Filmkontakt Nord is Out and About in the Fall
Katrine Kiilgaard is on the international jury at doclisboa in Portugal, 16-23 October.
26-29 October Jing Haase is attending Cinekid in Amsterdam, promoting the children's films in FkN's film catalogue.
Katrine Kiilgaard and Karin Johansson-Mex will be at Sheffield Doc/Fest with a Nordic delegation of 26 producers.
the Friday Night Gala Party Filmkontakt Nord, in cooperation with the
Finnish Film Foundation, the Swedish Film Institute and the Norwegian
Film Institute, will be hosting a Nordic Vodka Hour. All accredited
guests are invited to meet the Nordic delegation over a shot of vodka!
At CPH:DOX (4-14 November), Katrine Kiilgaard has again this year curated a series of Nordic films for the digital DOX:MARKET.
professionals will get a taste of some of the latest and greatest
Nordic docs from this year's competition at Nordisk Panorama. These
titles are also available at Nordisk Panorama Market Online
for registered professionals to watch around the clock at their own
convenience. Here they will find the remainder of this year's Nordisk
Panorama competition programmes in addition to numerous other Nordic
shorts and docs from the past year. More than 850 films are now
available at the platform - just a click away.
Jing Haase will be in Switzerland 12-15 November, attending International Short Film Festival Winterthur.
During the same weekend, Katrine Kiilgaard will be present at Aarhus Film Festival in her position as Chairman of the Board.
And at the end of November, Karin Johansson-Mex and Katrine Kiilgaard will be at IDFA in Amsterdam. On Sunday, 21 November, Filmkontakt Nord is hosting a Breakfast Meeting for all attending Nordic filmmakers.
Nordisk Panorama Market Online
will once more be at the center of FkN's promotional activities, when
the platform will be presented to all the buyers attending Docs for
New Nordic and International Initiatives
At Nordisk Panorama this September, distribution strategist Peter Broderick, head of Paradigm Consulting, gave a key note distribution speech on strategies and alternative funding methods entitled Seize the Future. The Cutting Edge of Distribution.
presented case-stories from documentary professionals who have
exploited alternative methods like crowd funding and self-marketing to
make their documentaries reach audiences and ultimately, increase
revenues. He stressed the importance that the filmmakers stay in overall
control of their distribution and avoid a total sell out of rights to
Director and producer Morten Daae from Norwegian
Snitt Film Production attended the seminar, and he agrees with
Broderick’s advice on staying in control and exploring differentiated
“In my experience, traditional distributors
ignore alternative distribution. In my future projects, I will never
give away distribution wholesale unless the distributor can present a
wholesale distribution strategy!" says Daae to Filmkontakt Nord.
it comes to alternative measures like crowd funding from Internet
campaigns, Daae sees it as a real alternative to traditional funding and
a model that could work as a distribution model for all docs. However,
he mentions three types of projects for which crowd funding is
especially suited, according to Broderick:
"- No-budget starter films, where you can whip up support from friends, family and fellow film nerds
- Niche films with a tight "fan base" - pilots, sports, etc.
- Political action films that go against the mainstream views
theory there are no limits. However, your subject may attract investors
you don't want. One doc I'm working on pinpoints African war criminals.
I could approach people known to have racist views on this. Would I?
No”, says Daae.
But can crowd funding replace traditional funding and what does it take to succeed?
topics have advocates, or in some cases a fan base. You could build a
fan base as a filmmaker. In most cases, it depends on the film. You need
to get enough people to believe that the film would never be made
without their contribution, you have to care enough about it for crowd
funding or micro funding to replace traditional funding”, says Morten
To Morten Daae the real challenge of crowd funding is not the
size of the budget, but whether you’re ready to put the efforts needed –
and the time – into the battle.
“Whether your budget is tiny or
large, you have to be really committed to go this way. Traditional
funding via broadcasters and funds is a tremendous amount of work, but
crowd funding is a way of life. You have to give something back every
step of the way to all the people who in essence become your producers
and advocates. It's not only financing, but marketing”, Daae concludes.
