Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Road, a Helsinki Theater, The Moon

Today Netflix is thrilled to enter Finland.  I’m Erik Barmack, director of content, and I’m reminded of the time I first visited Helsinki.

It was the week after we’d decided to commit to building a great streaming service here, fresh off a flight, I found myself in Helsinki with two hours to kill before dinner.  And so I did what I always do during these situations  – I went into the first movie theater I could find and bought a ticket for the next show.  I ordered popcorn (butter, a shake of salt) and settled in.  Iron Sky happened to be playing, a Finnish film about (among many things) Nazis who escaped to the far side of the moon.  It was outlandish, funny, slickly sci-fi, and highly entertaining. 

I’d come a long way around the world, perhaps, I thought, to watch this particular film on that particular day, hopeful that our team could find great content, stream it throughout Finland onto thousands of devices, and provide entertainmemt to our members when we’d launch many months later. 

On the way back to the hotel, this led me to thinking about that filmmaker’s journey –how difficult and improbable it must have been to get a movie like this made.  That night, I discovered that a fair chunk of his project had been crowd-sourced – thousands of individual fans from around the world had invested small amounts to make this rather complicated movie a reality.  So Iron Sky has had its own long, twisty journey out from Finland.  It has since been exhibited around the world, gone on to do gonzo box office numbers, and has become a leading example of a new type of film financing.

We are proud to have the exclusive streaming premiere of Iron Sky on Netflix as one of the many films and TV series that we have gathered for you.  We’re thrilled to be back in Helsinki today to celebrate our launch and we hope that you enjoy our great films and television series, even if it took a journey to the moon to get there. 

So welcome! We’re excited to be launching today and would love your feedback.  We are on Facebook, Twitter and


Erik Barmack is director of content at Netflix