A long tradition in cinematography from Hollowood films to the best Finnish TV series

North Karelia has a long tradition in cinematography, as films have been shot there for over 80 years. In 1938, Toivo Särkkä and Yrjö Norta directed the film Tulitikkuja lainaamassa in the region. The first Hollywood production team visited the area more than 50 years ago when the scenes of Dr Zhivago were filmed in the freezing winter of Joensuu.

Finnish and foreign films and series shot in the area over the years:

  • Bordertown (2020), season 3
  • Oma Maa (2018), director: Markku Pölönen
  • Me Rosvolat (2015) director: Marjut Komulainen
  • Karjalan kunnailla (2007–2012), seasons 1–3
  • Kulman pojat (2012), director: Teppo Airaksinen
  • Body of Water (2011), director: Joona Tena
  • Roskisprinssi (2011), director: Raimo O. Niemi
  • Tatort: Tango für Borowski (2010), director: Hannu Salonen
  • Princess (2010), director: Arto Halonen
  • Ralliraita (2009), director: Markku Pölönen
  • Unna ja Nuuk (2006), director: Saara Cantell
  • Dog Nail Clipper (2004), director: Markku Pölönen
  • Helmiä ja sikoja (2003), director: Perttu Leppä
  • Pitkä kuuma kesä (1999), director: Perttu Leppä
  • Kivenpyörittäjän kylä (1995), director: Markku Pölönen
  • Doctor Zhivago (1965), director: David Lean
  • Tulitikkuja lainaamassa (1938), directors: Toivo Särkkä, Yrjö Norta


Local cooperation network to support production

The East Finland Film Commission serves both Finnish and foreign audiovisual production companies. We offer local assistance in preparations of different production stages, from the pre-production to the shooting.

Our services include, for example:

  • Location scouting. We will find the best possible locations for your productions in North Karelia.
  • Local funding. Regional Council grants an incentive for audiovisual projects, that is, a maximum cash rebate of 25% of the costs of a production produced in Finland.
  • Financial advice.
  • Actors archive. We organise castings and other opportunities to explore the range of actors and assistants in the region.
  • Professionals and assistants archive. Our network includes both audiovisual professionals and production equipment.
  • Equipment rental. We provide you with up-to-date information about the rental of camera and sound equipment in the area.
  • Regional cooperation network. Companies, universities, educational institutions, cities and municipalities are involved in negotiating opportunities for cooperation.


We were treated with openness and helpfulness in the shooting of Bordertown’s third season. We received help in all matters, and everyone was very helpful!
Miikko Oikkonen, Showrunner, Fisher King


Everything was very well organised outside the city. We had to move a traffic sign when we were shooting Oma maa. I thought the sign was attached with screws, but the city employees just cut it with an angle grinder because we had to act quickly.
– Markku Pölönen, Film Director, Suomen Filmiteollisuus Oy Palvelut