Businesses Stung By Film Crew’s Unpaid Bills

Film Crew Leaves Without Paying

Credit: Narek87/

What happens when a film crew doesn’t pay its bills? Local entrepreneurs in Lapland are grappling with this very issue.

In the early months of this year, an international film crew, working on Europe’s most expensive series titled ‘Constellation,’ descended on Ivalo and Inari with a team of 200 to 300 members. However, they left behind unpaid invoices amounting to over a million euros, according to YLE.

Unsettled Bills Leave Businesses in Limbo

Several local business owners reported that the crew consumed a plethora of services but departed without settling their dues. Some invoices have been pending for six months, with the largest one nearing €300,000.

Support Withheld Amidst Financial Strain

The Aurora Estate Hotel in Ylläki is one of the affected businesses. A joint statement from Aurora Estate and other companies revealed that Business Finland will withhold the €1.5 million incentive support granted to the production unless Turbine Studios, the series producer, clears its debts.

Heidi Seikkula, CEO of Aurora Estate, highlighted the challenges they faced during the production. ‘We ran out of food in a couple of days, because there were more people there than we were told,’ Seikkula remarked.

While some payments were made in advance, the outstanding amount remains significant, especially for a business like Aurora Estate. The unpaid sum represents roughly 12 per cent of their turnover, equating to approximately €80,000, given their last fiscal year’s turnover of €676,000.

Many entrepreneurs are hesitant to voice their concerns publicly. ‘We are afraid of hate speech, and that the work in the field will run out,’ Seikkula admitted. The financial strain has led to salary cuts for the entrepreneurs, though they’ve ensured their teams are paid. ‘We have paid the salaries of our teams, but we have not received all of our own salaries,’ Seikkula added.

Despite multiple attempts to communicate with Turbine Studios’ German department and Apple TV, where the series is hosted, the issues remain unresolved. ‘They say they’ve tried to sort things out with us, but they haven’t,’ Seikkula stated, emphasising that they’ve provided all necessary information and materials throughout the production.

Timo Metsä-Tokila, Business Finland’s director responsible for financial services, clarified the conditions for the production incentive. The incentive, amounting to a substantial €1.5 million euros, is paid at a maximum of 25 per cent of the realised costs of international production in Finland. However, it will only be disbursed once a payment application, signed by an auditor, is submitted for the costs.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals. When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.