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Norway opens its arms; welcomes more international productions

The Norwegian Film Institute has opened applications for its next round in funding for the new incentive scheme.

The incentive scheme brings foreign productions to Norway with the aim of promoting Norwegian culture, history, and nature. Let’s be fair, it’s not hard to promote places like this:

Naeroyfjord, a UNESCO heritage-listed fjord. Image by VisitNorway

Those wishing to make their films partially in Norway, hire Norwegians and show a little bit of Norway get up to 25% of their production costs (spent in Norway) reimbursed by the government.

The poster-child for the scheme is The Snowman (why it isn’t a fully Norwegian production still bothers me). Directed by Thomas Alfredson, the UK/US adaptation of the Norwegian author Jo Nesbø’s novel received the majority of the €4.7 million incentive budget. The German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender, Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson, US actor Val Kilmer and French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg starrer will benefit from a further  € 0,8 million to complete the shooting.

In the first round of incentives, the fund received eight applications with seven being granted funding.

Other films that have been granted funding are:

  • Downsizing: a social satire starring Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin and Christoph Waltz in which a guy realises he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself. The project received a € 0,5 million from the scheme. Directed by Alexander Payne.
  • The Postcard Killings: US cinematographer-turned-director Januz Kaminski’s thriller The Postcard Killings, with US actors Dakota Fanning and Patrick Dempsey in the leads, about a New York detective, Jacob Kanon, who investigates a series of seemingly senseless killings across Europe, received € 0,63 million backing.
  • The Bird Catcher: US cinematographer-turned-director Januz Kaminski’s thriller The Postcard Killings, with US actors Dakota Fanning and Patrick Dempsey in the leads, about a New York detective, Jacob Kanon, who investigates a series of seemingly senseless killings across Europe, received € 0,63 million backing.
  • Lost in Norway: Directed by Yi Hong Bo, Lost in Norway is about Zhang who travels to Norway and meets Samuel, a bitter man, who has lost his wife and contact with her daughter. Reluctantly, he is helped by Zhang to get back to his family. The project was granted €0.4 million
  • Grenseland: An 8x45min series about a homicide detective who becomes involved in criminal endeavours involving his own family. Suddenly he is stuck in the borderline. The project was granted €1.9 million. Dirs: Gunnar Vikene and Bård Fjulsrud.
  • Viking School: An animated drama series for children about three friends who try to navigate the action-packed world of Viking education. The project was granted €0.4 million. Director is Maurice Joyce.
  • Shetland 4: A 6×58 mins series about Thomas Malone who has his murder conviction overturned, and journalist Sally McCann is killed. Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez goes to Norway. €0.1 million

If you want to apply, head to the Norwegian Film Institute website here. 

CategoriesIndustry Norway
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.