Icelandic film director Baltasar Kormákur expressed in an interview with hollywoodreporter.com his shock at the recent announcement by the Icelandic government to implement drastic cuts to the Icelandic Film Fund.
“What can I say. It is a terrible shock for everyone working in the film industry in Iceland,” he said. “I think everyone knew there would be some cuts but not as big as they turned out, more than in any other cultural field.”
As reported last week, the government announced that it would cut the budget by 42 percent from ISK 1.018 billion (USD 8.42 million, EUR 6.2 million) to ISK 624 million (USD 5.17 million, EUR 3.8 million).
The Icelandic Filmmakers Association (IFMA) estimates that as a result, state income will decrease by ISK 615 million (USD 5,080,000, EUR 3,740,000), resulting in the loss of one year’s work of roughly 200 people. Moreover, they claim that already in 2014 the state will be deprived of ISK 500 million in foreign currency.
Like most Icelandic directors, Baltasar often relies on backing from the Icelandic Film Fund to get his local projects greenlit. The cuts will make building up the industry very difficult, Baltasar said. “It is almost impossible to build any future for the Icelandic films when they keep cutting us down at the knees.”
The budget was cut following the banking collapse but was restored in 2012 and 2013. An increase in film production in Iceland followed.