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Third edition 1994

(Nordic Media from 1999)

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  Welcome to Nordic Media News

The editions of Nordic Media News, Nordic Media from 1999 onwards, are available on the net. The newsletter is a summary of the contents of Medier i Norden: Resymé (Scandinavian languages news bulletin).

Nordic Media News may be quoted, provided the source is clearly stated.

  Editor                                                      Publisher
Terje Flisen (TF)                                        Secretary General Søren Christensen
Postboks 1726 Vika                                  Nordic Council of Ministers,
0121 Oslo, Norge                                      Store Strandstræde 18
Tel. + 47 22 20 80 61                                 DK-1255 København K., Denmark

Nordic Media News ISSN 1396-934X electronic edition.



The report "Danmarks Radio 1995-2005" 

In June 1994, the Director of Danmarks Radio, Mr. Christian S. Nissen, initiated a project to result in a report to be the base of DR activities in the period 1995-2005.

The report was given the final treatment at the board meeting on 8 November 1994. After the meeting, the following press release was issued:

The Board has on its meeting of 8 November 1994 decided:

1. that the report now in parallel with internal discussions is made public and may be used as a base for discussion with political authorities

2. that it is the policy of Danmarks Radio that a licence fee should still be the source of financing for DR in the period

3. that the set of values and ideas described in the report constitute the main guidelines for DR programming

4. that the goal for DR in the period should be two TV channels and four radio channels

5. that the system of regional radios should be given a more visible profile in the programme offering through the establishment of nine Denmark channels

6. that as a preparation for an expansion of the amount of TV broadcasts, focus is given to the development of programmes, particularly to social and non-fiction programmes. The satellite technology should be employed as soon as possible, partly for technical transmission of TV signals to the various transmission towers, partly for a channel to be used to the distribution of programmes which, as a trial project, supplement the earth based channel

7. that digital transmissions (DAB) of classical music start, so that Danmarks Radio and their listeners may experience this new technology

8. that measures of increased efficiency and corresponding reductions in use of personnel and other fixed expenses are carried out to free resources for increased programming. In 1995-96, about 80 million DEK is earmarked through 1996 to compensate workers who are forced to leave because their positions become redundant

9. that a closer consideration of the need for extraordinary investments is carried out. So far, approximately 300 million DKK has been budgeted for the period 1995-2000. Such investments are necessary in order to carry out the plans for increased efficiency and restructuring of the company

10. that - in the continuation of the work with the plan for DR 2005 - an application is made to be allowed, on a one-time basis, to spend licence money saved in the Radio fund in order to meet extraordinary costs for restructuring and investments (see items 8 and 9 above)

11. that the set of agreements with unions is continually made simpler

12. that the economic flexibility of Danmarks Radio is increased by reducing the fixed expenses, by carrying out measures to improve efficiency and through the establishment of steering mechanisms that can increase the flexibility

13. that the Board carries out a number of more thorough analyses in order to present sufficient material for making decisions about DR 2005, including programming, by the spring of 1995.


Report from "The Information Society in the Year 2000" 

The committee called "The Information Society in the Year 2000", which was established in March 1994 presented its report in October. The main report was 100 pages long, and there was an additional volume where a number of the suggestions made in the main report are investigated more closely.

The committee was asked to create a picture of how Danes could benefit from the coming information society, to formulate the main aspects of Danish information policies, and identify special areas of efforts for the coming years as well as point out the need for potential changes in legislation.

From the amount of publicity the report has received from the Danish press, the committee has met its task. Furthermore, the report has been called an important roadmap to Denmark`s travel on the information superhighway.

The report is divided into 17 parts. Below, only five of the suggestions of particular interest to Nordic Media News readers are mentioned. Quotes are made from the summary part of the report.

A Danish strategy for the information society
When used correctly, the information technology will be a source for economic development, higher quality of life and improved public and private service. We must therefore create a strategy to bring Denmark to the front of the development towards the information society. The strategy must call for a wide use of IT, and it must be built on values like openness, democracy and responsibility for everyone in the society in order for the Danes not to divided into A- and B- teams when information technology is considered.

The public sector must play an active role together with the private sector, and must be in the forefront of efficient use of IT. A number of concrete aims must be formulated, and they must be met in the next few years and before the year 2000.

Mass media on new roads
The technological development over the next ten years will dramatically change the conditions for mass media. The upcoming legislative changes for the radio and TV sectors as well as for telecommunication networks must give freedom for new channels and companies, including nation-wide radio financed by advertising.

At the same time, the public service stations must have the freedom to enter the border areas of the new interactive services and other commercial activities, also in co-operation with other distributors or producers.

