Icelandic producers have called for the Icelandic filming incentive, currently 25%, to be increased to 35% to help the country remain more competitive as an international hub.
The newly elected Icelandic government has publicly expressed support for the film and creative industries, and producers hope they can keep their campaign promises of up to 35% off.
During the Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF, September 30-October 10), seasoned producer Joni Sighvatsson, who works in many territories internationally, including the United States, said, “I work in Portugal, I work in Australia and those countries are very, very aggressive in their delivery systems. I think if Iceland don’t follow we will see these countries [make more gains]. “
“Due to the generally high salaries [in Iceland], we have to follow this. Because they climb the mountain very quickly.
Baltasar Kormakur of RVK Studios added: “It is an unusual thing that a politician [says] “We can create a better society by giving more to the film industry”… now he better deliver. Ireland and Spain have similar things and it’s not like it hasn’t been proven to be beneficial.
Kormakur, whose credits range from 101 Reykjavík To Everest, also spoke of plans to expand its growing studio complex on the outskirts of Reykjavik in Gufunes – which already includes a massive 3,200 square meter space – to include two smaller studios that can accommodate smaller productions, more than local shoots, and also local manufacturing offices. In addition to hosting studio shoots in the US, he said, “I hope some of my Icelandic colleagues and competitors will want to come over there as well, because I think we can all work together.
Kormakur toured South Africa with Idris Elba for Universal’s Beast; his other upcoming projects include Fjord, a new podcaster show that looks at old murder cases, and his new love / mystery story To touch, which will be filmed in Iceland, the United Kingdom and Japan probably in 2022).
Iceland’s co-production potential was also showcased in presentations of RIFF’s ongoing work, including Ricky Rijneke’s second feature film. The hunter’s son, a Belgian-Polish-Icelandic-Dutch co-production. The drama / mystery is about a 14-year-old who goes on a family hunting trip that goes wrong. Mildred van Leeuwaarden and Dirk Rijneke produce for New Rotterdam Films, with co-producers Birgitta Björnsdóttir of Icelandic Vintage Pictures; Magdalena Kaminska and Agata Szymanska from Balapolis in Poland and Dries Phlypo from A Private View in Belgium.
Other films premiering at the WIP Showcase include Summer light, and then comes the night, directed by Elfar Adalsteins and with Ólafur Darri Ólafsson; as well as Icelandic TV shows Fracture; the second series of Stella Blómkvist and the third series of Trap.
For the first time, RIFF also included projects from the Faroe Islands and Greenland as part of its showcase of ongoing work. It was Anton Petersen’s thriller Acts of love the Faroe Islands; Aka Hansen’s science fiction The moon traveler and the coming-of-age story of Pipaluk K Jørgensen This road to mine from Greenland.
The festival focused on the Netherlands in this year’s edition, showing films including Oscar submission Do not hesitate, Magical mountains and Goodbye paradise. The Dutch delegation in Reykjavik included Marit van den Elshout from IFFR, Ido Abram from EYE, Ilse Ronteltap from the Netherlands Film Fund and producers like Erik Glijnis from Lemming Film, Maaike Neve from Bind and Gijs Kerbosch from Halal. Dutch producer Rijneke spoke about his Dutch-Icelandic co-productions from Reykjavik-Rotterdam in 2008 to future collaborations including The hunter’s son and that of Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir Letter from Helga.
Other industry activities included the RIFF Lab, lectures on music in film and Nordic Noir, and masterclasses by Debbie Harry, Trine Dyrholm, Joachim Trier and Mia Hansen-Love.
On the festival side, the RIFF Golden Puffin award went to the Franco-Greek film Moon, 66 questions by Jacqueline Lentzou; special mentions to Wild Men by Thomas Daneskov and Clara sola by Nathalie Álvarez Mesén (the latter also won the Youth Jury Prize). The Different Tomorrow Prize (rewarding a documentary dealing with environmental or human rights issues) was awarded to Zinder by Aicha Macky.
This article originally appeared on sister site ScreenDaily.