Last year Nordisk Film & TV Fond had a total budget of NOK 108 million, 98% provided  by its 18 partners consisting of the Nordic Council of Ministers, five Nordic film institutes and 12 Nordic TV stations.

Thanks to recoupment from previous projects, the Fund was able to invest a record NOK 104.65 million in production, distribution support, cultural and training initiatives, up nearly 10% from 2017.

A total of 59 projects received production funding, including 25 feature films, 16 TV dramas and 18 documentaries. Almost an equal amount of support was allocated to feature film and TV drama, to follow up on market trends and higher demand for drama financing.

Petri Kemppinen, CEO at Nordisk Film & TV Fond said: “The main trend in 2018 was the rising demand in TV drama financing, where we received many more projects with diversified topics and excellent distribution.”

The highest production grant ever in the history of the Fund was allocated to the Norwegian TV series Atlantic Crossing, which received NOK 5 million (around €519,000).

Many fiction projects supported received wide critical and audience acclaim, such as the Danish drama series Ride Upon the Storm created by Adam Price, awarded the second Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize for Best Nordic Screenplay.

Feature films that had outstanding festival recognition include Iceland’s Woman at War by Benedikt Erlingsson, winner of the 2018 Nordic Council Film Prize, Sweden’s Border by Ali Abbasi, winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Prize and Queen of Hearts by May el-Toukhy, Sundance Audience Award-World Competition programme and triple winner in Göteborg.

Documentary films accounted for 10% of the overall grants. “The personal and the political, the universal and the urgent, the poetic and the activist – the whole palette of documentary voices and visions is represented among the projects supported,” said Karolina Lidin, Documentary Advisor. Films that received wide festival exposure include Sweden’s Mating by Lina Maria Mannheimer, Denmark’s Patrimonium by Swedish-born Carl Olsson, and Cold Case Hammarskjöld by Mads Brügger.

To comply with its remit to prioritise Children and Youth projects, Nordisk Film & TV Fond invested NOK 18.2 million in 36 projects targeting the youth audience, representing 17% of total grants. The highest production support of NOK 2.35 million went to the animated film Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond by Rasmus A. Sivertsen, set to open in September 2019.

In terms of gender balance, slightly more female-produced projects were supported (23F, 21M, 15 M/F), but men dominated both in directing (36M, 17F, 6 M/F) and in scriptwriting (28M, 10F, 3M/F) according to internal statistics.

As part of its strategy to help distributors in the marketing and launch of Nordic films outside their country of origin, Nordisk Film & TV Fond allocated a total of NOK 8,750,000 to distribution and dubbing, representing 8% of all funding. Altogether 56 single films were granted distribution support and 11 dubbing support.

Two types of films had wider transnational distribution:

  • children and youth films such as the animated films Ploey-You Never Fly Alone released across the Nordics outside its country of origin (Iceland) with the Fund’s support, and The Incredible Story of a Giant Pear released in three Nordic countries outside its country of origin (Denmark). 
  • medium-sized quality films selected at festivals, such as Ali Abbasi’s Border and Erik Poppe’s U-July 22.

In order to help creators and distributors of medium films improve their outreach outside their home country, Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s new scheme ‘Nordic Distribution Boost’ had its first round of projects in development selected in 2018: Denmark’s Valhalla, Finland’s Memory of Water, Iceland’s A White, White Day, Norway’s Beware of Children and The Innocents, Sweden’s My Life as a Comedian and Psychosis in Stockholm.

Among the Fund’s initiatives, Nordic Talents co-organised by the National Film School of Denmark was held for the 18th time. The Nordic Talents Pitch Prize went to Fanny Ovesen (Sweden) for her feature project Laura. Exceptionally, two Special Mention Prizes were handed out, to Brwa Vahabpour (Norway) for his feature film idea Silence (working title) and to Teresia Fant (Finland) for her cross-media project Stories from the Shower. The three talents are graduates from the Norwegian Film School.

Looking ahead, Kemppinen said Nordisk Film & TV Fond will commission studies on the viewership of documentaries and the challenge of co-producing for the younger audience, and continue to develop the Nordic Distribution Boost initiative to improve skills of producers and distributors and help them reach wider audiences in their neighbouring markets.

For the full 2018 annual report CLICK HERE.