New and cheaper telecommunication services
The use of advanced information technology based on telecommunication in businesses, public institutions and private homes must be encouraged through a significant drop in prices for wide cable services, a liberalisation of the hybrid network and a wider offering of high speed links.

At the same time, the Danish government must, through European Union channels, take an initiative to lower prices of international telecommunications.

Open public network
The computer- and telecommunication network must be developed so that it becomes a contiguous public network that can be used by regular citizens and businesses alike and be conceived as being just as simple to use and easily available as the telephone system.

Carrying out the strategy
In order for a bold strategy for the information society to be carried out, it is necessary that a higher level of consciousness and debate about possibilities and problems becomes widespread.

The information society must be placed centrally on the political agenda in the Parliament and local councils, and an action plan for new initiatives must be worked out.

The Minister of Education has stated that he will present a proposal for an action plan to the Parliament in January 1995.


A House of Film 

A House of Film will be opened in Copenhagen in 1996. That is rather appropriate, because in 1996 the city will be the European Cultural Capital. The Ministry of Culture has nourished plans to gather the Danish Film Institute, Statens Filmcentral and the Danish Film Museum in a common location for some time. The institutions have wished to strengthen external activities by getting a new central location. The film censorship board will also move into the House of Films when the time is ripe. About 120 people will then be working in the new house by Rundetårn (the Round Tower) and Kongens Have (the Kings Garden).

The authorities are providing the funding, 38 million DKK, in order to have the splendid and centrally located Gutenberghus building refurbished. The process will start in 1995 and according to plans the house is to be finished one year later.The building will include a video collection, a cafeteria, a gallery and facilities for workshop based video and film production. The Vision is the name of the externally focused activities, which will contain the past and present and may hint to the future. Architectural sketches and calculations are collected in an attractive brochure which has been made by the Ministry of Education, the Building Directory and the Ministry of Culture in co-operation.


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Local radios have adjusted to lower income 

The turnover of an average Finnish local radio has been reduced by about three percent. The profits, however, have increased. Last year, the typical profit was 4,6 percent. The comparable key figures from 1992 showed 0,8 percent and 2,1 percent in 1991. The profits for large and medium size radios were significantly better than for small radios.

The total turnover in the local radio business was down eight percent last year. There has been a decline for the last three years in a row. Fortunately, the downhill of turnover figures became less steep. According to the study about local radio economy, which was ordered by the Ministry of Traffic, the radios may be separated into groups of successful and not successful radios. One third of the local radios are found in the risk group. About 15 percent of the radios have enjoyed improvements.

Increasing profits in addition to a decline in turnover shows that the local radio companies have adjusted to the unfavourable business conditions. A decrease of local radio staff shows the same thing. Typically, a local radio now offers employment for seven people instead of what used to be ten. The debt for local radios has increased, even though the local radio companies did not invest very much last year. The debt came to 81,9 percent of the turnover last year, while it was 55,8 percent in 1991. 35 radio stations were included in the study. There are 55 private local radio stations in Finland.


Steady increase in cable activities 

By the end of 1993, every third Finnish household was connected to a cable TV network. All told, there were 759,000 subscribers.

The growth has slowed down, and the increase was approximately one percent compared to the previous year. The main reason for the slowdown of the growth is that most urban areas now have their telecommunication networks. The unfavourable economic situation is another factor to explain the low growth.

The turnover in the cable transmission business was 283 million FIM last year. If you count the turnover of all advertising on Suomen Paikallis-TV Kanavat Oy, the turnover of the business increases to 305 million FIM.

The turnover was down five percent compared to the previous year. The turnover consists of connection fees (16%), subscription fees (44%) pay TV income (34%), advertising income (except from PTV; 1%) and other income (5%).

The connection fees used to be the largest source of income, but the subscription fees and the pay TV fees have now significantly passed it. The fastest growing part of the business is pay TV.

By far the largest company in the business as far as turnover is concerned is Helsinki Television Oy. The turnover of 90 million FIM counts for a third of the entire business. Telecom Finland Oy (50 million FIM), Tampereen Tietoverkko Oy (23 million FIM) and Turun Kaapelitelevisio Oy (12 million FIM) are the other large cable companies. The business had approximately 350 employees, which is the same as the previous year.

192 concessions have been granted for cable transmissions, and all of them are in use. There are 109 concession owners. Programs on the PTV channels are only available on cable, and they can be received by 570,000 households.

Eurosport still enjoys the largest distribution of international channels, and had viewers in more than 700,000 homes. Super Channel, the French TV5 and MTV Europe - the music channel - can be viewed in almost the same number of homes. The subscription part of the offering has increased even more.

