Norway's Cinema Policy Commission has recommended an increase in the country's film and video levy, by 1% to 3.5%, in order to help smaller theatres make the conversion to digital projection.

The Commission, appointed by Norway's Ministry of Culture one year ago to review the government's exhibition policy, also suggested the creation of a public fund to support smaller exhibitors operating outside the main towns and cities.

Among other recommendations in its final report, the Commission also said that exhibition policy should remain an integral part of Norway's general cultural policy. It also backed the power currently wielded by the Norwegian municipalities, which are responsible for both licensing cinemas and regulating what they screen.

While both local and foreign private exhibitors have been running movie theatres for decades in other Scandinavian countries, Norwegian municipalities have regulated the number of theatres as well as their ownership structure since 1913. Over 95% of Norwegian cinemas are still under municipal control. Subsidiaries of several exhibition giants have applied to the municipalities for licences to operate multiplexes in the country.