Danish major, Nordisk Film, has merged its distribution and sales operations into a new company, Nordisk Film Distribusjon Norway, which will become Norway's largest provider of consumer entertainment with an annual turnover of $110.3m (EUR73.3m).

The move is part ofthe company's driveto further strengthen its position in the Norwegian market place.

As of Feb 1, the company headed by Espen Tollefsen - previously Nordic sales manager of Sony PlayStation - will supply content for all media platforms.

Thatincludes Nordisk's library of several thousand local and international films, PlayStation products, and music from Norway's MBN and Denmark's MBO.

Last year Nordisk sold 525,000 game units, 240,000 music CDs and almost two million video cassettes-DVDs in Norway.

Through its theatrical outlet it released 24 Norwegian, Nordic and international features, which were seen by more than three million people.

'With all three entertainment platforms in one company we have a strong hand in a business which is otherwise rather fragmented,' said Tollefsen, who will move in at Nordisk's Nydalen headquarters outside Oslo, which is already the base of Nordisk production and distribution.

A market leader in local film and television production, Nordisk's production house under Stein-Roger Bull is readying three films for 2008 release:

  • Arne Lindtner Næss' SOS-Sommer of Suspense (SOS Svartskjær)
  • Swedish director Kjell Sundvall's Night of the Wolf (Ulvenatten)
  • Johannes Joner's Respect (Respekt).

Head of production Aage Aaberge will move out of Nydalen to the Film Park at Jar, aka Jollywood, to set up a new outfit to focus on smaller projects.

These will bemainstream-oriented butfor a more critical audience, starting with Per Olav Sørensen's The Model (Modellen), $3m (Euros 2m) adaption of Lars Saabye Christensen's novel.

Besides inhouse product and international acquisitions, Nordisk's theatrical arm headed by Bjørn Hoenvoll is also handling films from Maipo Film- & TV-produksjon, in which the company recently bought a stake, adding the supply through output deals with local producers 4½ Productions and Fantefilm.

Maipo will this year contribute Ulrik Imtiaz Rolfsen's The Last Joint Venture (Den siste revejakta); 4½ Productions has Eva Sørhaug's Lunch Lønsj) and Jesper W Nielsen's Through a Glass, Darkly (I et speil i en gåte).

With Mats Stenberg's Fritt vilt 2 (Cold Prey 2) from Fantefilm, Eva Isaken's House of Fools (De gales hus) from Norsk filmproduksjon and Joachim Rønning-Espen Sandberg's Max Manus from Filmkameratene, Nordisk will this year cater for nine Norwegian premières.

wNordisk Film has also restructured its Swedish distribution and sales operations in a new company, with Jens Alex - former commercial chief of Sony PlayStation - as managing director.

Last year, Nordisk purchased 50% of local production house, SS Fladen, and concluded out-put deals with three other producers, Tre Vänner, Illusion Film and Hepp Film, still maintaining its own production.

It also clinched a co-production deal with Yellow Bird to co-produce the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, a $15.4 (Eu10.7 million) project realised with Swedish public broadcaster SVT and Germany's ZDF.