The Icelandic Film Foundation, the new name for The Icelandic Film Fund, has appointed Laufey Gudjonsdottir as its new managing director. .
The appointment of Gudjonsdottir, a former buyer from the Icelandic national broadcaster, has meant that the former managing director of the Film Fund, Thorfinnur Omarsson, has been forced to step down. The future of the rest of the Foundation's staff is still uncertain.
The Foundation changed its name on Jan 1, a date which was also meant to herald a major restructuring of the organisation. But this has yet to take effect and at present much is undecided.
However, the work formerly carried out by the Icelandic Film Fund will from now on be handled by two independent public offices, The Icelandic Film Foundation and the National Film Archive
Omarsson has been offered to continue on as the feature film commisioner and will perhaps be in charge of international relations, but he is considering other offers as well.
'I hope that it will work out,' Omarsson told Screendaily, 'but I don't believe that the new system is good enough. For one, they have removed the Board of Directors, and that means that there now is a direct link between the head of the fund and the government, and that leaves to it too open to political involvement.'
Last year the right-wing PM interferred directly in the fund's work, suspending Omarsson from his job, following a rejection of support for a script based on one of his books.
However, the move to discredit Omarsson failed when the Cultural Ministry's lawyers found nothing wrong with the fund's books.
The general purpose of The Icelandic Film Foundation is supporting Icelandic film productions, development of Icelandic cinema, and promoting Icelandic films worldwide.
The Icelandic Film Fund has played a major role since 1979 in establishing a film industry in Iceland. In recent years it has annually supported 5 to 7 feature film productions, several shorts and documentaries, as well as development of scripts. The restructuring of the Foundation has left a small gap in production, but in general the industry has responded optimistically to the new appointment.