Danish Film Institute starts Rafilm

Org joins trend of funding lower-budget films

STOCKHOLM — In order to make cheaper features, the Danish Film Institute has started a fund called Rafilm (Raw Film). Money will only go to films costing less than $2 million, and films won’t have to reach more than 75,000 admissions. The films are not meant to have a broad, general appeal.

Claus Ladegaard, head of production and development at the Danish Film Institute, said, “Our ambition with Rafilm is to make different films that trek new paths.”

Danish pic budgets have tended to be in the $4 million range. But the feeling in the industry is that with pics not making as much money, budgets need to trend downward. The lower-budget pics can also help newcomers break into the biz.

Rafilm is part of a trend in Denmark to make cheaper films. Production company Nimbus Film has made a deal with pubcaster TV2 to co-produce four pics budgeted at no more than $2.4 million each. The first film from this deal is Anders Matthesen’s “Sorte kugler,” which will open in December. Pic deals with a real estate agent who can’t sell his own house.

So far, two films have had support from the Rafilm fund. Nikolaj Steen will helm “Vagn,” about a middle-aged man trying to deal with his life, and Nicolo Donato will helm “Broderskab” about a love story involving gay neo-Nazis.

Each film garnered $600,000 in Rafilm support.