Sweden doubles arthouse funding

Local films to take priority

STOCKHOLM — The Swedish Film Institute has doubled coin for the acquisition and promotion of arthouse pics from 3.4 million kroner ($539,000) to $1.1 million.

The SFI has made a number of changes to its funding rules: priority will now be given to local pics; digital distribution will be eligible for support; and film festivals deemed to be serving the “national interest” will be given preferential treatment.

Cissi Elwin, CEO at the institute, said: “The fast development in technology, new patterns of audience behavior and increased market concentration in the theatrical sector have created totally new conditions in Sweden, so we are reviewing all our support systems.”

The tough climate for the arthouse circuit in Sweden was underscored last week when the 22-year-old Umea Film Festival revealed it will probably have to close after the town authorities cancelled its annual $119,000 contribution to the event’s budget.

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