ANNUAL REPORT 2021

Annual report 2021 keyart main still UK555 NFTVF
Index

The operation of Nordisk Film & TV Fond is today based on an agreement between 22 parties: the Nordic Council of Ministers, 5 Nordic Film Institutes and 16 Nordic media companies. They are financing our annual budget, which in 2021 was NOK 138,078,590 million, based on a five-year agreement for the period 2020-2024.

Vision and strategy
Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s vision is to contribute to increased quality at an international level, and increase the breadth of the distribution and audiences of Nordic films and drama series. We do this by top-up financing and promoting film and drama productions made by companies in the Nordic region. In addition, our own strategic projects as well as our support for distribution of films, and for industry initiatives, contribute to the achievement of these visions.

We want to strengthen the Nordic content and creative talents. We will support and challenge the various talents to create diverse local films and drama series, as well as co-productions, which promote the distinctive Nordic character and further develop their relevance to a Nordic and international audience.

We will broaden the audience access, increase political awareness of Nordic audiovisual production, and sustain the Nordic distinctive features in a global market. We will increase mutual understanding and communication in the Nordics through various production, distribution, and dubbing support with a special focus on children and youth.

We provide top-up financing for projects of high quality with audience reach and distribution potential inside and outside their home country, primarily in the Nordics. We also fund events and initiatives aimed at competence enhancement, talent development and network building through individual projects and external industry initiatives.

The Fund actively participates in Nordic and international industry discussions, and coordinates pan-Nordic goals and objectives through discussions and concrete activities. We also reach the industry through our newsletter, which is distributed globally with approximately 8-10 articles a week.

The Fund works for a strong, green, and socially sustainable Nordic industry in accordance with the Nordic Council of Ministers Vision 2030.

We will keep the Fund´s policies up to date and relevant to our audiences and our parties.

In evaluation of projects applying for production funding, the unique quality of the project and binding distribution agreements will be stressed.

Success criteria
We evaluate our success yearly by comparing the results of the supported projects against our expectations – through indicators such as admissions, sales, ratings, festival results, impact and debate.

We collect statistical information on applications, use questionnaires and surveys from event organisers, feedback from applicants, and meetings with the Fund´s partners to reflect upon trends and changes.

  • Nordisk Film & TV Fond© NFTVF, Birgit Solhaug
    Nordisk Film & TV Fond
    PHOTO: NFTVF, Birgit Solhaug

In the Nordic region, the second pandemic year was tough, but also successful and marked by relevant dialogues. As Covid-19 continued to hit the whole industry, old ways of doing things were actively questioned. The reflective mood of the first year of pandemic isolation seemed to turn into a mood of focused action. Diversity and sustainability issues were rightly raised all over and here the Fund’s angle is pan-Nordic. As we also cherish green sustainability in our daily work, this Annual Report is the first one in digital form only.

Excellent productions were finalised in all Nordic countries despite hard circumstances. In 2021 the Fund received a bigger number of applications than ever before. We could see a growth especially in the fiction sector, where the number of applications grew with more than 30% compared to 2020 and with more than 40% compared to the pre-pandemic year 2019. The amount of series applications has more than doubled within the two last years, and in 2021 their share surpassed that of film applications.

Female producers, directors and scriptwriters were in majority in supported drama series, and especially so among producers, where the gender division F/M/both reads 14/4/10. However, there still is a strong male dominance among film writers and directors. The Fund has no representation quotas but will follow up these numbers as part of our diversity discussion. A positive change to recent years, is that the Fund got applications focusing on Sami culture and/or by Sami film makers, and both fiction and documentary applications gained funding. Having welcomed the first Faroe Islands drama series in 2020, we were happy to top finance Greenlandic stories both in the fiction and documentary genres in 2021.

New genres emerged, such as feature films combining psychological family dramas with horror thrillers and documentaries inspired by symphonic expressions and dance choreographies. Nordic originality and Nordic creators were celebrated on many international stages. The buzz around the Oscar winning Danish film Another Round(2020) directed by Thomas Vinterberg, had hardly quietened, when five new Nordic Academy Award nominations were announced; three for the Danish documentary Flee (2021) directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, and two for Norwegian Joachim Trier’s feature film The Worst Person in the World (2021) co-written by Eskil Vogt. A Norwegian drama series created an international buzz, when an International Emmy Award was delivered to Atlantic Crossing(2020) in New York. The series was co-financed in all Nordic countries and presented a pan-Nordic cast.

  • The Worst Person in the World, Verdens Verste Menneske© Oslo Pictures
    The Worst Person in the World, Verdens Verste Menneske
    PHOTO: Oslo Pictures
  • FLEE, Flugt 555 Final Cut for Real
    FLEE, Flugt
    PHOTO: Final Cut for Real
  • Atlantic Crossing, Sofia Helin, Kyle Maclachlan© Julie Vrabelová, Cinenord
    Atlantic Crossing, Sofia Helin, Kyle Maclachlan
    PHOTO: Julie Vrabelová, Cinenord

An exceptionally great number of films shed light on Nordic quality in Cannes, and in Sundance too. The Norwegian series Countrymen (2021) and the Finnish Mister8 (2021) won major Cannesseries awards. Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen was awarded in Cannes for the third time, when he accepted the prestigious Grand Prix for his acclaimed film Compartment No6 (2021). Icelandic director Valdimar Jóhannsson won the Un Certain Regard prize for his voice of originality in Lamb (2021), while Norwegian Renate Reinsve received the Best Actress reward for her role in The Worst Person in the World. Among the personal voices standing out in Sundance, three Nordic documentaries were rewarded, the Danish President (2021) and Flee (2021) and the Swedish Sabaya (2021). The year was overall a strong year for Nordic documentaries. Both Danish and Norwegian national juries nominated documentaries for the Nordic Council Film Prize and Flee was once again rewarded when selected the best Nordic film. Danish quality was also celebrated on the drama series side as Maja Jul Larsen received the 2021 Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize for the script of Cry Wolf (2020).

