Norway finally has a program in place that offers incentives to attract foreign filmmakers to the country. It’s aimed at promoting Norway as a film location, but now some local producers fear it will send film funding abroad.
The Norwegian government had been under pressure for years to adopt an incentive program, so that Norway could compete as a film location against other countries. Costs in Norway are so high that several local filmmakers also often go abroad.
The program, which took effect from January 1, offers a 25 percent refund of costs if Norway is chosen as a film location. Among the projects recently snared by the program is the filming of Norwegian author Jo Nesbø’s crime novel Snømannen (The Snowman), due to begin in Oslo later this winter.
Complaints were emerging already this week, though. One local production company, Storyline Studios, fears the refunds offered to foreign producers will cut into film support offered to them. “We’re afraid the program, as it stands now, will weaken the Norwegian production companies’ ability to compete,” Arild Karslen, leader of Storyline Studios, told newspaper Dagsavisen on Tuesday. Filmmakers have also complained about a short hearing process and that just NOK 45 million (just over USD 5 million) was allocated to the incentive program.