Film finance incentives under pressure

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Norway’s film industry pushed for, and won, finance incentives to film in Norway. It remains questionable, however, whether the funding and tax breaks serve their purpose.

A new study, revealed at the opening of the annual Tromsø International Film Festival this week, noted that the incentives contribute towards a “more professional and healthy economy” within the Norwegian film branch. The government has budgeted for NOK 71 million worth of incentives to film in Norway this year.

They don’t, however, always meet a stated goal of “furthering Norwegian culture, history and nature.” The latest Mission Impossible film, for example, featured its star Tom Cruise in a desperate scene on Norway’s famed Preikestolen mountain plateau, but in the film itself, the scene “was portrayed as though the hero was in Kashmir,” noted the study by Oslo-based Menon Economics.

Technology, noted Menon, “can make links between Norway as a place for coverage and description, and as a production country much weaker than before.” Seeing Norway’s scenic landscapes, for example, won’t always lure movie-goers to Norway. It remains unclear how scenes shot in Norway for the latest James Bond film will be portrayed, and its filming in the forests north of Oslo also sparked complaints and protests last winter.

“This evaluation is the first step in a process that will result in new rules for funding, and we will evaluate this together with the Norwegian Film Institute,” Culture Minister Trine Skei Grande told newspaper Dagsavisen. “We have seen the beginnings now of an engaged discussion here at the film festival.”

newsinenglish.no staff