The most popular of the regular pay TV channels is Filmnet, which has been split into two channels (Filmnet Plus and Filmnet The Complete Movie Channel). The most common pay TV channel package is the PlusSat package (which contains, among others, BBC, CNN, Discovery Channel, Childrens Channel, Rai Uno, TVE Internacional, TNT & Cartoon Network, 3Sat, RTL+). The first cable networks were established in Finland in the 1970s. The legislation for cable transmission was established in 1987 and the first concessions were granted in 1988.


Differing opinions on nation-wide commercial radio 

Applications for nation-wide radio financed by advertising will be decided on in the near future. The Minister of Traffic, Mr. Ole Norrback is ready to grant concessions, but the larger parties in the Government coalition are somewhat more sceptical.

Starting in the spring, three applicants have appeared: MTV Ab, the local radio called Radio Ettan in Helsinki and Muumimaailma Oy. The Minister Mr. Norrback has worked for grating concession to MTV Ab.

The situation has been further complicated by the arrival of another applicant. The Swedish telecommunication company Kinnevik, which is already active with its own local radio activity in other Nordic countries, has also applied. The application has been well prepared. Representatives from Finland have also participated in the work.

Another aspect which increases the excitement is the fact that the applicants obviously are planning digital radio broadcasts to start in a few years time. One of the owners of MTV is Nokia, which also has an interest in the market for digital radios. The Minister of Traffic has as his aim to have the Government consider the concession applications in December.


Testing video-on-demand 

The telecommunication company HPY in Helsinki has announced testing of video-on-demand from the summer of 1995. Approximately 30 households in Helsinki will be connected to a video server using ADSL technol ogy (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line). Regular telephone lines are used.

The tests will be carried out in co-operation with the Technical University in Tampere, and the project will be a part of the sub-programme Diamond in the European Union RACE project.

Philips will supply the video server (which stores the videos) and the black boxes, to be placed in the homes of the participants. According to Screen Digest, HPY is currently negotiating with the largest cable TV company in Finland, Helsinki Television, for a potential co-operation on projects where video-on-demand is the main ingredient.

TF/Screen Digest, Nov. 94

Digital technology and the development of culture 

The Ministry of Education on 3 November 1994 established an expert group to look into how digital technology affects the development of culture and the need to develop cultural policies in the information society and in the most important channels of information. The expert group must complete the study by the end of 1995.

The expert group shall cover the following tasks:

1. Make a survey

of how the international development in the area of information technology affects cultural policies and to consider, from the same angle, important circumstances and trends.

In this connection, even the role of the European union in the development of the information society should be taken into consideration, with emphasis on adaptations and contents as well as on a cultural point of view.

2. Evaluate the development in questions concerning how to produce and market technology and cultural services and the possibilities and the threats connected to them from a cultural point of view in the fields of art and communication, with particular emphasis on literature, libraries, music, film and electronic communication.

3. From a cultural point of view

investigate prospects of and possibilities to use multimedia in the arts and distribution of information, and also in questions concerning the preservation and furthering of the cultural heritage.

4. Propose suggestions for

a development strategy for cultural policies which the changing environment of communication requires, and also propose suggestions for an action plan for developing cultural measurements based on the existing cultural support systems.


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Proposal for film censorship and ban on film violence 

The Minister of Education has proposed to the Parliament new legislation containing film censorship and a ban on film violence. The primary aim of the proposed legislation is to stop the showing of films that contain extreme violence unless the purpose is education or artistic, and also to protect children as well as possible from other film material considered harmful to them.

A new element of the proposal is that it will be possible to use the legislation to subject computer games to a similar censorship as films. Computer games have obtained immense popularity in this country also, and it is considered important to keep an open eye on the offering in this field.

The Public Film Censorship Board has handled film censorship, but the proposal includes a change of name to the Film Censorship Committee. It will consist of three members appointed by the Minister of Social Affairs, a representative from the film producers, a representative from the Ministry of Justice in addition to the member appointed by the Minister of Education.


Growth in the area of film production 

This year has seen the premiere of two Icelandic films called Biodagar and Skjyahöllin. The film Biodagar has been well received abroad and has been given several awards. Right now, work on five Icelandic films is in progress, and they will probably all be available by next year.

People in the film industry are quite concerned that the budget proposals for 1995 include a cut in the support to the film fund of 20%, from 100 million ISK to 80 million ISK. In 1994, 140 applications were made to the fund for support, and 11 received notice that support will be given.


