2006: another excellent year for local films
by Annika Pham
2006 is well on the way of becoming another record year for Norwegian films at home, with admissions reaching a level not seen since the last 30 years (over 1.9m), except for the exceptional year of 2003 (2.4m).
Stein Slyngstad, head of the Norwegian Film Fund (NFF), said that ten years ago annual admissions for domestic films were at around 780,000, but after the 2001 film reform, average yearly admissions for local films levelled at 1.8m. This year, the average attendance per Norwegian film is 90,000, and among the 21 new films released (including five documentaries), eight passed the 100,000 mark.
Those included the children’s films Svein and the Rat [+see also:
film profile] (141,189 admissions) andThe Junior Olsen Gang at the Circus (243,220); as well as Uro [+see also:
film profile] (176,626), a thriller by newcomer Stefan Falldbakken; High School Teacher Pedersen (184,777), a quality drama by established filmmaker Hans Petter Moland; Free Jimmy [+see also:
film profile] (187,109), a daring, animated feature by cartoonist-turned filmmaker Christopher Nielsen; Cold Prey (244,000), a horror film by up-and-coming filmmaker Roar Uthaug; and the number one title Playing Wide [+see also:
film profile] (258,329), a football comedy by Bjørn Fast Nagell.
Hence, the success of local titles has been spread among a wide range of genres, and films have been able to appeal to various segments of the local population, a vital element in keeping cinema at a satisfactory level.
“People have regained confidence in Norwegian films”, stressed Slyngstad, citing a recent poll showing that two-thirds of audiences of Norwegian films found them “good” to “very good”. The higher volume of production over the last five years – approximately 20 per year, twice the amount compared to the 1990s – has also been a key element in increasing domestic films’ market share to 15-20%, but, according to Slyngstad, there is still quite a way to go before reaching the target of 20 films and a 25% market share set by the local government and industry professionals.
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