Public health authorities are considering proposals to allow foreign film crews to shoot scenes in Iceland. The head of Film In Iceland, Einar Hansen Tómasson, has revealed that there has been a marked upsurge in international interest from production companies as the COVID-19 outbreak in the country subsides.
The Chief Epidemiologist, Þórólfur Guðnason, has received a proposal to allow foreign film crews to travel to Iceland, RÚV reports. Production companies would pay local governments for street closures and would be screened for COVID-19 on arrival in the country. They would be required to be quarantined in an empty hotel whilst they waited for test results. It has also been suggested that a nurse and inspector from the Directorate of Health should oversee their work and that they should stay within designated areas to reduce the risk of transmission. The proposal might allow foreign film-makers to bypass the strict travel rules that require visitors to quarantine themselves for 14 days and ban entrance into the country from regions outside the Schengen Area.
Einar revealed to a news agency that several foreign film companies are interested in filming in Iceland. Einar confirms that Film In Iceland is now awaiting a response from Þórólfur. “We want to know if this is empty nonsense or not”, he explains. “It all starts with a conversation”. The move could help boost tourism, according to Einar, and the ISK’s exchange rate means that Iceland is currently a very attractive location for production companies.
The spike in interest in Iceland from foreign film crews follows the announcement last week that Netflix would be continuing production work in Iceland. As reported, Ted Sanrandos, the company’s chief content creator, praised Iceland’s “very aggressive” approach to testing and tracking, and selected Iceland as one of just two countries in which production work would continue. This vote of confidence from the streaming giant has prompted many more film-makers to consider shooting scenes in Iceland. Production companies are “watching closely”, Einar explains. “We are on the way out of the [outbreak in Iceland] and they want to take advantage of this”.
Einnar warns film-lovers to stay patient. “This will not happen tomorrow”, he cautions, “but if it could happen in a month’s time that would be exciting”. No action will go ahead without approval from public health agencies in Iceland, so producers must now wait for Þórólfur’s response to the proposal.
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