Award to Hin helgu vé  

Hrafn Gunnlaugssons film Hin helgu vé was recently given the highest award in the Nordische Filmtage, which took place in Lübeck.

The statement from the selection committee says, among other things, that the director has succeeded in an artistic and particularly brief form to describe a period in a boys life and how energetic children can become if they are subject to disappointment.


Islands radio transmits directly from the parliament 

An agreement has been made between the Parliament and Islands radio for direct TV transmissions from the negotiations in the parliament. This takes place daily until the regular programming starts at 5 p.m.

The Syn TV station has transmitted directly from the Parliament over the last two years, but these have only covered the area close to the capital. With the new agreement, all Icelandic people can follow what goes on in the parliament on TV.


Children in rural areas watch more TV than urban children 

Eight year old children living in rural Iceland watch more TV than their urban counterparts. Boys of this age watch more TV than girls. These are among the findings from an investigation into childrens culture which have been published recently. The re has been carried out by Ms. Bryndis Gunnarsdottir, who is a teacher at the Junior College for teaching. It was undertaken during the period 1989 to 1991, and covered eight year olds in the country, in towns and in cities.

The purpose of the re has been to gain information about whether differences in childrens possibilities for cultural encounters depended on where they live, and, if so, to what extent. The findings show that more than 75% of the children watch TV in the evening. 72% of the children stated that they talked with their families in the evening and 41% said that they did homework in the evening.

Next on the list was games, since 40% of the children said they played games in the evening. Fifth on the list was listening to the radio, claimed by 36% of the children, which means that the percentage is half of that of watching TV. 8% of the children claimed that they never listened to the radio, while only 1% of them said they never watched TV.

More than 71% of the children watch TV every day, and more than 38% listen to the radio daily. This makes TV a popular medium for eight year olds in Iceland regardless of where they live.

There is no difference in what types of programmes they watch correlating to where they live. However, boys seem to be more interested in watching educational programmes, news and sports than girls.

Movies and series are popular among children. On the radio, they mostly listen to music, followed by programming for children. Boys watch more video than girls: 20% of the boys say they watch video every day, while only 11% of the girls make the same claim.

The results also show that 50% of the children are never read to. One of the questions posed was whether watching TV lead to less reading aloud. Apparently, this did not make any significant difference. The children who were read to most often watch TV every day and seemingly enjoy both activities. This finding correspond to other studies in the same field. This summary has only covered areas related to mass media. The study also covered many other aspects of childrens culture.


Radio transmission from the meetings in the Reykjavik city council 

The mayor of Reykjavik recently entered an agreement with Hovedstationen (Ádalstödin) in Reykjavik for direct radio transmissions from the meetings in the city council, which are held bi-monthly.

This is not unique in Iceland, since transmissions from city councils in smaller cities have been available on some local radios for some time. Examples include Hafnarfjördur, Saudarkrokur and Olafsfjördur.


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Is the Norwegian cinema system threatened? 

Is it possible to maintain the Norwegian cinema system; a system based almost exclusively on ownership by municipalities and a collective agreement between the film distribution companies and the association of Norwegian municipal cinemas? The EEA agreement is still valid, concludes Mr. Arild Kalkvik, a Norwegian economist.

In a study published by the Norwegian Economic University in October 1994, he writes: There is no reason to doubt that the collective film agreement is not in accordance with the European Union rules of free competition.

Mr. Kalkvik is worried that the cinema business does not seem able to adjust to current reality. In his analysis of consequences, Mr. Kalkvik also raises the EEA-related question of value added tax on cinema tickets, which will lead to more expensive tickets in Norway. The concession system for cinemas may also be put under pressure.

Ms. Kristin Clemet, who chairs the board at the association of Norwegian municipal cinemas, says to the daily newspaper Aftenposten that Mr. Kalkviks scenario may be possible, but nevertheless does not see an immediate danger to the Norwegian cinema system, at least not over the next few years. According to Ms. Clemet, any moves from private interests should be met with a higher quality offering from the municipal cinemas.


Supplementary channel for NRK 

During the handling of the 1995 budget, the majority in the parliamentary Committee for Family, Culture and Administration have stated that it is desirable that NRK starts examining the possibilities of establishing a supplementary television channel to come in addition to the one channel currently in operation.

Such a supplementary channel will make it possible for NRK to offer a wider variety to the spectators. This will strengthen the company in the increasingly competitive television sector in Norway. The Committee argues that NRK has a substantial amount of programme material which is currently not being used. It considers a supplementary channel to be a valuable addition to the public broadcasting offering.