  • Countrymen, Jordbrukerne, Arben Bala555 Dag Jensen
    Countrymen, Jordbrukerne, Arben Bala
    PHOTO: Dag Jensen
  • Compartment No6, Hytti nro 6 555 Sami Kuokkanen, Aamu Film Company
    Compartment No6, Hytti nro 6
    PHOTO: Sami Kuokkanen, Aamu Film Company
  • President© Final Cut For Real
    President
    PHOTO: Final Cut For Real

In partnership with Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture, through Finland’s presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Fund launched the year-long project “Audiovisual Collaboration 2021”. It included eight industry discussions, six of which were organized together with Nordic festivals. Themes discussed were Nordic compatibility, EU’s Media Action Plan, future financing and distribution, ecological sustainability, and diversity behind and in front of the camera. To deepen themes, our Newsletter published follow-up interviews and links to video recordings of panels, studies and other material connected to the themes. One core idea of the project is to ensure that themes deepen from one session or action to the next ones.

The Fund also introduced its own special theme years in 2021, the first one being the “Year of Documentaries”. Our documentary support was raised with 20%. An in-depth study on Nordic documentary distribution was published and discussed. The Fund arranged town halls and panels in collaboration with Nordisk Panorama and CPH:DOX, under the umbrella “Audiovisual Collaboration 2021”.

A renewal of the Fund’s home page started in late 2021. One aim is to make it easier to find relevant Nordic industry information, another to open new channels of communication. New interactive tools were introduced in 2021 to help broaden relevant discussions that continue in 2022 and beyond. One example of such a discussion is the pan-Nordic green sustainability planning that continues in collaboration with organizations such as NEMA (Nordic Eco Media Alliance).

Commissioned by the Fund, the research “Mission Possible” (2021) measured the impact of Nordic pandemic mitigations. One of many conclusions was that we need government supports especially tailored for our audiovisual industries, another that we need to follow the long-term exhaustion effects of the pandemic, also on a human level. During an Audiovisual Collaboration 2021 green panel, a producer expressed deep worry on how to find enough economic and human resources to achieve green goals upon all other present industry challenges. We financiers must make sure that the goals we promote become positive possibilities and not added burdens on exhausted shoulders.

Liselott Forsman, CEO

  • CEO Liselott Forsman© Nordisk Film & Tv Fond, Birgit Solhaug
    CEO Liselott Forsman
    PHOTO: Nordisk Film & Tv Fond, Birgit Solhaug

The year 2021 saw a substantial increase in the number of fiction applications. All in all, the Fund received 96 applications for the funding of films and drama series. There was an increase of more than 30% compared to 2020, and more than 40% compared to 2019.The number of applications for funding of drama series increased the most, but there was also a small growth in the number of feature film applications.

The Fund’s funding of fiction is divided between feature films and drama series. Altogether, the Fund supported 63 fiction projects in 2021; 35 feature films and 28 drama series. Fiction was funded with a total of NOK 102,650,000. Feature films with NOK 51,800,000, and drama series with NOK 50,850,000.

Regarding the project support divided between the respective countries, Finland stands out with a major increase in the number of applications and grants compared to 2020. Funding was granted to 18 Danish, 15 Swedish, 13 Norwegian, 12 Finnish, and 4 Icelandic projects.

Several of the films funded have a relatively low total audience estimate, but a large potential within their target groups. Among them we find innovative genre films, but also personal films of high artistic quality.

Restrictions related to Covid-19 did not lead to a reduction of the production level in the Nordic countries. Instead, the challenge was to get hold of qualified crews and attractive actors, due to the high production volume. For instance, this was the case with two major Nordic drama series, which both decided to postpone their productions.

Because of the large increase in the number of applications, and the fact that drama series have relatively large budgets compared to feature films, an indicative percentage rate was introduced for how much support a project could be granted in relation to its total budget. The support rate is approximately 5% for feature films, and approximately 3% for drama series.

Originality and diversity are quality factors which are emphasised in the Fund’s Funding Policy, which was updated in 2021. Accordingly, the Fund no longer grants funding to back-to-back series seasons, or immediate sequels and remakes of feature films.

There is a continuous trend for the major Nordic distributors to sublicense films to smaller distributors. This has resulted in a broader Nordic distribution of films which generally have a more narrow audience. In the course of the last few years, several minor, dedicated distributors have appeared which distribute this kind of films.

We observe that many of the drama series have a broad Nordic distribution. Particularly productions financed by the pan-Nordic parties NENT and C More. In addition, the five Nordic public broadcasters have ensured, via the N12 initiative, that many of the productions they initiate have screenings and marketing plans in all the five Nordic countries.

