DISTRIBUTION / FILM

Distributors value the support from the Fund in times of Covid-19

22 MAY 2020

Into The Darkness, De Forbandede År / PHOTO: Norsk Filmdistribusjon, Henrik Petit

The Fund’s distribution and dubbing support entices local distributors to take extra risks to bring Nordic films to local audiences.

After a near two-month lock down, Norwegian cinemas opened again May 7, under challenging circumstances, with screen capacity often below 25% due to the 50-person limit per auditorium rule linked to Covid-19, and 2-meter distance between individuals or groups.

While most distributors - including the US majors - have postponed their bigger releases for the fall or early 2021, some have chosen to take their chance now, to take advantage of greater screen space, and starting times at the cinemas.

Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s flexible distribution support - available even to films non-beneficiaries of production support - has played a role in bringing quality non-national Nordic films to local audiences.

The Danish comedy Klovn 3-The Final for instance, was released by Nordisk Film in Norway, the first week of reopening of local cinemas, and benefitted from a NOK160,000 distribution support from the Fund.

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Distributors value the support from the Fund in times of Covid-19

Klown 3 The Final / PHOTO: Nfd

“When the cinemas had to close down, it was just before our opening of Klovn 3,” said Nordisk Film Norway’s country manager Morten Christoffersen. “Our view since then has been that cinemas need exclusive titles when they open and the audience needs comedies. Our campaign was close to 100% digital, so we were able to push most of it,” he said.

“The support from Nordisk Film & TV Fond is extremely important and most of the money went into the digital campaign. We will closely monitor the number of screens to adjust our spend accordingly,” he stressed.

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Distributors value the support from the Fund in times of Covid-19

Morten Christoffersen / PHOTO: Nfd

Rasmus Krogh, Nordisk Film's Director of Local Acquisition added: “There’s no doubt that support from the fund is a very important element when it comes to releases of Nordic titles elsewhere than in the country of origin. Providing P&A and dubbing support helps distributors and producers in two ways. It mitigates the financial risk of a release and secondly it enables distributors and producers to push harder for the size of the release, knowing that you need not bear all the risk yourselves. It’s also very welcoming that the Fund’s approach makes it possible to support the release of films which are not production supported, such as Klovn 3 – the Final in Norway.”

So far the film has sold 1,307 tickets from 45 screens. Last weekend, the only new Nordic non-national film at the Top 15 in Norway was Anders Refn’s WW2 hit Into the Darkness (De forbandede år).

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Distributors value the support from the Fund in times of Covid-19

Rasmus Krogh / PHOTO: Nfd

Distributor Norsk Filmdistribusjon (sub-distributor to Scanbox titles in Norway) was granted NOK 80,000 towards the film’s marketing costs. Jarle Namtvedt, Marketing Director & Publicity Manager said he finds it “positive in the current period, to give audiences movies from the Nordic countries, stories closer to home.”

Namtvedt said that thanks to the support from Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Norsk Filmdistribusjon was able to create a bigger marketing campaign, with online marketing and to offer the film to more cinemas. The film’s director, key cast and producer took part in the promotion. Into the Darkness opened at number 13 in Norway, with 410 total admissions.

Other films currently in cinemas in Sweden, that benefitted from the Fund’s distribution support include the Norwegian animated film Ella Bella Bingo, for which Scanbox was granted NOK200,000. Since its March 27 release, the film has sold 955 tickets.

Also supported is Niels Arden Oplev’s drama Daniel whose Swedish distributor Nordisk Film was granted NOK75,000 towards the film’s release May 8. So far the drama has attracted 131 cinemagoers.

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