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INDUSTRY Nordic countries

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Nordisk Film & TV Fond publishes new Annual Report

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- The report compiled by the Nordic organisation highlights an increased level of gender parity and unprecedented film distribution support

Nordisk Film & TV Fond publishes new Annual Report
The Square by Ruben Östlund

The Nordic film industry is in robust health, and considerable progress has been made in terms of gender equality and film distribution support. These are the key points outlined in the 2017 Nordisk Film & TV Fond Annual Report, published on 4 April. The organisation, established in Oslo in 1990, is one of the main funding bodies in the Nordic region, and provides financial support to Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Danish and Icelandic high-quality audiovisual productions. 

Last year, the fund invested about €9.9 million in audiovisual production and distribution as well as other cultural initiatives, such as the Nordic Council Film Prize and Nordic Talents. Production support for fiction filmmaking accounted for 77% of the annual budget, a 3% drop from 2016. However, more film and TV projects received financial support in 2017 (26 feature films and 15 TV dramas in total): worth mentioning among these are Felix and Mans Herngren’s The Sunny Side [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 (Sweden), Erik Poppe’s U - July 22 [+see also:
film review
film focus
interview: Erik Poppe
film profile
]
 (Norway), and the TV dramas State of Happiness (Norway) and Warrior (Denmark). Within the fiction section, 36% of the budget was invested in drama series and 19% in children’s or youth projects. Documentary funding remained fairly stable in comparison with the 2016 figures, with 22 production grants given out. 

Furthermore, distribution and dubbing support increased significantly, reaching about €935,000 in 2017 and accounting for 9% of the entire budget. The fund’s strategy aims to support children’s and family films, domestic hits with good outreach potential in neighbouring countries, and international festival success stories, such as Ruben Östlund’s The Square [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile
]
. Speaking about the distribution strategies implemented by the fund, CEO Petri Kemppinen explained: “We keep boosting the pan-Nordic perspective as a key to better outreach. Documentaries are constantly proving their impact, and in film distribution, we see the number of Nordic films released growing. Getting more than 100,000 cinema admissions outside the home country is an acceptable result. For the new year, 2018, we started out with new looks. Fresh, open-minded, modern, building bridges – that is how I see us, and that is what our new logo and corporate image reflect.”

As for gender equality, 41% of the funded projects (63 in total) were produced by women only, and 13% had a combination of male and female producers. The share of women producers therefore increased by 6% compared to 2016’s figures. Women directors’ share reached 32% across all funding for features, TV dramas and documentaries, an increase of 5% from 2016. Finally, women writers represented only 29% of all projects supported, up 6% from last year. 

Despite these remarkable achievements, after following a rising trend for two years, cinemagoing declined in all of the Nordic countries, except in Finland. On the whole, 51.8 million tickets were sold in 2017, representing a 4.6% drop from 2016. Finland had the highest market shares for domestic productions, reaching 27% of the audience with local fare for the third year in a row. This positive trend was mainly driven by the biggest Finnish hit of the year, Aku Louhimies’ The Unknown Soldier [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]

For further information, the full report is available here.

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