Internationally we have for many years seen a tendency for both feature films and drama series to be based on an already well-known IP, like books or real events. This tendency was also noticeable in the Fund’s 2021 application pile. However, with the present increase in the number of productions, there is hope that more talents will be cultivated who will also create original stories

  • I Am Earth, Verden er min, Amy Blac Ndiaye555 Helge Skodvin, Monday Scripted
    I Am Earth, Verden er min, Amy Blac Ndiaye
    PHOTO: Helge Skodvin, Monday Scripted
  • The Kiss, Kysset© Rolf Konow
    The Kiss, Kysset
    PHOTO: Rolf Konow
  • Mobile 1.0., Sampo Sarkola 555Rabbit films, Laura Mainiemi
    Mobile 1.0., Sampo Sarkola
    PHOTO: Rabbit films, Laura Mainiemi

Nordisk Film & TV Fond Documentary Year

Launching Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s new Theme Year initiative, spotlighting a specific area of interest every year, 2021 was designated Documentary Year, entailing a string of documentary activities and initiatives throughout the year to put extra focus on how to strengthen the documentary genre in the Nordics:

20% more funding for documentaries: The Fund consistently receives more qualifying applications than it has the means to support, and it is evident that producers are struggling more than ever to finance the high-end, border-crossing documentaries that it is Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s mandate to support and promote. This was acknowledged by increasing the documentary funding pool from 10 to 12 million NOK, offering top financing to 22 projects in 2021. In addition, the amount of applications increased with 25% compared to the previous year, and there was also a substantial rise in series applications. All in all, the Fund received 35 applications for funding for documentaries.

Report: Distribution of Nordic Documentaries: In April, the Fund published a report by documentary consultant, Jan Daae, covering the full distribution of documentaries supported by the Fund, premiering between 2015-2018. It is a comprehensive, facts-and-figures presentation of the financing and distribution reality for high-end creative documentaries, pre-pandemic. Key findings of the report include the major differences in budget ranges between the Nordic countries, the border-crossing successes on public service flow tv, and the potential of the many VOD platforms still not fulfilled. For Nordisk Film & TV Fond, the report has obvious relevance, given that financing and distribution make up a big part of assessment criteria according to the Fund’s financing principles. Thus, it is important to keep abreast of the overall results of the supported films and develop application processes in accordance with shifts in the industry. Having such a valuable collection data on hand, it only made sense to share it with the documentary community at large. The more the industry knows, the better it can navigate current and future challenges.

Cph:Conference: At the third session in Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s collaborative initiative with Finnish Ministry of Culture and Education, “Audiovisual Collaboration 2021”, questions were raised on future post-pandemic challenges for the Nordic and European documentary industry. In a distribution landscape where audiences verge towards easier access and global platforms are on the move, is the money in fact where the audience is? Launching the report, Distribution of Nordic Documentaries, a braintrust consisting of producers, Signe Byrge Sørensen (Final Cut for Real/DK) and Christian Aune Falch (Up North Film/NO), Director of AVEK, Ulla Simonen (FI), Head of SVT Documentaries and President of the EBU Documentary Group, Axel Arnö, (SE) and Martin Dawson, Creative Europe MEDIA, discussed how to best nurture the documentary value chain and reach future audiences.

From Pre-Pandemic flashback to post-pandemic visions of documentary distribution

Nordics, 2021

Watch the recorded session here.

CPHDOX Audiovisual Collaboration© CPH CPHDOX
From Pre-Pandemic flashback to post-pandemic visions of documentary distribution
Director: CPH:DOX & Nordisk Film & TV Fond
Producer: CPH:DOX
Country: Nordics

Nordisk Panorama Town Hall: Launched as a new annual event, the Nordisk Panorama Town Hall continued and deepened the issues discussed at Cph:Conference, again emphasising the importance of the Nordic model of collaboration, the synergy between financing and distribution, and the ultimate sharing of responsibility and ownership of a vibrant Nordic documentary community. Based on two case-studies, Nelly & Nadine (SE) on Nordic financing and Lost Boys (FI) on distribution, the floor was open, engaging delegates from all corners of the industry to comment, share and join forces. In between the annual onsite Town Halls, two online webinars will keep the conversation flowing in 2022, following up on the key issues addressed in 2021 and gearing up for the next live event at Nordisk Panorama in September 2022.

Nordisk Panorama Town Hall

Nordics, 2021

The Town Hall professional forum returned to Nordisk Panorama September 19, its stated aim to work out how best to overcome obstacles and embrace opportunities within the ever-changing documentary landscape. The event was presented in collaboration with Nordisk Film & TV Fond as part of its Audiovisual Collaboration 2021 industry meet up.

Nordisk Panorama Townhall, Karolina Lidin© Laura Catalan
Nordisk Panorama Town Hall
Director: Nordisk Panorama, Nordisk Film & TV Fond
Country: Nordics

Looking ahead: The goal of the Theme Year concept is to initiate long-term change, not only by facilitating interactions that can strengthen the Nordic industry, but also by introducing concrete measures to qualify these interactions. The above-mentioned annual Town Hall and webinars is one example. Another is the development and implementation of a more efficient method of tracking financing and distribution information on a running basis. The process of gathering and analysing the information for the report, “Distribution of Nordic Documentaries”, showed that much valuable data is not readily available, and thus collecting data in collaboration with producers in a smooth and integrated fashion is a priority. In a rapidly changing market, actually knowing what works, what doesn’t, and why, is a prerequisite for dealing proactively and not simply reactively. The more we know and share the better we can reach audiences in the Nordics and beyond.

