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Filmmaking in Iceland tripled in size since 2010

From Season 2 - 8 of Game of Thrones Iceland has represented the dramatic north in mythical Westeros…
From Season 2 - 8 of Game of Thrones Iceland has represented the dramatic north in mythical Westeros.

The Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture has published the first comprehensive policy on film industry and film culture. The Ministry and leading members of the film industry joined forces in developing the policy, working in close collaboration.

The art and business of filmmaking in Iceland has tripled in size since 2010, such that the industry currently has achieved a significant cultural and economic footprint. The new film policy aligns with the government's overall plan to diversify the Icelandic economy, by boosting industries based on innovation, creativity and sustainability.

"Icelandic filmmaking is now at the highest level. As an art form, it is very accessible and so important for our language and national identity. It reflects contemporary life in Iceland and reveals key parts of our cultural heritage and history. As an industry, filmmaking is both international and sustainable. It creates value for the treasury, generates thousands of jobs, attracts foreign investment and has gained great respect abroad. It is my pleasure and duty to support the industry by any means available," says Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, the Icelandic Minister of Education, Science and Culture.

The new film policy defines four key objectives: First, to create a thriving film culture that strengthens the nation's identity and the Icelandic language. Second, to provide a diverse and ambitious film education at all levels. Third, to enhance Iceland's international competitiveness. And fourth, to promote Iceland as a global brand in filmmaking.

Ten action points have been specified to support these objectives:

  1. Strengthen the support scheme to enable a more diverse range of films, in part by increasing the amount of the Icelandic Film Fund and establishing a new investment fund to boost TV production.
  2. Expand the overall role and efficiency of the Icelandic Film Center and the Film Council to stimulate a vibrant overall film culture in Iceland and ensure both domestic and international success for the film industry, and to build a public-private partnership between government and industry in realizing these policy objectives.
  3. Improve public awareness and access to Icelandic film heritage and to film productions in general by strengthening the Icelandic film database and laying foundations for a national streaming service.
  4. Increase support of independently organized projects and initiatives such as art-house cinemas and international film festivals and events.
  5. Add courses in filmmaking at all levels of education, with special emphases on providing film and media literacy to all children and teenagers and introducing, for the first time, a university-level degree in filmmaking.
  6. Secure the competitive position of Icelandic filmmaking through the ongoing development of a strong reimbursement scheme and tax incentives.
  7. Support the film industry’s initiative in building film clusters to foster international competitiveness and growth through collaboration within the industry and between it and related industries.
  8. Improve industry-related statistics and economic indicators via a new online platform in order to provide insights and overview and strengthen policymaking.
  9. Improve the working standards and environment for filmmakers by making work more family-friendly and establishing an artist wage fund for screenwriters and directors.
  10. Promote Icelandic filmmaking internationally as both sustainable and a year-round activity, and increase support for films and filmmakers traveling to prestigious festivals and events abroad.

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