In a surprise move, The Norwegian Film Workers' Association has expressed interest in acquiring Norsk Film's back catalogue of around 170 films, that are to be sold together with the government's 77.5% stake in the state-owned company.
Earlier this week, the Norwegian culture ministry decided to consider the sale of Norsk Film's catalogue as an integral part of a broader cultural policy, implying that it can only be sold on certain conditions. In a letter to Norsk Film, the culture ministry stated that it is essential to secure the Norwegian Film Institute's role as the owner of the film catalogue's non-commercial rights before Norsk Film can be sold. Furthermore, the sale has to be approved by parliament.
The Norwegian Film Workers' Association, which represents all local film workers, has suggested the creation of a foundation that could manage the commercial rights of the film library.
The Norwegian culture ministry decided to close down Norsk Film's production activities last autumn. Several of Scandinavia's media giants announced they would bid for the company, one of the main points of interest being the rights to many popular film classics and commercial successes. Two state-owned institutions, the television channel Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) and the Norwegian Film Institute (NFI), have previously opposed to the idea of selling the back catalogue of the state-owned production outfit to the commercial sector.