  • Calendar Girls Fleamasters555 Love Martinsen, Pink Dolphin
    Calendar Girls Fleamasters
    PHOTO: Love Martinsen, Pink Dolphin
  • Songs of earth, Fedrelandet555Lars Erlend Tubaas Oymo
    Songs of earth, Fedrelandet
    PHOTO: Lars Erlend Tubaas Oymo
  • HISTORJÁ STITCHES FOR SÁPMÍ, Britta Marakatt-Labba555 BRF
    HISTORJÁ STITCHES FOR SÁPMÍ, Britta Marakatt Labba
    PHOTO: BRF

Children and youth - a priority

24 children and youth projects received production support.

Feature film Drama Series Documentaries
Approvals 35 28 22
Approvals for C/Y 10 29% 10 36% 4 18%

Among the 24 projects were 7 animations. The animation projects are mainly aimed at the younger target group, i.e. children up to 10-12 years of age. The live-action projects are mainly targeting families with children, while some are aimed at youth under the age of 20. Many of these feature teenagers in leading roles, with relevant issues that primarily relate to the target group, but which also turn out to be of great interest and entertainment value to adult audiences.

The Fund received 24 applications for distribution and dubbing support for films for children and youth, and they all received funding.

  • TSUMU Where Do You Go With Your Dreams, TSUMU Hvor går du hen med dine drømme, Lars Korneliussen, Eino Taunajik, Thomas Jacobsen555 Holy Ravioli, Jonas Møller
    TSUMU Where Do You Go With Your Dreams, TSUMU Hvor går du hen med dine drømme, Lars Korneliussen, Eino Taunajik, Thomas Jacobsen
    PHOTO: Holy Ravioli, Jonas Møller
  • Fleak, Lauri and Fleak 555Anima Vitae
    Fleak, Lauri and Fleak
    PHOTO: Anima Vitae
  • Tulipop Series 555 Tulipop Studios
    Tulipop Series
    PHOTO: Tulipop Studios

The purpose of the Fund’s distribution and dubbing support is to promote Nordic films to Nordic audiences. This is done through support for Nordic distributors launching non-national Nordic films. The challenges cinema theatres and distributors faced in 2020 related to the Covid-19 restrictions largely continued in 2021, and the year was marked by unpredictability and postponed premiere dates for a number of films. Box office numbers were once again affected by the lockdowns and restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather. When cinema theatres were open, the audiences went to see epic films like the James Bond film No Time to Die, but also national films like Checkered Ninja 2, Compartment No. 6, Cop Secret, Three Wishes for Cinderella, and Sune – Mission Midsummer did well, and hit the national Top 10 lists of most watched films in 2021.

  • Checkered Ninja 2© 2021, A Film Production, Pop Up Production, Sudoku
    Checkered Ninja 2
    PHOTO: 2021, A Film Production, Pop Up Production, Sudoku
  • Three Wishes for Cinderella, Tre nøtter til Askepott, Cengiz Al, Astrid Smeplass555 Storm Films, Nordisk Film Distribusjon
    Three Wishes for Cinderella, Tre nøtter til Askepott, Cengiz Al, Astrid Smeplass
    PHOTO: Storm Films, Nordisk Film Distribusjon

A certain optimism could be detected among the Nordic distributors, as several of the films which were postponed in 2020 now opened nationally, and thereby became available for screenings in the neighbouring countries. The level of financing of this scheme ended up close to the 2019 level, and in 2021 the Fund granted support totalling NOK 8,647,000. Altogether, 26 individual distribution grants were awarded, and 13 slate fundings, 2-3 per slate. In addition, 13 dubbing grants were allocated.

Three children and family films were dubbed into altogether three Nordic languages: A Christmas Tale, Mamma Moo Finds Her Way Home, and The Exploits of Moominpappa – Adventures of a Young Moomin. Thereby, the Fund contributed to making Nordic contents available to the younger generation. Above all in Iceland, which received seven out of 13 dubbing grants.

  • A Christmas Tale, Simon Larson, Jonas Karlsson 555 SF Studios, Niklas Maupoix
    A Christmas Tale, Simon Larson, Jonas Karlsson
    PHOTO: SF Studios, Niklas Maupoix
  • The Exploits Of Moominpappa - Adventures Of A Young Moomin © Filmkompaniet
    The Exploits Of Moominpappa Adventures Of A Young Moomin
    PHOTO: Filmkompaniet

In the course of the Documentary Year 2021, the Fund has contributed to the distribution in several of their neighbouring countries of documentaries like the music documentary a-ha the Movie, the award-winning animation success Flee, the poetical animal documentary Gunda, and the festival success The Most Beautiful Boy in the World, about the fate of the boy who became world famous overnight after starring in Visconti’s Death in Venice (1971).

  • A ha The Movie 555 Motlys 14
    A ha The Movie
    PHOTO: Motlys 14
  • The Most Beautiful Boy In The World, Bjorn Andresen Shooting Morte A Venezia 555 Mario Tursi 1970
    The Most Beautiful Boy In The World, Bjorn Andresen Shooting Morte A Venezia
    PHOTO: Mario Tursi 1970

In the field of fiction, three films have reached/reach audiences in all of three other Nordic countries through the support of the Fund. The Norwegian Ninjababy, which was named Best Comedy at the European Film Awards, the Icelandic Lamb, which was developed through the Fund’s Nordic Genre Boost initiative, and Riders of Justice, one of Denmark’s most watched films in 2020.

