Iceland has increased its production incentive scheme from 14% to 20% to encourage the film and TV industries to shoot in the country.
The scheme, introduced in April, will reimburse up to 20% of all expenses incurred while shooting in Iceland.
Einar Tómasson, film commissioner at Reykjavik’s Film in Iceland, says combined with the decline in value of the Icelandic Kronur, it will make the country a more attractive location for international productions.
“The system is very simple. As long as a production has been approved, the state will refund 20% of Icelandic costs, against 14% before the new law. When Clint Eastwood shot Flags of Our Fathers here, in 2006, $1 was buying him 62 kronur. Today $1 is around 130 kronur.”
Since the incentive scheme was introduced in Iceland 2001, 57 film and TV productions have benefited from the programme – half of these were local projects with foreign partners.
Eastwood filmed both Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima in Iceland, which has also hosted two James Bond pictures – A View to a Kill (John Glen/1985) and Die Another Day (Lee Tamahori/2002) – as well as Simon West’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001).
Tómasson added: “For its small size, with its stunning nature and amazing locations, efficient infra-structure and skilled technicians – we have no film workers’ union, so crews can be smaller – Iceland can really offer good value to foreign producers.”
Since Iceland is a member of EEA (the European Economic Area), film and television productions in Iceland – except commercials and music videos – are also eligible for grants from the EU and EU countries. If more than 80% of the production investment is spent in Iceland, reimbursement is calculated on total expenses within the EEA.