More information about Peter Broderick here.
Crowd Funding – a Swedish Example
The documentary project TBK-AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard, that was pitched at Nordisk Forum this September is partly funded through crowd funding.
three days, the Swedish producer Martin Persson and director Simon
Klose, raised the USD 25.000 they had set as a goal on the American
funding platform website Kickstarter. 1.737 private persons made
donations and doubled the amount to USD 51.434 before the end of the
campaign. In return, the backers receive T-shirts, DVDs or if they have
backed with 500 dollars or more, a name on the credit list.
The director Simon Klose believes that the crowd funding success of the film is due to several aspects.
reason we're successful is partly because of the great support the
Pirate Bay has internationally. Also it was the result of using the
Pirate Bay's homepage, one of the world's 100 largest web sites, to
drive over 400.000 visitors to our project on Kickstarter. The trailer
also seems to have worked, judging by all the positive feedback we got”,
says Klose who appeared in a video trailer addressing the viewers
directly and explaining about the project.
The filmmakers spent one
month preparing a website, trailers, texts, T-shirts etc., and now after
the campaign, they keep the community updated through their blog www.tpbafk.tv.
us, having thousands of people on five continents talking about our
film, is worth the time a little blogging takes”, says Simon Klose. He
is optimistic about how far you can go with crowd funding for any kind
of documentary project.
“I think crowd funding could work for any
project. If you communicate honestly you can gain the trust of a
community of likeminded people on the net. With trust it seems people
are willing to back projects. But sure, if the topic is about a
controversial issue that affects a lot of people it might work better.
Raising money on the Internet for a film about the future of the
internet apparently worked”.
The money raised on Kickstarter covers
half of the USD 530.000 budget (approx. € 380.000). Funding bodies like
Swedish public broadcaster SVT, the Swedish Film Institute and Film i
Skåne are co-producing the project, and Simon Klose is confident that
more financiers may get on board after the follow up on meetings from
the pitch at Nordisk Forum. But: “It’s more fun pitching directly to
your audience than to TV-commissioners”, he admits.
1 Million Film Prize and New Talent Award at GIFF
The Dragon Award, the main award at Gothenburg International Film Festival,
GIFF, has become one of the biggest film festival prizes in the world.
Together with the Gothenburg Municipality and the region of Västra
Götaland County, GIFF decided to raise the prize money from SEK 100.000
to one million SEK to ensure the high-level film standard.
The Dragon Award Best Nordic Film has existed for 22 years.
New Dragon Fund
a new fund has been created to facilitate the development of Nordic
films and secure the existence of the Dragon Award on a long-term basis.
Profits from ticket sales to the celebration gala evening and
contributions from companies, businesses and individuals, will go into
the Dragon Fund. A sold out gala held earlier this October has so far
generated SEK 500.000 to the Dragon Fund.
New Dragon Award New Talent
GIFF has announced the launch of a new international online competition
and the international short film prize, the Dragon Award New Talent.
The competition is open to everybody who has a film of maximum 10
minutes to upload on the Internet. Registration deadline is 31 December.
Audiences can vote until 16 January, and after this date a jury will select a winner from the 10 highest-ranking films.
The prize ceremony will take place at the Dragon Award Gala on 5 February 2011 in Gothenburg.
A Paradise for Film Lovers in Reykjavik
the middle of the economic troubles in Iceland, a new film initiative
shines a light on the Icelandic capital. Thanks to the persistent
efforts of local industry professionals’ to promote film culture and
education, a new independent art cinema and film house Bíó Paradís,
opened on 15 September in Reykjavik. Bíó Paradís replaces the of the
older cinema Regnbogin that was located on the premises since 1977, and
will operate both as a cinema and as a meeting place for audiences, film
talents and professionals.