  • Ninjababy, Kristine Kuhjath Thorp ©Motlys
    Ninjababy, Kristine Kuhjath Thorp
    PHOTO: Motlys
  • Riders Of Justice© Rolf Konow
    Riders Of Justice
    PHOTO: Rolf Konow
Nordic cinema admissions
Total admissions: 22.7 million (2020: 22.1 million)
Denmark: 6.9 Mill.
(2020: 7.2)
Sweden: 6 Mill.
(2020: 5.7)
Norway: 5.7 Mill.
(2020: 4.8)
Finland: 3.4 Mill.
(2020: 3.9)
Iceland: 0.7 Mill.
(2020: 0.5)
Local film market share
Denmark: 41 %
(2020: 50.4%)
Norway: 30.1 %
(2020: 35.6%)
Finland: 25.1 %
(2020: 41.1%)
Sweden: 11 %
(2020: 26.8%)
Iceland: 11 %
(2020: 17%)

NORDISK FILM & TV FOND PRIZE

The Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize was awarded for the fifth time in 2021. The Screenplay Prize is presented in cooperation with the Göteborg Film Festival’s TV Drama Vision, and the purpose of the Prize is to highlight the importance of screenwriting in creating a drama series. The cash prize is NOK 200,000, and is presented to the screenwriter of the series.

As part of the increasing the visibility of the Prize, the nominations, interviews with the nominated screenwriters, and the winner were announced in both the Festival’s and the Fund’s channels, like home pages, newsletters, and social media.

The nominations for Nordisk Film & TV Fond’s Prize 2021 were revealed on the 18th of December 2020. The Prize awarding ceremony took place on the 3rd of February 2021 during the TV Drama Vision’s all-digital event.

See below for further information on the nominees and the winner.

Winner 2021

Cry Wolf

Winner 2021
Denmark, 2020

We congratulate screenwriter Maja Jul Larsen with the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize for "Cry Wolf"!

Cry Wolf, Ulven Kommer, Flora Ofelia Hofman Lindahl, Noah Storm Otto© Michella Bedah
Cry Wolf
Director: Pernille Fischer Christensen, May El-Toukhy, Samanou Sahlstrøm, Niclas Bendixen
Writer: Maja Jul Larsen
Producer: DR Drama, Claudia Saginario
Country: Denmark
Original title: Ulven kommer

Cargo

Finland, 2022

Nominated writer: Matti Kinnunen

Cargo, Rahti Evelyn Rasmussen, Osazuwa© Mark Cassar
Cargo
Director: Matti Kinnunen
Writer: Matti Kinnunen
Producer: Fremantle Finland, Kirsi Hatara, Rea Dominicy, Joonas Hytönen
Country: Finland
Original title: Rahti

Sisterhood

Iceland, 2022

Nominated writer: Jóhann Ævar Grímsson

Sisterhood, Systrabönd, Lilja Nótt Þórarinsdóttir© Lilja Jónsdóttir
Sisterhood
Director: Silja Hauksdóttir
Writer: Jóhann Ævar Grímsson
Producer: Sagafilm, Tinna Proppé, Hilmar Sigurðsson, Kjartan Thor Thordarson
Country: Iceland
Original title: Systrabönd

Welcome to Utmark

Norway, 2022

Nominated writer: Kim Fupz Aakeson

Welcome To Utmark, Velkommen Til Utmark, Tobias Santelmann© HBO Nordic
Welcome to Utmark
Director: Dagur Kári
Writer: Kim Fupz Aakeson
Producer: Paradox, Finn Gjerdrum, Stein Kvae
Country: Norway
Original title: Velkommen til Utmark

Thin Blue Line

Sweden, 2021

Nominated writer: Cilla Jackert

Thin Blue Line, Tunna Blå Linjen, Gizem Erdogan© Jon Rudberg, Anagram
Thin Blue Line
Director: Sanna Lenken, Anders Hazelius, Mikael Hansson
Writer: Cilla Jackert
Producer: Anagram Sverige, Martin Persson, Erik Magnusson
Country: Sweden
Original title: Tunna blå linjen

The jury selecting the winner comprised actress Evin Ahmad (SE), producer and Head of International Content Development at The Mediapro Studio, Ran Tellem (IL), and Festival Director at the THIS – Aarhus, Felicia Elisabeth Jackson (DK). They awarded the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize to Maja Jul Larsen for Cry Wolf. Part of the jury’s motivation read:

"There is no black-and-white in this show. The characters contain both good and evil. The series pilot tells the story, but leaves you with so much that you want to watch the rest. It questions you as a viewer. What should you believe? You both love and hate each character - we believe them all, but they can’t all be telling the truth. It is complicated but gripping – this is why we have television!”

For the entire motivation, and further information on the Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize 2021, CLICK HERE.

NORDIC TALENTS

The 21st edition of Nordic Talents was, for the second year in a row, organised digitally due to Covid-19. Nordic Talents is the Fond’s annual meeting arena, building bridges between new talents and the professional audiovisual industry. Our purpose is to draw attention to the young and promising talents, as well as facilitating a pleasant atmosphere for network building and exchange of experience, thereby strengthening cooperation within the Nordic industry. Just under 200 participants had signed up for the Zoom event, which took place on September 8-9.

The pitch competition for Nordic graduate students from film and TV studies was announced in the spring. It was open to students graduating with a BA or MA degree in 2020/2021. The competition and the event were announced on the Fund’s various channels, like the home page, the newsletter, and the FB page. In addition, we invited a string of Nordic film and TV schools directly. From among 41 applications, we preselected 15 projects

which would compete for two prizes of altogether NOK 300,000. The prize money is allocated in the form of strategic development support for the winning projects, and the prizes are financed by the Fund.

