The study commissioned to BI Norwegian Business School maps out the effects of the pandemic on Nordic film and TV drama projects and analyses the national Covid measures for future needs.

The research paper 'Nordic Mission Possible' (working title) commissioned by Nordisk Film & TV Fond, is currently being carried out by Oslo-based BI:CCI (BI-Centre for Creative Industries),  in collaboration with the Danish Film Institute, the Swedish Film Institute, the Norwegian Film Institute, the Icelandic Film Centre, the Finnish Film Foundation, as well as Nordic producers associations.

Liselott Forsman, CEO at Nordisk Film & TV Fond said: “Next to our top-up financing and distribution supports, the Fund constantly looks at strategic means to help the Nordic industry grow and stay strong. Now when the industry has faced so sudden and severe challenges due to the pandemic, Nordisk Film & TV Fond has decided to launch a pan-Nordic study rooted in the concrete needs of the industry. The BI research will shed light on different challenges and analyse the effects of economic measures taken in five countries to find best practices so far and new solutions for the future, not forgetting the angle of sustainability.”

Forsman continues: “We are very happy to work with BI-Norwegian Business School which has a track record in the audio-visual sector and has conducted a Covid-19 and culture-related research earlier this year. I also want to thank the Nordic film institutes and production associations for offering their wisdom and national expertise. Their input has been vital in keeping this research fully-rooted in industry experiences and needs, and in keeping it truly pan-Nordic. The first results are quite promising already, and we look forward to the finished research in January 2021."

Terje Gaustad, Assistant Professor/Associate Dean at BI Norwegian Business School and one of the main authors, said the first part of the research was based on case studies, with qualitative interviews with producers. The second part - currently underway - is based on a survey in each Nordic country, carried out among members of Nordic producers’ associations. The survey in each Nordic country will reflect the different reality in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Explaining BI’s decision to conduct the research based on projects (rather than companies)’ economies, Gaustad said: “Our thinking was that so much of the industry’s economy is actually project-based. We felt studying the projects’ economy and understanding how Covid-19 has affected them was the best way to get the full picture of the industry’s challenges and how people have dealt with the situation. Also, this approach has allowed us to get a broader overview of each project from an economic as well as creative standpoint."

Commenting on some initial findings, Gaustad said: “Until now, international collaboration and co-production have been widely promoted, especially in Europe. But with Covid-19, producers who had developed networks, assets and competence to work on an international level, have had to readjust. They’ve been forced to re-evaluate the way projects are made, what projects to prioritise. Also, the restrictions to physical interactions due to Covid-19 have affected the quality of human exchanges. These have been negative effects. On another hand, we can see that Covid-19 has had a positive effect on carbon footprint.”

“The collaboration with Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the Nordic film institutes and producers’ association has been crucial to conduct this research”, added Gaustad.

Producers across the Nordics are invited to take part in the BI survey, to be sent out this week by the local film producers' associations.