Bíó Paradís will present a wide range of
contemporary Icelandic and foreign feature films, new art house
releases, shorts and documentaries as well as archive material.
The film house and cinema will also host major film festivals such as Nordisk Panorama, Reykjavik Short Film Days and Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF).
new four screen theatre was backed by the City of Reykjavik that
granted ISK 12 million (approx. € 79.000), as well as funding from other
investors including the Icelandic Film Centre.
Bíó Paradís is run by the non-profit organisation Heimili kvikmyndanna (The Home of Cinema), founded by The Association of Icelandic Film Producers, The Filmmakers Association, Film Director’s Guild Iceland, Reykjavik International Film Festival, and The Cinephiles Society . Managing director of Bíó Paradís is Lovisa Óladóttir.
For more information, see here.
Nordic Cinemas on the Verge of Digitisation
The transition to digital projection in cinemas is advancing in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
In Norway, the digitisation process, which began earlier this year when the industry organisation Film & Kino
reached a distribution agreement with the major Hollywood studios, came
to a halt when the independent cinema distributors refused to sign the
digitisation agreement. They criticised it for being in favour of
commercial films and demanded better conditions that would secure
diversity of programming also in smaller towns.
Film & Kino
announces in a press release earlier this month that a new agreement has
now been reached and signed by all parties. The new agreement is based
on a so-called VPF (Virtual Print Fee) which means that distributors pay
a fee to set up films in cinemas for a period of between six and eight
years, until the investments in digitisation are repaid.
The digitisation of cinemas in Norway is expected to be completed before summer 2011.
Sweden, the Swedish government has set aside SEK 60 million over four
years to the digitisation of cinemas. The initiative aims to help
cinemas in smaller towns cope with the transition to digital technology
and to allow for a more diversified programming in cinemas. Digitisation
will also provide a possibility of screening operas, music and theatre
pieces live as well as sports or computer game competitions.
The digitisation of Swedish cinemas will be managed by the Swedish Film Institute.
Denmark, art cinemas in smaller towns will be able to apply for funding
to digitisation from the Danish Film Institute. The government,
however, has not reserved ‘new money’ for digitisation in the new Film
Agreement for 2011-2014 meaning the Danish Film Institute
that is managing the digitisation process, might have to find the funds
within their total budget. Details on the matter are likely to be
published later this month in the new Film Agreement, which is currently
Increased NFI Funding to Docs
The Norwegian Government will pool an extra NOK 32 million to film into next year’s state budget and promises to increase funding to documentaries.
21,5 million out of the NOK 659 million state budget will go to the Norwegian Film Institute’s funding of documentaries, TV-drama and feature films. 4 Millions are earmarked regional initiatives.
documentary industry had asked for NOK 30 million extra as a result of
the crisis that has led to cut backs on documentary content on the
Norwegian TV-channels and affected the production companies.
to the Norwegian Film Institute’s funding scheme for drama series,
there is no specific funding resources for documentary series. Single
docs and series compete for the same money, a fact that makes is
difficult to obtain funding for the more costly documentary series.
The Norwegian Film and TV Producer’s Association
appreciates the boost to the documentary sector and sees it as
recognition of the documentary industry as such. Other representatives
from the documentary industry seem to be more hesitant as to whether the
extra money is sufficient to bring the industry through the crisis.
See more about the budget increase here.
First Draft of New Film Policy Agreement Presented
Danish government has presented their proposal for a new Film Policy
Agreement for 2011-2014. The keywords of the text are flexibility,
sustainability and international branding of the film sector.
overall budget of DKK 2 billion for the support of film in the period
will remain on the same level as the present agreement. The funds will
be managed by the Danish Film Institute Film, and DKK 480 million of the
total budget comes from the two Danish public broadcasters DR and TV2.
government’s proposal states that DKK 165 million will be earmarked to
the documentary sector over the next four years, to development,
production (of 120-140 documentaries) and distribution. DR and TV2
Denmark will invest DKK 60 million each per year in local documentary
Preeceding the publication of the government’s proposal, the Danish Producer’s Association
presented their 10-point documentary proposal to the new Film
Agreement. The proposal aims to raise more funding to the documentary
sector and provide measures to ease the transition to new markets and
In brief, some of the points in the producers’ report include:
- More financial resources to the Danish Film Institutes funding schemes of documentaries
- A strengthened support to regional film funds
The establishment of a central distribution office that can offer help
and advice the industry in developing new business models and find their
way around on new markets.
