Film Fund attracts international film and TV series, but lacks investment capital in 2017

12 Sep 2016, Posted by Liv Saalbach Holse in Uncategorized @en

Could the next "House of Cards" TV series take place in Denmark? It is not unlikely. Copenhagen Film Fund is currently in dialogue with major international production companies about placing their next television productions in Copenhagen.

Each of the two productions estimate spending more than ten million euro in the Danish capital region, creating up to 100 jobs and broad exposure of Copenhagen around the world. Both productions presuppose that Copenhagen Film Fund contribute to financing. But the film fund’s investment capital for 2017 is not yet secured.

It will be a big problem for the Capital Region, if the fund lacks investment capital for 2017. With an inactive film fund, the region will lose momentum, just as we have managed to draw attention from some of the major television series productions that are coming here," says Thomas Gammeltoft CEO of Copenhagen Film Fund.


Where the money is…
Throughout the past four years the film fund has invested in international and large Danish film productions in order to attract them to the Danish capital region and thus create jobs and growth in addition to profiling and branding of the region.

And according to several key players from the film industry funding is a crucial matter when deciding on a film’s location.

"As developing and financing new international drama becomes ever more challenging, finding progressive cities and countries that offer attractive local incentives and regional funding has become key," says Amelie Kienlin, Senior VP of Scripted Acquisition & Co-Production of Red Arrow International - one of the production companies that will place their next production in Copenhagen, if they can get investment from Copenhagen Film Fund.

Also Danish movie business professionals recognize this criterion for choosing a location. Hanne Palmquist, Commissioning Editor & VP of Original Programming at HBO Nordic believes that Copenhagen is both competitive in terms of interesting historical and contemporary architectural locations and professional film workers, but sees challenges in the country's funding options:

"Without a tax rebate, which is offered in many of Denmark’s competing European countries, the country's situation is challenged. For this reason, it is all the more important to maintain Copenhagen Film Fund and, if possible, expand it further."

Henrik Zein, CEO of Nordisk Film Production, also stresses the need for a regional film fund:

"Copenhagen Film Fund's success is perfectly timed in relation to the large foreign interest in Danish creative talent we experience in these years. Both the creative talent and our talented film workers behind the camera have a good reputation abroad and an attractive film fund will be decisive in determining whether Copenhagen will attract more big productions that will both benefit and develop Copenhagen, but also create growth in the creative industry," he says.

Louise Vesth, producer of Lars von Trier's upcoming film "The House That Jack Built" tells how it, for the first time in sixteen years, is possible to place a large part of his production in Denmark - primarily due to investment from Copenhagen Film Fund. According to Louise Vesth movie and series productions add success on so many levels that few other industries can compete.

Local, regional, national and international success. Economic success. And branding. Jobs. Businesses. Pride. Without Copenhagen Film Fund we lose the ability to compete in the race on this particular success with other Europe's cities. We have to keep up – because we can and will," she points out.

The Municipality of Copenhagen has been one of the Fund’s primary contributor throughout the past three years and continues to support Copenhagen Film Fund. However, the Fund's financing for 2017 is not secure untill the municipality's final budget negotiations closes this Thursday.


A competitive city
In comparison with other regional film funds in Europe, Copenhagen Film Fund’s investment pool is limited. None the less, it is possible to create effects because our writers, directors, actors, film workers and stunning locations enjoy great international attention. The region is also active on talent development and film festivals, which together with a manageable size and a great gastronomic scene, makes the city unique and attractive abroad.

So in spite of the lack of a national support scheme Copenhagen Film Fund has, over the past three years succeeded in attracting a number of international productions to the capital region. However, in the long term Denmark needs a national business strategy for the digital visual industry in addition to the regional film funds, which cannot stand alone in the quest to make Denmark attractive in an increasingly globalized world.


Media Society Denmark
Today Denmark is one of seven countries in the EU that have not yet a national support scheme for interactive media productions – a socalled production rebate for film, television and gaming productions. Earlier this year Norway joined the group of countries with production subsidies and Finland has just announced that they plan to do the same in 2017.

As an effort to strengthen Denmark's position as a film region, Copenhagen Film Fund in cooperation with FilmFyn, West Danish Film Fund, Interactive Denmark and VIA University College has established the cluster Media Society Denmark. The cluster has just finalized a corporate strategic proposal for the digital visual industry, which include a national support scheme for major international production companies that want to place their productions in Denmark.

Jeppe Nygaard Christensen, CEO of the visual effects company Ghost VFX, has worked on major Hollywood films like “Jurassic World”, “Mission Impossible” and “Pacific Rim”. However, for many years the company has been left out and seen projects be distributed solely on the basis of geographically specific subsidies.

International competition is dictated by the different countries national support schemes. The mere presence of Copenhagen Film Fund has helped us knock the door wide open and meant that we are now being accepted as an equal player in line with our British, Canadian and German colleagues. As a result, we have just landed a deal as prime supplier on two American TV series, a feature film and we are considered for additional four films.”