The Danish film industry is set to receive an additional cash boost from the local government which plans to establish a $5.7m (DKr50m) film fund with the participation of private investors.

The fund is part of a wider initiative to support Denmark's cultural sector which has recently surpassed both the IT and medical industries in growth. In 1998, the Danish cultural sector grossed $8.4bn (DKr75bn), employed 60,000 people and accounted for exports worth $1.8bn (DKr16bn). And according to Denmark's culture minister Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen and minister of trade and industry, Pia Gjellerup, the film industry alone has grown by 50% in just five years.

The fund is also part of a drive by the Danish government to develop closer co-operation between the cultural sector and the business community.

"We need an alternative to the foreign companies who, like Disney, have successfully made culture into a thriving business," Gjellerup said at a press conference on Wednesday (Nov 22). "The flood of culture from other countries can only be countered by the constant development of our own."

The government also aims to strike up collaborations between traditional industry and cultural institutions. Areas which were particularly highlighted include marketing, design, product development, management and education.

The new plans have no influence on the amount of support local producers currently receive, which was boosted by 75% back in 1998, from $22.6m (DKr200m) to $39.6m (DKr350m) a year. However, the initiatives closely follow requests from producers such as Zentropa's Peter Aalbaek Jensen and Nimbus Film's Birgitte Hald, who threatened to move their production outfits abroad when they failed to drum up sufficient local support for their English-language projects.

Nielsen and Gjellerup also plan to launch an inquiry into the pros and cons of establishing a regional film fund, such as neighbouring Sweden's increasingly popular Film i Vast.