Authorisation to show audiovisual programmes

Unclassified audiovisual programmes can be publicly shown at special events (such as film festivals and film and gaming events) but an authorisation granted by the National Audiovisual Institute is required.

The underlying principle of the Act on Audiovisual Programmes is that audiovisual programmes that are publicly shown, distributed, sold and made available to an audience by other means must be classified with age limit and marked with age limit and content symbols. However, the National Audiovisual Institute may authorise public showing of unclassified and unlabelled audiovisual programmes at events organised for the purpose of providing them (authorisation to show audiovisual programmes). 

The authorisation may be granted for events such as the following: 

  • film or other festivals and cultural events
  • gaming events
  • film screenings 

The authorisation is required when audiovisual programmes without a Finnish age limit classification or a PEGI age limit classification are provided. You can check the Finnish age limit for classified audiovisual programmes in the age limit database IKLU and the age limit for digital games at 

  • No authorisation is required if only classified audiovisual programmes or audiovisual programmes that are exempted from the classification and labelling obligation are shown at the event. If there is an age limit for the audiovisual programme it must be observed. 
  • No authorisation is required if the screening event is only intended for adults, and children cannot attend the event even when accompanied by their parents or guardians. 
  • In addition to the authorisation granted by the National Audiovisual Institute, the event organiser may also need other permits, such as those concerning screening rights, which are not granted by the National Audiovisual Institute. 

The application for the authorisation can be submitted by anyone or any party. 

The authorisation may be granted for a single event or for a specific period.

No authorisations are granted for regular cultural activities, such as continuous film screenings or film club activities.

The authorisation is granted on the condition that the underlying principle of the Act on Audiovisual Programmes (protecting children against audiovisual programmes harmful to their development) is observed. The authorisation holder must set suitable age limits for unclassified audiovisual programmes and observe them for the whole duration of the authorisation. 

The authorisation must be granted before the event start and it cannot be granted retroactively.

A party not satisfied with the authorisation decision can request rectification from the National Audiovisual Institute. The decision on the rectification request can be appealed against to the Administrative Court.

Applying for the authorisation 

  • The application form (The content is in Finnish) and the appendices to it must be sent as soon as the programme for the event has been finalised (if possible, one month before the event) as an email PDF attachment to or as a letter to National Audiovisual Institute, PO Box 16, 00501 Helsinki, Finland (Reference: MEKU). 
  • The application should not be sent to any specific public official. 
  • The up-to-date application form can be found on this page. If the application form does not open, please contact the registry of the National Audiovisual Institute.
  • The list of the programmes shown at the event (both classified and unclassified audiovisual programmes) and the synopses (content descriptions) of the audiovisual programmes in Finnish, Swedish or English must be appended to the application in writing. 
  • A fee of EUR 165 is charged for the authorisation. The fee may be waived on application.
  • For more information, contact KAVI experts at

Waiving the authorisation fee 

The authorisation fee may be waived on application if the production of the performance concerns educational or cultural activities of central or local government or non-profit activities that promote general cultural activities. 

The applicant must provide a free-form written description of why the authorisation should be granted free of charge. The description can be submitted in Finnish, Swedish or English, and its extent and length is at the discretion of the applicant. If no application for the waiving of the fee is submitted, no description is required. 

The following matters can be covered in the description: 

  • Which central or local government educational or cultural activities the production of the performance concerns? 
  • On what grounds should the event for which the authorisation is applied be considered a non-profit activity that promotes general cultural activities? 
  • A statement on the non-profit nature of the event or the organiser, or a certificate issued by the Finnish Tax Authority stating that the party behind the event is a non-profit organisation is not considered sufficient.