Icelandic film industry shows huge profits, but Icelandic films at risk of falling behind

A new article published by Iceland Review outlines just how much the Icelandic film industry is exploding.

The film industry in Iceland is expected to more than double its income this year, but there is a risk that the growth is mainly driven by foreign film projects, not domestic ones.

Þórhallur Gunnarsson, production director at Sagafilm, told RUV that the income from the film industry has gone from ISK 11 billion (EUR 88 million) last year to ISK 24 billion (EUR 191 million) this year, but much of that money is coming from international productions. There is no doubt that Icelandic society as a whole benefits from this huge boom, but it would be great to see some more Icelandic films contributing to this growth.

The issue is, though, that local productions rely on the Icelandic Film Fund, who are struggling to fund new productions. Funding from them is often a prerequisite for funding from elsewhere, so it is proving restricting for local productions. Gunnarsson says that the film fund needs to grow in how much it can provide.

Icelandic films are no doubt doing well internationally, but it’s important that we continue to see them grow.


Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.