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INSTITUTIONS Norway

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Norway increases its incentive programme by €1.3 million

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- The first two international productions to benefit from the programme - Tomas Alfredson’s The Snowman and Alexander Payne’s Downsizing – spent €21 million in the Scandinavian country

Norway increases its incentive programme by €1.3 million
Michael Fassbender as Harry Hole on the shoot for The Snowman (© Trond Solberg/VG)

The Norwegian Government has decided to increase the budget for its rebate scheme for international productions shooting in Norway. This sees the approximately €4.8 million budget, for its first year, increase to around €6.1 million for 2017, as part of the €53 million allocated for domestic film production. The Norwegian Film Institute had previously suggested the programme would be increased by app €2.9 million.

Starting this year, international productions filming in Norway are able to apply for a 25% rebate on approved expenditure in Norway. This scheme is expected to increase the number of these productions, thus promoting Norwegian culture, history and nature, adding to the knowledge and experience of the industry, and stimulating growth and international collaboration.

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At the recent Norwegian International Film Festival in Haugesund, Norway’s Olsberg SPI Consultancy published a preliminary report of the first year’s results. Swedish director Tomas Alfredson’s UK-US production of The Snowman received around €4.4 million of support while US director Alexander Payne’s Downsizing received approximately €400,000 – but the two productions spent €21 million during the shoots, creating the 142 full-time equivalent jobs with a total of €11.3 million in payroll costs (generating €3.6 million tax income for the state).

Starring German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender, Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson, US actor Val Kilmer and French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg alongside Norway’s Jakob Oftebro and Sweden’s Sofia Helin, The Snowman (read the news) was adapted from Norwegian author Jo Nesbø’s thriller about the anti-authority, anti-sobriety Oslo detective, Harry Hole, by US screenwriters Hossein Amini and Matthew Michael Carnahan. Produced by the UK’s Working Title and Hollywood’s Universal Pictures, the film will have its world premiere on 13 October, 2017.

With a reduced Norwegian shoot, after having received limited incentive funding, Downsizing features US actor Matt Damon in the lead, supported by Kristen Wiig, Alec Baldwin, Christoph Waltz and Neil Patrick Harris, among others. The social satire/sci-fi dramedy was co-scripted by Payne and Jim Taylor,and was otherwise filmed in Omaha and Los Angeles, USA, and Toronto and Ontario, Canada. Staged by America’s Annapurna Pictures and Paramount Pictures, it has been scheduled for a late 2017 launch.

Among the new productions already confirmed for a Norwegian shoot is His Dark Materials, a TV mini-series based on UK author Philip Pullman’s trilogy of children’s novels, which will be produced by the BBC, Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema. The first novel of the trilogy, Northern Lights, has previously been adapted in The Golden Compass (2007) by US director Chris Weitz, which was partly set in Norway.

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