The Norwegian Film Institute, the Norwegian Film Fund and the Norwegian Film Development will next year be merged to become a new film institute, with 100 staff on an estimated $16.4 million (Euros 12.3m) operating costs, and with a $37 million budget to support Norwegian cinema.

'The new structure will benefit from a synergy effect transferring finance from administration to film-making and other cinematic purposes,' explained culture minister Trond Giske in the government paper published today (Friday, Mar 23), which will be submitted to the Norwegian parliament for the upcoming decision of a new film legislation.

The current film system was implemented by a change of laws in 2001, which moved production funding from the existing institute to a new fund, and set up a new institution for development. Norwegian cinema association Film & Kino continued as the corner stone of public theatre operation - most Norwegian screens are run by respective municipalities.

The new institute will be responsible for the distribution of film support to Norwegian independent producers, emphasising the subsidy of projects with a market potential, and the slate funding of companies to back their own product profiles. Giske wanted local productions to reach 25 per year, with the aim of selling three million tickets domestically per annum.

Based on a report from his own committee, responses from the industry and parties involved, Giske also placed film restoration, museum, cinematheque, non-commercial distribution, as well as domestic and international marketing and promotion in the control of the new institute. He expects Norwegian film exports to double before 2010.