80% of all films supported by the Nordisk Film & TV Fond are released in more than one country
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- In 2015, the Oslo-based Nordisk Film & TV Fond co-funded 59 feature films, TV dramas and documentaries in the five Nordic countries
“In 2015, Nordic cinema admissions grew by almost 8%, and TV audiences continue enjoying the wide range of new Nordic drama series. While television viewers seem to have an appetite for programmes from their neighbouring countries, the situation for cinema is more complex,” said Petri Kemppinen, CEO of the Nordisk Film & TV Fond (NFTF), in the report published on 19 April, for its 25th-anniversary year.
Operating on an annual budget of €8.9 million, provided by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, the Oslo-based fund spent 80% on film and TV fiction, supporting 23 feature films (as against 28 in 2014), 17 TV dramas (14 in 2014) and 19 documentaries (20 in 2014).
The features include Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen’s The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile], selected for Un Certain Regard at the Cannes International Film Festival (11-22 May), and Norwegian director Benjamin Ree’s Magnus [+see also:
film profile], the documentary portrait of Magnus Carlsen, the youngest ever World Chess Champion, launched at the ongoing Tribeca Film Festival in New York (13-24 April).
Among the NFTF-backed TV series are Swedish pubcaster SVT’s Midnight Sun (with France’s Canal+) and Norwegian pubcaster NRK’s Nobel, which were both selected for Paris’ current Séries Mania Co-Production Market at the Forum des Images (15-24 April).
Scripted by Mette Bølstad and Stephen Uhland, directed by Per Olav Sørensen and produced by Håkon Briseid for Norway’s Monster Scripted, Nobel (8 x 45 mins) stars Aksel Hennie as a Norwegian soldier who returns from service in Afghanistan. That same night, he sings lullabies by his son’s bed, but the next day, he fatally stabs an Afghani, apparently saving a woman’s life. But there is more to it than that: he has brought war home with him.
The first TV drama co-produced by Sweden and France, Midnight Sun (8 x 52 mins), stars French actress Leïla Bekhti as a French police officer who goes to Kiruna in northern Sweden to investigate the murder of a Frenchman. Created by Swedish directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein, it was produced by Sweden’s Nice Drama (MTG), and France’s Atlantique Productions and GMT-Lagardère Entertainment.
In order to further detect the local and international performance of Nordic films and TV series, last year the Nordisk Film & TV Fond published Nordic Films Crossing Borders, which concluded that NFTF support is a kind of quality hallmark on a production. “Nearly 80% of the titles we have funded were not only released domestically, but in another Nordic country as well,” Kemppinen explained.