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LEGISLATION Norway

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Historic re-organisation of Norwegian film industry (1)

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“This is the biggest and widest transformation of Norwegian cinema since the 1980s”, said Minister of Culture Trond Giske last Friday when announcing the new White Paper on Film Policy before an audience of local industry representatives and journalists gathered at Oslo’s Sora Moria Cinema.

The cornerstone of the White Paper submitted to the Norwegian Parliament is the creation of a centralised film body, the Norwegian Film Institute, which as of next year will replace the current three main agencies – the Norwegian Film Fund, Norwegian Film Development and the Norwegian Film Institute (NFI) (currently responsible for the promotion and preservation of Norwegian films) – as well as encompass the activities of the Norwegian Film Commission.

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Under the new system, the National Library will oversee all matters related to film archives and restoration. In total, some 100 employees will work for the future Norwegian “super body” although it is not yet clear who will run it.

“The term for Stein Slyngstad, head of the Norwegian Film Fund, and for myself will end at the beginning of 2008, so for the moment we have, among other things, to go through the process of establishing a professional management and appointing a new leader. All we can do now is roll up our sleeves and look ahead”, commented Vigdis Lian, head of the NFI.

Film & Kino will continue to oversee the Norwegian video and exhibition sectors (on behalf of local municipalities who own most cinemas in Norway) but will also be responsible for the digitalisation of all Norwegian cinemas, which will be partly financed by levies on cinema tickets and video sales and rentals. The government has also placed greater emphasis on Film & Kino’s work with children and youth as a key coordinator between local municipalities and schools.

Film activity and production throughout the country will be reinforced with increased support to regional film centres (four so far), which will continue to be admininstered by the regions.

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