Ministers to Boost Funding for Icelandic Films Skip to content

Ministers to Boost Funding for Icelandic Films

Minister of Industry Katrín Júlíusdóttir and Minister of Education and Culture Katrín Jakobsdóttir wrote in a joint article in Fréttablaðið today that they intend to increase funding for Icelandic filmmaking and establish law on a 20 percent repayment of taxes for foreign filmmakers who shoot on location in Iceland.


Archive photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The latter action is expected to clear the path for a Hollywood film project on Noah’s Arc by director Darren Aronofsky, who is currently in Iceland to scout possible locations for his film.

He told Fréttablaðið that higher repayment would result in more opportunities. “In the minds of Hollywood and the film studios everything revolves around the repayment, it outranks creative values.”

“It will at least make a lot of difference in the case of my movie and almost have a deciding effect on whether we’ll come or not,” Aronofsky said, adding that Iceland suits the project perfectly. The production cost is estimated to be ISK 15.6 billion (USD 131 million, EUR 98 million).

In their article the ministers reason that the experience shows that higher repayment in taxes for such projects result in increased operations and thereby higher revenue.

In 2009 the repayment was increased temporarily from 14 to 20 percent until the end of this year. The ministers now intend to extend the 20 percent repayment for the coming five years with a new legislation.

They say that with repayments and direct disbursements combined the Icelandic state is contributing ISK 1.1 billion (USD 9 million, EUR 7 million) to the film industry this year, of which ISK 923 million (USD 8 million, EUR 6 million) have gone to domestic production, and the contribution has never been higher.

In their article the ministers state that filmmakers have been notified of a draft of an agreement which includes that contributions to the Icelandic Film Fund will increase gradually from ISK 452 million (USD 4 million, EUR 3 million) this year to ISK 700 million (USD 6 million, EUR 4 million) in 2016.

“Grants from the Film Fund are often a condition for further funding abroad and so every króna contributed to a project by the Film Fund multiplies,” Katrín and Katrín write.

The film industry was subjected to controversial cutbacks following the banking collapse in 2008 but the ministers say that there are now grounds for developments in Icelandic filmmaking.

Click here to read other recent film news and here to read about Tom Cruise’s planned film project in Iceland.


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