Some of these demands might be met in the new film deal, that is expected to be finalised at the end of October.
A summary of the government’s proposal to the Film Agreement can be found here.
Swedish Film Budget Status Quo for 2011
The Swedish government’s proposal for a new film budget will not be increased for 2011 although the Swedish Film Institute
SFI, during four years has been saying that the Swedish film industry
needs another SEK 100 million to maintain the same level of quality,
says SFI Filmnyheterna.
The SFI will see its overall budget reduced
by SEK 23,5 millions due to the redistribution of some SFI funds to
other cultural bodies. Some of the areas managed by the SFI will now be
placed under other culture organisations. The film archive for instance,
will be transferred to the Royal Library as of 1 January. Also a new
distribution model for the government support of the regional resources
will be in place from next year, transferring SEK 16 million from the
SFI to the Cultural Council that will be managing the funds to regional
Read more about the Swedish governments budget proposal here.
Nordic Programmes on Baltic TV Screens
in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will be able to watch Nordic
documentaries, life style, nature and culture programmes on their TV.
the Nordic TV and media umbrella of the five Nordic public service
television broadcasters DR (Denmark), NRK (Norway), SVT (Sweden), YLE
(Finland) and Icelandic RUV, earlier this year offered a package of 104
programs representing 50 hours of air time to the Baltic TV stations to
broadcast over a period of years.
The initiative is made to
strengthen the collaboration and the exchange of experience and is also
meant as a helping hand due to the financial crisis that has put
pressure on public broadcasters in the Baltic region, says Nordvision.
an Estonian point of view, Heidi Pruuli, TV director of Estonian public
broadcaster (ERR), sees the initiative as an opportunity for the Baltic
broadcasters to further the development of exchange, collaboration and
co-productions between the Baltic and the Nordic countries.
Nordic Children’s Channels a Global Success
The children’s channels on the Nordic public service broadcasters in Denmark (DR), Sweden (SVT) and Norway (NRK) are highly popular.
to Nordvision, the television and media partnership between the five
Nordic public service broadcasters, children’s TV that offers
diversified programmes on non-commercial TV channels seams to appeal to
both parents and children.
The children’s channels NRK Super, SVTB (SVT) and Ramasjang
(DR) have shown the best ratings ever in terms of audience in the
period these channels have broadcast, and the channels are competitive
with globally oriented commercial children’s channels.
Short Films in German Cinemas
A campaign to bring back short films into the cinemas has been launched in Germany.
The goal of the Kurz vor Film
campaign is to promote short films and provide a theatrical window for a
genre that is highly popular on the Internet and on festivals. The
initiative can only be praised by all short film fans, and with the ever
growing number of shorts that is being produced, the genre deserves
exposure and attention in cinemas. This is what the people behind the
campaign are working for, and the campaign will run from September –
December 2010 and will include a signature petition to advocate for the
revival of short films as supporting films.
The Kurz vor Film campaign (Shortly before the film), is a joint initiative between the Short Film Agency Hamburg, AG Kurzfilm and interfilm Berlin and
supported by the Filmförderungsanstalt (the German Federal Film Board)
since 2009. Cinemas that show short films on a regular basis can apply
for funding up to € 1.500 from the German Federal Film Board.
For further information, click here. (Information only in German)
Online Pitching of Art Docs
European Documentary Network,
EDN, is organizing a themed online pitching session of art documentary
projects on 9 December. This is the second EDN Online Pitching Session
taking place in the EDN Video Conference Room. The session lasts one
hour and three documentary projects will be introduced. Deadline is
November 11, 2010.
