A boost to international productions in the Scandinavian country would increase local crew skills and enhance tourism, according to a new report.
Up to 10 international film and TV production could be hosted by Norway per year if the country were to introduce an incentive scheme comprising tax discounts and expenditure reimbursements.
The findings were revealed in a report prepared by Oslo Economics for the Norwegian Ministry of Culture. “More international productions in Norway could increase local competence in the industry, promote tourism and create more jobs,” said culture minister Thorhild Widvey, who is currently working on the government’s address on film policy due next year.
More than 40 countries worldwide offer financial support for international productions. According to Ove Skaug Halsos, chief economist at Oslo Economics, a refund of expenses would a positive effect in the short term, reported Norway’s Aftenposten.
After the UK introduced incentives, the number of film productions went up from 250 to 425 in 2010, creating 30,000 jobs in the film industry and almost 60,000 in total, such as in the hotel trade. After the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in New Zealand from 2001, tourism increased by 60%.
General secretary Leif Holst Jensen, of the Norwegian Producers’ Association, emphasised that an incentive scheme should not replace the current legislation of film support and that expenditure reimbursements should be set at 25% to 30% to have any effect.
Norway is increasingly losing domestic film productions to countries offering incentives. A total of 10 of this year’s 24 Norwegian premieres have been shot abroad. Iceland is currently the only Nordic country with incentives, reimbursing 20% of production costs incurred in the country.