Four Nordic film sales companies have joined together to create an informal lobbying group, Viking Export.
Members include Svensk Filmindustri (SF) and NonStop Film Sales from Sweden and Nordisk International and Trust Film Sales from Denmark. Ann-Kristin Westerberg of SF has been asked to chair the group.
Viking's agenda is to improve contact and co-ordination with similar European organisations such as Unifrance Film International of France and Germany's Export Union, and to ensure regular communication with Brussels and the European Union.
Already top of the agenda is the state of organised sales markets. "Like the Germans, we want three markets per year: Berlin, Cannes and an autumn AFM. Berlin is a good market, but currently suffers from the presence of the AFM," said Westerberg. "I'm grateful that London did not take place this year. Buyers are fresher and our costs are down."
Viking joins ADEF, an association of smaller French sales companies, in complaining about the cost and bureaucratic nightmare that is involved with attending MIFED. ADEF member, Hengameh Panahi of Celluloid Dreams said: "With Mifed we pay and pay and pay. Their print handling fees are monstrous and there are all sort of penalty charges they levy. This year we have been asked to pay to come here, although we have already paid once through Unifrance. That was not the agreement."
Although the Nordic region boasts other sellers, Viking's members are the Nordic sales companies that primarily handle local-language films.