Aito Media’s Erna Aalto rejoins Ilkka Hynninen & Ilkka Rahkonen at Ilkkas’ Creative Studio

Erna Aalto

Ilkkas’ Creative Studio (ICS), the Finnish company launched last year by Aito Media founder Ilkka Hynninen and former YLE director Ilkka Rahkonen, has hired producer Erna Aalto as its operations director.

Aalto starts 1 June and joins following a 15-year spell at Aito Media, which Hynninen launched in 2003. It was subsequently acquired by Lagardere Studios, which itself was bought by Mediawan in 2020.

During her time working at Aito, Aalto worked on shows including Nelonen/Elisa’s thriller Piiritys, YLE’s live-entertainment show Hengaillaan, Nelonen/Elisa’s crime drama Koskinen and YLE’s Sinkut Paljaana, based on Sony Pictures Television’s dating format Pretty & Single.

LR: Ilkka Rahkonen & Ilkka Hynninen

Hynninen and Rahkonen launched Ilkkas’ Creative Studio (ICS) in September to develop and produce scripted and documentary series aimed at global buyers.

Hynninen had left Aito in 2021 to co-found Take Two Studios with Eero Hietala and Lasse Koskinen. It is collaborating with ICS on a slate of co-productions, but both companies will now function as independent operations.

Rahkonen, CEO and founding partner of ICS, said: “It’s a real coup to have a professional of Erna’s vision and experience join our company. Erna can do it all, from attracting the best on- and off-screen talent to delivering projects that are truly captivating.

“She also knows us well, understands our values and culture, and shares our belief in the untapped international potential of Finnish content. We can’t think of a better person to help lead ICS into its next phase of development.”

Aalto added: “ICS is committed to advancing Finland’s production industry while adhering to the highest standards of sustainability, from caring for the wellbeing of its employees to minimising its environmental impact. I know from experience that our values align because I’ve worked with the two Ilkkas on many productions over the years — including some pretty challenging ones. ICS’ upcoming projects are inspiring not only in their creativity, but in their scale and international ambition.”

ICS’s slate includes comedy spoof NoPoFo, which was created after the prodco teamed up with comedy duo David Zucker and Pat Proft, best known for Airplane! and The Naked Gun! franchises. BBC Studios Nordics has boarded the show as a co-producer.

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