More information on the projects that were pitched is available in the digital catalogue:

https://www.nordictalents.com

Additional programme:

  • A producer pitch, in which professional producers introduced themselves and their companies
  • A case study on the first Faroese drama series TROM
  • Roundtable conversations and speed dating on Airmeet
  • A Vimeo showcase with the pitchers’ graduation films

Prior to the Nordic Talents event, TROM’s screenwriter and director, Torfinnur Jákupsson, was interviewed by www.nordicfilmandtvnews.com. Read the story HERE.

At the event, pre-recorded pitches were shown, whereas the Q&A session with the jury took place live online. The industry jury selecting the winners comprised: Writer/director Milad Alami (SE), Zentropa producer Karoline Leth (DK), actress/writer/director Cecilie Mosli (NO), script consultant at the Icelandic Film Centre, Steven Meyers (IS/US), and director/producer at Tuffi Films, Elli Toivoniemi (FI).

See below for further information on the winners of the pitch competition at Nordic Talents 2021.

Producer duo Hawa Sanneh and Jimm Garbis wins Nordic Talents 2021!

Sweden, 2022

The Nordic Talents Pitch Prize went to Hawa Sanneh and Jimm Garbis, from Stockholm University of the Arts (SKH), who pitched they fiction film project "Lovette"

Jimm Garbis, Hawa Sanneh555 Private
Producer duo Hawa Sanneh and Jimm Garbis wins Nordic Talents 2021!
Country: Sweden

Special Mention to Angelika Abramovitch

Sweden, 2022

Director Angelika Abramovitch from Stockholm University of the Arts (SKH) pitched her fiction film "A Soviet Love Story".

Angelika Abramovitch555 Private
Special Mention to Angelika Abramovitch
Country: Sweden

Additional information on Nordic Talents 2021 is available HERE.

NORDIC COUNCIL FILM PRIZE

Every year, The Nordic Council awards five prizes, among them the Nordic Council Film Prize. The additional prizes are the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize, The Nordic Council Literature Prize, The Nordic Council Music Prize, and the Nordic Council Environment Prize. The purpose of the Film Prize is to promote the production of Nordic film and the development of the Nordic film market, and in the long term also contribute to strengthening Nordic film internationally.

The Film Prize was awarded for the first time in 2002, and was permanently established in 2005. It goes to a feature film anchored in Nordic culture, of high artistic value, which has distinguished itself through artistic originality, and emerges as a well-integrated piece of work. When the nominated films are compared, it is also an advantage if the film is innovative within the film genre. Films should make use of one of the Nordic languages in order to be nominated for the Film Prize. The prize amount of DKK 300,000 is distributed equally between the winning film’s director, screenwriter, and producer.

See below for for info on the nominated films and the winner of the Nordic Council Film Prize 2021.

Winner 2021

Flee

Winner 2021
Denmark, 2021

Flee tells the extraordinary true story of a man, Amin, on the verge of a marriage which compels him to reveal his hidden past for the first time. This secret that he has been hiding for over twenty years threatens to ruin the life he has built for himself. He recounts his dramatic journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan to Denmark. Told mostly through animation, Flee weaves together a tapestry of images and memories to tell the deeply affecting and original story of a young man, grappling with his traumatic past in order to find his true self and the meaning of home.

Flee© Final Cut For Real
Flee
Director: Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Writer: Jonas Poher Rasmussen and Amin (anonym)
Producer: Monica Hellström, Charlotte de la Gournerie, Signe Byrge Sørensen
Country: Denmark
Original title: Flugt

Any Day Now

Finland, 2020

13-year old Ramin Mehdipour and his Iranian family have been living in a refugee centre in Finland. Just as Ramin starts to enjoy the school holidays, the family receives the terrible news their asylum application has been denied. The Mehdipours file a final appeal, and they continue with their everyday lives, trying to keep a positive attitude despite the looming danger of deportation. As Ramin starts the new school year, every moment, every friendship will be more precious than ever.

Any Day Now Ensilumi Finland 01 Aamu Film Company Foto555 Sami Kuokkanen
Any Day Now
Director: Hamy Ramezan
Writer: Hamy Ramezan
Producer: Jussi Rantamäki, Emilia Haukka
Country: Finland
Original title: Ensilumi

Alma

Iceland, 2022

After having witnessed her father’s brutal murder, three-year-old Alma and her mother fled their war-torn homeland and settled in Iceland. Now, 25 years later, Alma is serving time in a psych ward for murdering her boyfriend, a crime she can’t remember. But when she discovers the boyfriend is still alive, Alma decides to escape and kill him after all.

ALMA Still1 B 555 DUO Productions
Alma
Director: Kristín Jóhannesdóttir
Writer: Kristín Jóhannesdóttir
Producer: Guðrún Edda Þórhannesdóttir, Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, Egil Ødegård
Country: Iceland
Original title: Alma

Gunda

Norway, 2020

Where his prior documentary Aquarela was a reminder of the fragility of human tenure on earth, in Gunda, Victor Kossakovsky reminds us that we share our planet with billions of other animals. Through encounters with a mother sow (the eponymous Gunda), two ingenious cows, and a scene-stealing one-legged chicken, Kossakovsky recalibrates our moral universe, reminding us of the inherent value of life, and the mystery of all animal consciousness, including our own.

