Norway's leading distributor, SF Norge, subsidiary of Nordic major Svensk Filmindustri (SF), has acquired a substantial stake in local start-up production outfit Monster Media.

Headed by veteran feature film, TV and commercials producers, Edward A. Dreyer, Olav Oen and Trond Kvernstrom, Monster Media is now set to become a major force in the Scandinavian film community. "A new generation of creative energy is blooming in the Norwegian television and film industry. SF's involvement in Monster Media will help us bring out the potential," said Dreyer.

Among the established filmmakers associated with Monster Media are Pal Jackman (Detector), Marius Holst (Dragonflies) and Petter Naess (Elling).

Dreyer's own company, Christiania Film will fold after releasing Unni Straume's Music For Weddings And Funerals in Sept 2002, with other projects in development being transferred to Monster Media.

"SF Norge has a very strong position as a distributor in the Norwegian market," said Guttorm Petterson, president of SF Norge. "The involvement in Monster Media gives us a possibility to strongly engage ourselves in the local Norwegian production community. Olav, Trond and Edward are extremely competent and talented people, as their track record shows and we are very happy to work with them."

President and CEO at Svensk Filmindustri Rasmus Ramstad added "As the leading Nordic film and distribution-company we are pleased to further strengthen our position with the local production community. Local feature films represent 15-30% of the box office in the Nordic region and locally developed television formats have enjoyed tremendous success on the local markets as well as internationally."

Dryer has been a producer of commercials, TV programmes and features (Detector) for over 10 years as well as being a board member of Norsk Filmfond. Olav Oen has worked as a producer of TV, commercials and features for some 20 years, founded TinMen Filmproduksjon (acquired by Nordisk Film/Egmont in 1999) as well as Locomotion Commercials Norway, one of the local top commercial outfits. Trond Kvernstrom was one of the founders of commercial channel TV Norge, and launched Nordisk Film Norge back in 1995, which he headed for six years.