Country Focus: Norway
Norway's Film & Kino announces drastic subsidy cuts for quality cinema
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Norwegian cinema and video trade association Film & Kino, which also represents Norwegian municipalities, has announced drastic cuts in the support for quality cinema, including cinémathèques and festivals, following failing income from DVD sales, from which the company receives a major part of its income.
Since 2006, Film & Kino has been solely responsible for public subsidy of Norway's film festivals. In 2011 the association - due to increasing revenues from DVD and Blue-ray disc sales - took over subsidising certain areas of national film culture from the Culture Ministry, then totalling €3.1 million annually.
In 2007 video sales reached €12.5 million, in 2013 they are estimated at €7.9 million, and the 2014 forecast is €6.8 million. Film & Kino has subsequently closed the S-kino programming service, reduced the venues for the touring cinema, Bygdekinoen, and found new publishers for the Film & Kino magazine.
New cuts will totally erase all backing of cinémathequès outside Oslo, film cultural activities for children and young audiences at the regional film centres; there will be less money for the import and distribution of quality and children's films and price increases for the Bygdekinoen, according to Film & Kino Chairman Knut Even Lindsjørn.
The country's film festivals - including the Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund - have been informed that their public funding of €900,000 annually will be diminished by 50% from 2014. "This would have dramatic consequences," said Haugesund mayor Petter Steen jr, who has expressed his concern to Parliament.