GUNDA 4 Norway Sant usant Arthaus555 Egil Håskjold Larsen Victor Kossakovsky
Gunda
Director: Victor Kossakovsky
Writer: Victor Kossakovsky
Producer: Anita Rehoff Larsen
Country: Norway
Original title: Gunda

Tigers

Sweden, 2021

Martin is one of the most promising football talents Sweden has ever seen. At sixteen, his lifelong dream comes true when he is bought by one of Italy’s most prestigious clubs. Yet that dream comes at a very high price in terms of sacrifice, dedication, pressure and - most of all - loneliness. Martin begins to ques- tion whether this is actually the life he yearned for.

“Tigers” is a life and death rollercoaster ride through the modern-day football industry. With a unique perspective on the world of professional sports, Ronnie Sandahl tells the true story of 16-year-old football prodigy Martin Bengtsson. A coming-of-age drama about a young man’s burning obsession in a world where everything, and everyone, has a price tag.

Tigers Tigrar Sweden555 Tri Art Film Pic1
Tigers
Director: Ronnie Sandahl
Writer: Ronnie Sandahl
Producer: Piodor Gustafsson
Country: Sweden
Original title: Tigrar

As secretariat for The Nordic Council Film Prize, the Fund also in 2021 cooperated with national organisers in each of the Nordic countries in order to promote this prestigious prize. In addition, we hired professional press agents in order to secure the best media coverage possible on all platforms, both nationally and internationally.

The five nominated films were announced on the 24th of August, in connection with the opening of New Nordic Films in Haugesund. In the period between the 17th of September and the 31st of October, all the films were screened for audiences at film events in Reykjavik, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo. In 2021, this took place as a combination of physical and digital film events, due to Covid-19.

Our event partners promoted the candidates, and announced the various screenings. We jointly posted content and information regularly in several channels, by both us and them, from August until the award ceremony. The information was shared across the Nordic region.

The Nordic Council Prizes were awarded in the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen on the 2nd of November. DR produced a TV show from the awards ceremony which was streamed live and could be watched throughout the Nordic region.

The Nordic jury in 2020 consisted of the heads of the national juries: Heidi Hilarius-Kalkau Philipsen (DK), Jóna Finnsdóttir, (IS), Mikaela Westerlund (FI), Inger Merete Hobbelstad (NO), and Emma Gray Munthe (SE).

The winner of The Nordic Council Film Prize 2021 was the Danish animated documentary Flee, and this was the motivation of the jury:

“By making it easy for the audiences to relate to the main character’s existential doubts, the winning film raises concrete and disturbing questions regarding the migration debate. The stylish execution and the director’s outstanding sense of detail deliver a soulful experience which never lapses into banal sentimentalism. To observe aesthetical, political and human dimensions merged into such a sublime and artistic whole as in Flee, is a rare phenomenon.”

  • NCFP 2021 Winners Flee, Janus Billeskov, Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Charlotte de la Gournerie, Signe Byrge Sørensen555 Norden.org, Magnus Fröderberg
    NCFP 2021 Winners Flee, Janus Billeskov, Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Charlotte de la Gournerie, Signe Byrge Sørensen
    PHOTO: Norden.org, Magnus Fröderberg

For the entire motivation, and further information on the Nordic Council Film Prize 2021, CLICK HERE.

AUDIOVISUAL COLLABORATION 2021

The project “Audiovisual Collaboration 2021” was jointly organised by Nordisk Film & TV Fond and the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, during the Finnish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. It included both online and physical discussions at major film festivals as well as other brainstorming sessions. The focus was on building a sustainable, competitive, future-thinking audiovisual sector in the Nordic region, thus also supporting aims of the Council’s Vision 2030. The project that already has reached thousands, continues in 2022 and beyond. Video recordings of sessions and other material that are published on the Fund’s homepage keep adding to the reach. Discussions continue and deepen through follow-up interviews in the Fund’s Newsletter and through future events and actions. Among the ongoing and concrete efforts is a future pan-Nordic green collaboration.

  • DIVERSITY PANEL DISCUSSION, HAUGESUND 2021 555 Grethe Nygaard
    DIVERSITY PANEL DISCUSSION, HAUGESUND 2021
    PHOTO: Grethe Nygaard
  • Mikael Svensson, Maria Pirkkalainen, Anni Wessman, Anne Puolanne, Liselott Forsman© MECF, NFTF
    Mikael Svensson, Maria Pirkkalainen, Anni Wessman, Anne Puolanne, Liselott Forsman
    PHOTO: MECF, NFTF
WHEN WITH WHOM / VENUE WHAT FOLLOW UP
2021
29 Jan. GÖTEBORG FILM FESTIVAL NORDIC COMPATIBILITY, BI RESEARCH
15 March EU + PARTNERS / OPEN WEBINAR EU MEDIA ACTION PLAN Dec 2021 – Jan 2022
27 April CPH:DOX DISTRIBUTION, DOC DISTR. RESEARCH Panelist interviews in Newsletter (May-June)
2 Sept. NORWEGIAN FILM FESTIVAL ETHNIC DIVERSITY
19 Sept. NORDISK PANORAMA TOWN HALL: DOC FINANCING + DISTRIBUTION Pan-Nordic article in Newsletter (December)
24 Sept. FINNISH FILM AFFAIR ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY Discussions and webinars (October 2021 – Spring 2022)
14 Dec. ONLINE INTERACTIVE PLATFORM LAUNCH
2022
21 Jan. ONLINE SEMINAR THE FUTURE OF FILM FINANCING
3 Feb. GÖTEBORG FILM FESTIVAL WRAP-UP, NEXT SUSTAINABILITY STEPS

