As the Icelandic Film Fund is battling proposed government cuts of 40% for 2014, a group of filmmakers has signed a statement of support for the Icelandic industry.
The supporters include Clint Eastwood, Darren Aronofsky and Terrence Malick, whose films Flags of Our Fathers, Noah and Tree Of Life have all shot partially in Iceland.
As Screen previously reported, more than 200 jobs could be lost because of the proposed cuts. In its 2014 budget, the Icelandic government is proposing a 40% cut to the Icelandic Film Fund, the organisation that supports Icelandic filmmaking through screenwriting, development and production grants. This is the second time in recent years that the Icelandic government has planned to deliver such a blow to local industry — In 2010 the government had proposed a 35% cut to the fund, but eventually enacted 25%.
The second round of budget talks will be held on Dec 13 (Friday) with the final bill to be voted on next week.
The letter, which has been delivered to the Icelandic parliament, the minister of culture and other officials, is as follows:
A STATEMENT OF SUPPORT
We, the undersigned, have had the great pleasure of working on one or more film projects in Iceland. In our view, the Icelandic film professionals we’ve worked with are of the highest standard. The expertise that they bring to the table – not only as filmmakers but as invaluable advisors on Icelandic practices, customs and locations – has brought immeasurable benefits to the work that we do.
We stand with them, and with the entire film community in Iceland, in their efforts to maintain the current levels of government support for filmmaking, and thus we urge the Icelandic government to reconsider their current plans to cut the budget of the Icelandic Film Fund.
Alexandra Malick, Producer of Tree of Life
Beau Marks, Producer of Judge Dredd
Chris Brigham, Executive Producer of Noah
Chris Newman, Producer of Game of Thrones
Clint Eastwood, Director of Flags of Our Fathers
Dan Weiss, Co-Creator/Writer/Producer of Game of Thrones
Darren Aronofsky, Director of Noah
Davod Benioff, Co-Creator/Writer/Producer of Game of Thrones
Duncan Henderson, Producer of Oblivion
G. Mac Brown, Executive Producer of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Mylan Stepanovich SVP, Physical Production for AFG/Walden Media/Bristol Bay
Robert Lorenz, Producer of Flags of Our Fathers
Sam Miller, Director of Fortitude
Selwyn Roberts, Producer of Shackleton
Steve Papazian, President, Worldwide Physical Production at Warner Bros
Terje Strømstad, Producer of Dead Snow II
Terrence Malick, Director of Tree of Life
Tommy Wirkola, Director of Dead Snow II
Other executives across the globe showing their support for the film community in Iceland are:
Alexandra Lebret and Chris Curling of the European Producers Club, Benoît Ginisty of FIAPF, Fabia Buenaventura of the Spanish Audiovisual Producers, Hrvoje Osvadic of the Croatian Producers Association, Sari Vaananen of the Central Organisation of Finnish Film Producers and Suresh Laxman of the Film Federation of India.