New policies welcomed but experts say more funding is needed.
Swedish films can now get public funding even if they are not aimed at theatrical, but DVD or digital distribution. Still neither the DVD trade nor the broadband operators signed or will contribute to the three-year contract on film support which was this week agreed by the Swedish government and film/TV industry.
The annual budget was raised by $4.4 million (SEK 30 million) – half from from the state – to reach a total of €56 million (SEK 380 million); part of extra the money is earmarked for television drama, films for children and young audiences, shorts and documentaries.
The agreement also outlines the ambitions for Swedish cinema, such as increasing theatrical admissions, achieving the largest local market share in the Nordic countries, equally supporting men and women filmmakers, and being represented at Berlin, Cannes and the 10 world’s top ten festivals.
Managing director Anna Serner, of the Swedish Film Institute which will execute the contract, was on the whole ”satisfied with the result, although without support from all corners. But the concept of distribution has been modernised, just a shame there was no new money.”
”The goals of the agreement are all relevant, but also very extensive and difficult to reach without more finance. It is importannt to keep the continuity in feature film production, now we lose $3.2 million (SEK 21.9 million) subsidy. But by and large I am happy with the positive changes,” Serner concluded.
A newcomer among the signatories, representing the Swedish regional film centres, managing director of Trollhättan’s Film i Väst, Tomas Eskilsson [pictured], added that in spite of the additional $4.4 million the contract is still underfinanced – more state resources are needed.
”However, the regions have for a long time emphasised the need of a modern and offensive policy which can improve the position of Swedish cinema both locally and internationally. The new agreement has elements of this, both public and artistic targets are more specific and progressive,” Eskilsson said.