The Fund's participation at festivals, seminars and industry meetings

JANUARY: Film Political Summit (Göteborg Film Festival)
FEBRUARY: TV Drama Vision/Nordic Film Market (Göteborg Film Festival), Reality Check - Round table discussion (International Film Festival Rotterdam)
MARCH: Berlinale European Film Market (Berlinale), Cartoon Movie, Vems blikk – Vems berättelse (Film & TV Producenterna, SF Studios et al.), CPH:DOX Forum (CPH:DOX)
AUGUST: New Nordic Films (The Norwegian Film Festival)
SEPTEMBER: Nordisk Panorama/Nordic Forum, Finnish Film Affair (Helsinki International Filmfestival), Nordic Talents (Nordisk Film & TV Fond), Seriedagene Oslo
NOVEMBER: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, The Nordic Council Film Prize and sessions (The Nordic Council/The Nordic Council of Ministers)
DECEMBER: The International Drama Summit (C21 Media), Nordic Panorama Doc Forward

Applications and funding

Total amount of funding 2021 NOK 126.25 million (2020: 117.86 million)
Fiction films: 41 %
TV films/drama series: 40 %
Documentaries: 9 %
Distribution and dubbing: 7 %
Industry initiatives: 3 %

Total number of applications: 201 (for funding of production, distribution/dubbing and industry initiatives)
Total number of applications strategic development funding: 41 (Nordic Talents)

Total number of approvals: 154 (156 incl. NT)
Strategic development funding: 2 approvals (Nordic Talents winners)
Production funding – fiction: 35 approvals for feature films and 28 approvals for TV films/drama series
Production funding – documentaries: 22 approvals
Distribution and dubbing funding: 39 approvals (single film-based support)
Slate distribution funding: 13 approvals (2-3 films per slate)
Industry initiatives: 17 approvals

Gender statistics

Gender balance in total number of production support applications vs. total number of approvals.

Applied Approvals
Total 131 85
Producer
Female 61 47% 34 40%
Male 42 32% 29 34%
Multi* 28 21% 22 26%
Director
Female 49 37% 34 40%
Male 76 58% 49 58%
Multi* 6 5% 2 2%
Writer (NA for Docs)
Female 28 21% 21 25%
Male 50 38% 33 39%
Multi* 18 14% 9 11%

Gender balance in approvals pr. application category

Feature film Drama Series Documentary
Approvals 35 28 22
Producer
Female 11 31% 14 50% 9 41%
Male 14 40% 4 14% 11 50%
Multi* 10 29% 10 36% 2 9%
Director
Female 10 29% 14 50% 10 45%
Male 25 71% 13 46% 11 50%
Multi* 0 0% 1 4% 1 5%
Writer
Female 9 26% 12 43% NA
Male 22 63% 11 39% NA
Multi* 4 11% 5 18% NA

*Multi - cases where the function was shared by persons of different genders
Note: If 2 or more of the same gender shared the function, they are counted as one in the tables above.

Administration

In 2021 the Fund had 6 employees, corresponding to 5.5 man-labour years:

CEO: Liselott Forsman
Senior Advisor Legal & Strategy: Lise Løwholm
Senior Advisor Fiction: Torleif Hauge
Senior Advisor Documentary: Karolina Lidin
Project Manager: Ann-Sophie W. Birkenes
Economy Controller: Salma Reiermark Karoliussen

CEO compensation:
The Secretariat's work is led by the Fund's CEO Liselott Forsman, who received a total income of NOK 1,327,861, including salary, pension contributions, holiday allowance and other remuneration.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is appointed by the Nordic Council of Ministers. It consists of persons with insight into the Fund's areas of work. At least two board members shall have competence in the field of film, and at least two in the field of television. The composition of the Board was changed in the course of the year, as several appointed board members changed workplaces during the period.

Ordinary Members
Denmark
Ane Mandrup, Danish Film Institute
Finland
Lasse Saarinen, Finnish Film Foundation (Chairperson)
Iceland
Skarphéðinn Guðmundsson, RÚV
Norway
Christopher Haug / Alice Sommer, TV 2 Norway
Sweden
Kristina Colliander / Magdalena Jangard, Swedish Film Institute (Deputy Chairperson)
Deputy Members
Denmark
Lars Fredenlund Høgsberg / Julie Lungholt, DR
Finland
Karoliina Kivijärvi, MTV3
Iceland
Þórhallur Gunnarsson, SÝN
Norway
Eivind Landsverk / Rasmus Børja Øyen, Discovery Networks Norway
Sweden
Anna Croneman, SVT

Meetings:
The Board of Directors held three board meetings: 17 March, 22 June and 26 October.

Board Member fees:
NOK 22,500 for the Board Members, and NOK 30,000 for the Chairperson.

Miscellaneous

  • The accounts for 2021 were audited by the Office of the Auditor General of Norway.
  • The accounting firm Nitschke & Borgting was retained for assistance on salary payment and accounts.
  • In 2021, the Fund paid pension contributions for its employees.
  • The Fund's operations do not pollute the external environment.
  • The administration's absence due to illness was equal to 0%.
  • The working conditions are highly satisfactory, in terms of space, equipment and environment.
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