October 13th 2021
For immediate release
Laura Kuulasmaa has been announced as the new Executive Director of Audiovisual Producers Finland – APFI. Kuulasmaa steps into the role from Elisa, where she has most recently served as Executive Producer and Commissioner. She will officially take the helm of Finland’s producers’ association on November 1st, 2021. The organization’s current Executive Director Teemu Kalliala will step down from the position after a transitional period.
Teemu Kalliala couldn’t be happier about the selection of his successor: “This spring I announced to APFI’s board that the time is now right to start finding a new Executive Director to lead the organization. When I took on the job in the summer of 2018, APFI was a startup. The fragmented landscape of all the associations across the audiovisual sector in Finland had been successfully merged, and APFI had been assigned the role of advancing the interests of Finnish production companies within our growing audiovisual business, as well as in discussions pertaining to the distribution of copyright royalties. In assessing at the situation now, APFI has effectively reorganized itself and established its position as a key player in the audiovisual sector. Therefore, it’s the right time to enable an organizational renewal of sorts, and as APFI moves into its next phase it’s best to pass operational responsibility on to new, capable hands. And what capable hands they are! I’m so proud that Laura Kuulasmaa has been selected as APFI’s next Executive Director. Laura represents everything that will enable the continuous development of APFI’s member services and advocacy efforts in the coming years.”
APFI’s Chairman of the Board Riina Kullas agrees: “I’m overjoyed and proud to announce that APFI’s board has selected Laura Kuulasmaa as our new Executive Director. Laura is widely respected both in Finland and abroad and is an analytical content business professional. We strive for a sustainable and increasingly international future based on both economic and ethical values. And in our view, Laura is the best possible person to pilot this mission that is so central to the entire Finnish audiovisual industry. On behalf of the entire board, I’d like to thank APFI’s staff and its outgoing Executive Director, Teemu Kalliala, for their excellent work during the first few years of the association’s existence. A wide range of experts in our field applied for the position of Executive Director, and the recruitment process proved APFI is seen as a key agent and leader in the future of the Finnish audiovisual industry. We wish Laura luck and success in her new position!”
Kuulasmaa has a lengthy history with Finnish telecom company Elisa. For the past eight years she has worked at the company’s streaming service Elisa Viihde as a producer and commissioner, contributing to the international success of many Finnish TV series. She has commissioned more than 50 original series production seasons and financed or acquired more than 150 domestic film titles. Kuulasmaa was previously responsible for HBO Nordic and Netflix cooperation, and before that she was involved in the launching of Elisa’s audiobook and e-book service, Elisa Kirja. She holds Ms in Economics and Business Administration.
“I’d like to thank APFI’s board for entrusting me. I look forward to supporting the entire broad membership and the growth of the audiovisual sector, as well as improving the prerequisites for doing business for our members who do business in this ever-changing marketplace. In his three years as Executive Director, Teemu has created a well working organization and it’s easy to continue to do so with a team of such professionals. The audiovisual industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. Despite this, a record number of productions have been made in Finland in recent years. Rapid growth is already reflected in the shortage of experts, and one of my priorities will be to ensure adequate training in the field, also bearing in mind the principles of representation and sustainable development”, states Kuulasmaa.
Riina Kullas, Chairman of the Board, APFI, +358 40 563 0045, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Kuulasmaa, +358 50 345 0056, email@example.com