EDN Online Pitching Sessions is organized to
create a forum where documentary projects with a specific focus can be
introduced and discussed. This low cost set-up makes it possible to
create room for introductions and discussions of themes and focuses not
always viable in the offline world.
At the EDN Online Pitching
Session three documentary projects are pitched to a panel of
international financiers and decision makers.
For the online
pitching there will be 6-8 financiers and experts participating to
comment on the presented projects and express their interest in
potential co-production and financing opportunities.
Participation in the online pitching session is free of charge but requires membership of EDN.
Read more about EDN and the online pitching session her
New US Documentary Fund
Tribeca Film Institute and HBO have launched the TFI Documentary Fund,
a new fellowship and grant body open to international projects. The
Fund will grant more than USD 100.000 in 2011 and support the
development of character-driven documentaries. The fund is designed to
support feature-length films with an intended length of at least 70
minutes and the fellowships will be granted to films in the early stages
of development, production or post-production.
filmmakers will get an opportunity to have one-to-one meetings with key
HBO documentary film executives, as well as to receive financial
support, supervision and guidance from TFI and HBO.
Fellowships will be granted in three categories:
The TFI/HBO ”Documentary Screen Test” Fellowship, to fund character-driven feature-length films from emerging filmmakers.
The TFI/HBO “House I Live In” Fellowship, to support the completion of dynamic documentaries from filmmakers.
The TFI/HBO “Outside Looking In” Fellowship, to propel exceptional films from advanced development into production.
will be announced at the annual TFI Awards held during the 2011 Tribeca
Film Festival. The application form can be found here.
Find more information about Tribeca Film Institute support programmes and funding here.
Coffee and Docs
The documentary-focused online film library SnagFilms will be contributing its wide collection of documentary films to the coffee giant Starbucks’ Digital Network, SDN,
set to launch later this autumn. This means that customers who visit
the Starbucks stores and access its free Wi-Fi will be able to watch the
more than 1.600 non-fiction films from the SnagFilms library.
and SnagFilms also plan to co-curate themed online film festivals
created specifically for the SDN. Launching a MusicFest, a series of
three to six music-themed documentaries will be programmed on the SDN’s
Snagfilms currently offers its free, ad-supported documentaries on its website, SnagFilms.com.
Spanish VoD Portal Showcases Shorts on iPhone and Android
series of apps from Spanish mobile TV channel operator and distributor
Kiwi Media S.L will make it possible to watch short films on iPhones and
Android mobiles for free on continental Europe.
Shortz! (http//:www.shortz-tv.com) was launched in 2008 and is a European mobile video on demand portal showcasing European shorts.
new applications will give mobile users access to a wide range of short
films on their iPhones, they will be able to rate their favourites,
share the films and get information about upcoming short film festivals
worldwide, including Nordic film festivals like Nordisk Panorama.
Joint Venture to Produce Doc Conference
Documentary Campus and Sheffield Doc/Fest
join forces to coproduce what they call the biggest industry conference
in Europe, to take place in 2011 during the 18th Sheffield Doc/Fest
The Sheffield Doc/Fest is both a film festival and a market place with pitching sessions and an annual industry conference.
German Based Documentary Campus offers advanced training courses and
Master Schools for professionals and up-coming talents in the European
According to Donata Perfall, Director of
Documentary Campus, the new partnership is an ambition to stimulate
international coproduction and to create a platform to exchange
knowledge and set new trends.
Joint Venture Encourages Networking
in touch with the right people to work on a documentary project might
become easier thanks to a close collaboration between Sheffield Doc/Fest and reelisor, a social networking platform for documentary professionals, offering networking tools and online knowledge resources.
aim of the partnership is to help match works-in-progress with
potential collaborators and reelisor will act as a web supplement to the
festival’s MeetMarket conference and other offline events.