The Danish government revised its support for the local biz last fall, increasing coin to $401 million for 2011-14, of which about half is for development and production. It freed filmmakers from some of the constraints that its subsidies had placed on them previously, such as the need to make pics that appealed primarily to local broadcasters and the local box office. Its aim was to encourage risk-taking and innovation.

Not that the Danes have been overly conservative in the past. They are arguably the most outward looking of Nordic folk, with around half of the local pics securing foreign distribution. The leading shingles — such as Zentropa (“Melancholia”) and Nimbus (“Flame and Citron”) — regularly make international co-productions, often in English.

There is now a greater focus on the development stage, so an early application for coin is advised.

As before, funding for children’s and youth films are a priority.

For co-productions, the Danish Film Institute will consider funding up to a maximum of 60% of the local producer’s share of the equity.

A local partner for theatrical release or broadcast must be secured.

Co-productions that are part of a longer-term relationship between partners, and that help develop the local skills base, are preferred.

Regional funds include FilmFyn, which has $1.42 million a year for feature film support, and West Danish Film Fund/Filmby Aarhus, which can offer up to $286,000 for a film, up to a maximum 15% of the budget.

Danish pics can also tap into the Nordisk Film and TV Fond.

Most of the facilities companies work across Nordic borders, with strong links with Sweden in particular. Many Danish pics shoot at Sweden’s Trollhattan studios, for example.
Space Case: Within Denmark, the main studio space is found at Nordisk Film Studios at Risby and Valby, Zentropa’s Filmbyen, which is a former military base and houses a range of film facilities, and the Danish Film Studios, which lies to the north of Copenhagen. There are also two modern studios at Filmby Aarhus in Western Denmark.

With around 30 features produced in Denmark a year, and a lively TV and commercials production sector, competition for high-quality crews is intense. However, below-the-line talent can be pulled in from across the Nordic region.

Skilled Labor:Denmark can support up to five or six features shooting at once, although the average Danish crew tends to be much smaller than those on international productions, says line producer Sanne Glaesel. Most local films have an average crew of 35-40. The level of experience and expertise is high. Most crew members speak fluent English.

SODA: Craft companies such as make-up fx studio Soda (“AntiChrist”), which has worked on 120 European pics, are as good as any in the world.

Buoyed by its strong commercials work, the standard of the visual effects sector is very high, with such companies as Duckling (“Everything Will Be Fine”) and Ghost (“Kick-Ass”), and individuals like vfx supervisor Jeppe Nygaard Christensen (“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”) and post-production supervisor Charlotte Buch (“Melancholia”), establishing an international profile.

Oresund Film Commission
Ulrik Bolt Jorgensen
+45 2230 6047
Email: bolt@oresundfilm.com

Lars Hermann
Email: lars@filmfyn.dk

The West Danish Film Fund
Steen Risom
+45 8940 4882
Email: mail@filmpuljen.dk

Danish Film Institute
Claus Ladegaard
+45 3374 3433
Email: clausl@dfi.dk

Nordisk Film and TV Fund
Hanne Palmquist
+47 64 00 60 81
Email: hanne@nordiskfilmogtvfond.com

Although local crews and facilities houses are reliable, the climate is less so. “The weather in Denmark is never what you want it to be,” says Glaesel.