“What an exciting, international decade we are entering in 2020. Films and series are co-produced all over Europe as global streamers go into local markets in local languages. Simultaneously Nordisk Film & TV Fond has grown and now works to keep the Nordic branch united and strong together with 22 prominent partners. When taking over in November after Petri Kemppinen, I joined a Fund very well taken care of. A new five years contract was agreed, new partners joining in and great projects financed.

Our new partners bring the Fund closer to the online media world. The NENT Group and C More Entertainment are important VOD players. Norwegian VGTV distributes documentaries online and Icelandic Síminn combines telecommunication and internet services with TV and VOD distribution. Today, all our media partners publish online, some parallel to their linear distribution. Our new partners broaden our expertise and also add to our budget, which in 2020 is NOK 127 million in total.

For a top financier, a recurring question is balancing the amount of supported titles with the size of the supports. In 2019, less documentaries were supported than before, but with larger sums. The Fund’s biggest documentary support ever was granted to Danish Documentary Production and Nordisk Film Production´s Scandinavian Star, a six-part series researching the infamous 1990 ferry disaster. On the fiction side SF Studios’ period drama Margrete – Queen of Denmark got the Fund´s so far biggest feature film support.

Fierce international competition raises budgets and rights demands. Global streamers prefer buy-outs whereas Nordic players follow a variety of agreements. With the shared wisdom of so many different partners, it will be inspiring to seek both business and content insights that benefit the whole Nordic branch. EU constantly looks for means to strengthen the European audiovisual industry, and we Nordics need to be active in this discussion too. Another special focus in 2020 will be on documentaries. A survey on 80 Nordic documentaries will be published and documentary distribution boosts arranged.

Today we can watch epic content 24/7 anywhere, so what will bring future generations to the movie theaters? The Fund takes a good look at this question in 2020. The need to share viewing experiences will never disappear, but how is it changing? The week I moved to my new hometown Oslo, I went to the local cinema to see Beware of Children (Barn), produced by Motlys. Food and drinks were allowed in the cinema, which was nice as we all ate quietly. After the engaging film, two main actors came on stage to discuss with the audience. Having entered alone, I left enlightened and with a strong feeling of Nordic community.

Thirty years ago, the Nordic Council founded Nordisk Film & TV Fond together with five Nordic film institutes and six broadcasters. This wise decision will be celebrated January 29 at Göteborg’s TV Drama Vision. At the same party we celebrate Nordic series script quality by announcing the winner of the 2020 Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize. Hope to see you there!