Norway announces plan for filming incentive modelled on Iceland offering
The Norwegian government has announced plans to launch a national filming incentive inspired by Iceland’s support programme. Details are set to be confirmed in the next few months for a launch sometime in 2016, but a reimbursement of 20% to 25% is reportedly being targeted.
"This is a breakthrough for Norway," said Sigmund Elias Holm of the Western Norway Film Commission: "It clearly shows that there's a political and administrative will to make Norway a competitive filming location.
"The Nordic countries have tremendously talented creative industry, which has sparked the world's interest in Nordic stories and settings."
Norway has had difficulty appealing to big-budget international productions in recent years due to the lack of a national filming incentive.
Dramatic natural vistas and spectacular fjords are Norway’s obvious international selling points. However, the country faces stiff competition from the likes of Iceland and New Zealand, both of which have offered more cost-effective alternatives over the past few years, as well as more crew with direct experience of large-scale studio production.
Norway still attracts high-profile international shoots, but they're often restricted in scope locally, in part because of the cost of production.
Alex Garland’s acclaimed artificial intelligence drama Ex Machina (see images) is among the most recent examples, filming scenic visuals in Norway for two weeks, before shooting studio work at Pinewood in the UK.
“Norway doubles brilliantly for the Colorado Rockies, Canada and Alaska,” said producer Andrew Macdonald when Ex Machina was released in the UK in January.
“It felt a bit like Scotland, where I’m from, but Scotland on super drugs. It’s incredible; these vertical hills, waterfalls everywhere and deep, deep fjords and sea lochs.”
A competitive filming incentive backed up by a generous film fund should help raise Norway’s international profile and help encourage the continuing development of the country’s production infrastructure.
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