Norway raises bar

Film bodies merged

STOCKHOLM — Norway’s culture minister Trond Giske laid out tough targets for the local film industry to hit in a government paper Friday.

Giske said 25 local pics should be produced a year, the market share for these films should increase from 16% to 25%, and film exports must double before 2010.

To help the biz match meet these objectives, the government is merging the main national film orgs — the Norwegian Film Institute, the Norwegian Film Fund and the Norwegian Film Development.

A new film institute will be created next year, with money focused on filmmaking not administration, said Giske. The institute, with a staff of 100, will handle a $37 million budget for funding of Norwegian pics.

Support will be distributed to independent local producers, with a focus on projects with a clear market potential.

The culture minister aims to reduce the share of state financing per production from today’s 65-70% of a film’s budget to less than 50%, in order to increase the number of local pics.

Other objectives are to get women into 40% of key positions in local film production before 2010 and to provide more money for the digitalization of Norwegian theaters.