Norway is looking to boost its appeal to foreign film production companies by emulating Icelandic financial incentives, reports The Wall Street Journal.
A report issued by the Norwegian government this week details how Norway wishes to to lure crews to shoot productions on the scale of “Game of Thrones” – parts of which are filmed in Iceland each year.
“We want to look more closely at how we best can facilitate the production of foreign movies in Norway,” Thorhild Widwey, Norway’s Minister of Culture, said as she received a government-commissioned report from independent advisor Oslo Economics.
A combination of the weak ISK following the financial crisis, midnight sun and generous tax rebates for the film industry that equalled a billion ISK in 2012, has in the past years drawn foreign film and TV production crews to Iceland.
The Norwegian report predicts that should they introduce Iceland-style incentives it could potentially nearly double the number of foreign film and TV productions to between 15 and 20 a year, from currently about 10 a year.
“To increase the number of productions, such incentives are effective, at least in the short term,” Oslo Economics analyst Ove Skaug Halsos told the NTB news agency. But, he warned, increased competition to attract productions may lead to a “race to the bottom” where Iceland and Norway have to constantly improve incentives to get the upper hand.
Forty countries around the world have introduced some form of subsidies for film and TV production, including 16 European countries, Oslo Economics said. For instance, Ireland has a 28% tax rebate, and Iceland has a 20% tax rebate.