Ministers’ Plans to Boost Film Industry Criticized Skip to content

Ministers’ Plans to Boost Film Industry Criticized

By Iceland Review

Members of the associations of professional filmmakers rejected at a joint meeting last week the draft to an agreement on policy making for five years on actions to boost Icelandic filmmaking and film culture presented by Minister of Education and Culture Katrín Jakobsdóttir and Minister of Industry Katrín Júlíusdóttir.


During the filming of Hafið by Baltasar Kormákur. Archive photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The ministers’ plans included a fixed 20 percent repayment in taxes for foreign filmmakers who shoot on location in Iceland, which was disputed within the Icelandic parliament’s Budget Committee and among members of their own parties, Fréttablaðið reports.

The representatives of the coalition parties, the Social Democrats and the Left-Greens, in the Budget Committee reasoned that if such an arrangement is established in law, the amount the state treasury would have to cover because of filmmaking each year would vary and could easily outgrow the budget.

Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir, chair of the Icelandic Filmmakers Association, said the ministers’ ideas on boosting the film industry have changed drastically since last spring, “at which point we had a good basis for an agreement.”

The ministers suggest that the state’s contribution to the Film Fund increase gradually from ISK 452 to ISK 700 million (USD 3.8-5.8 million, EUR 2.8-4.4 million) in 2016.

Filmmakers say this is “ridiculous”, demanding that funding increase to ISK 700 million as early as 2013. They were scheduled to meet with the ministers today.

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