The film industry in Iceland is expected to more than double its income this year, compared to previous years, RÚV reports. Þórhallur Gunnarsson, production director at Sagafilm worries that the growth is mainly driven by foreign film projects, not domestic ones.
Þórhallur told RÚV that income from the film industry has gone from ISK 11 billion (USD 95 million, EUR 88 million) last year to ISK 24 billion (USD 208 million, EUR 191 million) this year. He believes society as a whole benefits from increased income from the film industry, since all services provided are counted.
He stated that Stöð2, Síminn and RÚV would all like to produce more Icelandic material for TV. The bottleneck, however, is the Icelandic Film Fund, but funding from them is often a prerequisite for funding from elsewhere.
“We have six series right now, almost ready for production, but the [Icelandic Film] Fund is too small to handle this,” Þórhallur lamented. In his opinion, funding for the Film Fund must be increased by ISK 200 million (USD 1.7 million, EUR 1.6 million) a year. Each króna that goes into the fund comes back double or triple in the form of tax revenue, he claimed.
Þórhallur is not opposed to foreign production teams coming here to film. What he wants to avoid is an imbalance where Iceland becomes a service station for foreign projects, unable to support its own projects. “It’s essential to write our own manuscripts and to tell our own stories. It’s important that our projects about Iceland, such as the series Case and Trapped, now take our stories all over the world,” he stressed.