Lapland is a vast wilderness area dotted by small towns and villages. In many of these towns, it may feel like time has stopped – enabling some real retro feels. In terms of nature, Lapland has everything from fells to gorges, swamps, forests, and vast wilderness. In the winter, Lapland is the quintessential “winter wonderland” with snow-capped trees and fells, reindeer, and northern lights. In the southwestern part of Lapland, the frozen sea in the Bay of Bothnia is a unique destination. The fascinating, unique light in Lapland is one of it’s strongest attractions. Rovaniemi, Lapland’s main city is home to the famed Santa Claus Village as well as the science center Arktikum. There are several airports in Lapland that receive flights from Helsinki as well as from around the world.
Located by the Baltic Sea, the capital of Finland has an interesting and varied architecture, diverse culture, and is a hub for design and technology. Helsinki is surrounded by the sea and has islands just off the coast of the city, including the 18th Century Suomenlinna fortress. The sea is a strong presence and natural parks are found everywhere you go in the city. During the winter, walking or skiing on the frozen sea is a popular pastime.
Depending on the neighborhood, Helsinki can feel like Seattle, Brooklyn, London, Paris, or St. Petersburg. During the Cold War, many Hollywood productions were shot in Helsinki due to the crews’ inability to shoot in the Soviet Union. Particularly Helsinki’s older parts bear a resemblance to St. Petersburg, having been built at a time Finland was still part of the Russian Empire.
Other architectural highlights include the city’s magnificent art nouveau buildings and the buildings designed by renowned architect Alvar Aalto, such as Finlandia Hall. In recent years, the city has undergone a bit of a sauna boom, with many new public saunas springing up around Helsinki. The museums offer a range from classic to modern art and the Design District boasts tons of boutiques packed with Finnish design.
Finland’s Lakeland district is the largest such district in Europe. A major part of Finland’s 188 000 lakes is located here in the South-western part of the country. This is the region many have in mind when they think of Finns at their summer cabins by the lake, dipping into the water straight from a sauna. Lakes are everywhere you go here – as are summer cabins. One of the region’s biggest events is the annual Savonlinna Opera Festival. Savonlinna is also vying to become the European Capital of Culture in 2026 (along with Tampere and Oulu).
Tampere is Finland’s second city. Recently, all of Hollywood sci-fi film “Dual” was shot there due to the country’s relatively good situation with coronavirus and the city’s resemblance to Northwest US cities of Seattle and Portland.
Ostrobothnia on the Western coast offers sand dune beaches, cute small towns with old wooden architecture, as well as vast plains and fields found particularly in Southern Ostrobothnia. Northern Ostrobothnia is home to the city of Oulu, a coolly Nordic city and tech hub.
The southwest coast of Finland is home to the stunning Turku Archipelago with its 40 000 islands and islets. Turku itself is Finland’s oldest city and nearby Naantali is home to the theme park Moomin World.
The Koli national park in Northern Karelia on the border with Russia presents an iconic tree-covered, rocky landscape.
“Kajawood” in the small town of Kajaani closer to central Finland is building to become a hub for Hollywood-style studio production.
Filming in public spaces is permitted everywhere in Finland. For locations such as government buildings, schools, museums, libraries, indoor sports venues, or private spaces, it is usually a good idea to be in touch ahead of time. Finland is repeatedly ranked at the top of the list of the world’s countries with most press freedom. In practice, this translates to a very tolerant attitude towards news or documentary crews and doing this type of work is made easy.
For larger, possibly disruptive productions, permission is usually required from the relevant authority. Examples of this would include driving heavier vehicles in a national park or closing off streets for shoots.
We can help out with applications and all necessary paperwork, should this be needed. If you are not sure whether you need a filming permit or not, just drop us an email with info about your shoot and we’ll sort things out.
In Finland, local crew keeps a high standard in general. From small shoots to larger commercial projects we can help you book any crew needed such as DoP’s, production managers, Fixers, assistants, sound operators etc.
Along with its Nordic and Dutch neighbors, Finland ranks in the top 5 countries on the EF English Proficiency Index. Everyone working in the film, TV, and journalism industry is guaranteed to speak professional English, making filming in Finland smooth. Generally, the work ethic is high in Finland: people show up on time and stick to schedules and promises.
OTHER CREW MEMBERS & SERVICES
Looking for something elses? Here’s a sample of other crew members and production services that we can help out with.