Country Focus: Iceland
Best year ever for shooting American films – in Iceland
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Since last month (July), US director Darren Aronofsky's sixth feature, Noah, has been filming on locations in Iceland - the $130 million Disruption Entertainment, New Regency Pictures and Protozoa Pictures production, retelling the biblical story of Noah's Ark, stars Russell Crowe (pictured), Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Hopkins.
Noah arrived when Oblivion left: US director Joseph Kosinski's sci-fi-adventure-actioner, starring Tom Cruise as a veteran soldier sent to a distant planet to destroy the remains of an alien race, co-stars Morgan Freeman and Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
The tiny Nordic European country at the confluence of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans with a 319,575 population expected 2012 to become the busiest year ever servicing international productions, according to film commissioner Einar Hansen Tomasson, head of Film in Iceland, which promotes the island for its locations and 20% rebate for foreign producers.
"The 20% incentive - the 20% reimbursement of production costs spent in Iceland - is obviously an important reason for international producers to film here, but there are others: the great variety of landscapes within a one-two-hour radius, the availability of local experienced crews, and the weak currency.
"Here, within short distances, you will find black sand beaches, black deserts, caves, green valleys, sulphur mountains, snow, glaciers, waterfalls and lakes. That is why Iceland has stood in for the Poles, Alaska, Greenland, Russia, Siberia, Minnesota, Iwo Jima, Himalaya, adding speculative lands of magic of the future."