NRK will now look into different aspects of a potential new channel. For example, how it can be financed and distributed. When the study has been carried out, the case will be presented to the parliament for a final decision.

It is unclear when the new channel may start transmitting, but NRK have stated that regional television will be completed before this can take place. The establishment of regional television is expected to be completed by 1995-95.


Schibsted granted concession for TV+ 

The Ministry of Culture has in a letter dated 31 October 1994 granted the publishing house Schibsted A/S a temporary concession to start transmissions from the satellite channel TV+. In the letter of concession, the Department emphasises that new regulations to the law of broadcasting will be issued shortly. These regulations will also cover satellite channels like TV+, and will, among other things, contain rules concerning ownership. The satellite companies must meet the requirements in order to be granted permanent concessions.

A public commission is currently investigating the ownership structure of Norwegian media. The commission will probably be able to present its report by the end of 1994. This may lead to changes in the present rules for ownership in Norwegian broadcasting companies. Already, the Schibsted group is heavily involved on the ownership side TV 2, a television company financed by advertising. An agreement of co-operation has been made between TV 2 and TV+ as far as purchasing of programmes and sale of advertising is concerned. The new channel will probably start broadcasting by March 1995 over one of the satellites owned by Tele-TV.


More local broadcasting from NRK 

On 2 November, NRK started local TV broadcasts in n orthern Norway. News from that part of the country are transmitted Monday through Friday from 6:45 to 7:00 p.m. On Wednesdays, there is an additional regional magazine programme which lasts for 15 minutes. The local broadcasts cover the three northern-most counties Nordland, Troms and Finnmark. Previously, regional television broadcasts were only available in western Norway in the counties Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane, where they have been very well received by the local viewers.

The majority in the Parliament has agreed to increase the yearly NRK licence fee for 1995. The added revenue will be spent on further expansion of local television. According to the plan, viewers throughout the country will enjoy daily local direct television from the end of 1995 or the beginning of 1996.


NRK wants to co-operate with local radios 

In a letter to the Department of Culture, NRK has applied for a permission to carry out a trial project with Radio Nea, a local radio in the county Sør-Trøndelag.

According to the plan, Radio Nea may use the district broadcasts and news from NRK free of charge. Other forms of professional co-operation are also included. As a compensation, NRK will have access to programmes made by Radio Nea. A number of local radios are interested in closer co-operation with NRK.

It is particularly interesting to be allowed to use NRK programs for broadcasts in periods which the local radios do not have sufficient capacity to fill with their own time slots. Over the last few years, NRK has taken part in different types of co-operation with local radios, such as courses, co-broadcasts, purchase of programmes etc.

The questions relating to co-operation between local radios and other media companies like NRK will be dealt with in the parliamentary white paper on local broadcasting which is expected in January 1995.


Changes in ownership rules for TV 2 and P4 

There have recently been many discussions concerning ownership of TV 2. Many people have expressed the opinion that the Schibsted group has too high a share in the company. The respective boards of TV 2 and P4 have agreed to changes in the concession conditions given by the Department of Culture.

New rules have been given for when shareholders are considered to belonging to the same group of owners. The rules state that no-one is allowed to own more than one third of the companies. After the changes have been made, all the shares of someone who has what is called negative control of a company will be added to the shares which this company owns in TV 2 or P4 when the total ownership part is to be calculated. For example, this means that from now on, the shares in TV 2 owned by Schibsted A/S and the chairman of the board, Mr. Tinius Nagell-Erichsen, will be added together. The new rules do not cover purchase of shares which has already taken place.


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Culture and media in the declaration of Government 

The new social democratic government raised issues of culture and media in the declaration of Government.

- The more our society receives impulses from other countries and other cultures, the more important it becomes to protect the cultural heritage. The Swedish culture and the Swedish language must therefore be strengthened and developed. The culture must also in the future play an important part in the educational system, says Mr. Ingvar Carlsson in the declaration of Government.

A new library law is promised, and similarly better conditions for artists.

In questions of mass media policies, freedom of speech, variety and quality are emphasised. A study will be made to investigate tendencies towards concentration of power in the media arena.


The Press Study to report on ownership structures 

The Press Study -94 has been asked to present a report by 1 December 1994 about concentration of ownership inside mass media. The report will be a part of the material for the study of concentration of power in the media arena which was promised in the declaration of Government.

The suggestions from the Press Study concerning direct and indirect support of the daily press media, including production support as well as removal of value added tax and reduced taxation of advertising revenue, should be presented by the middle of April 1995.


Disagreements concerning radio auctions 

Radio Energy, where the most prominent owner is the French company NRJ, is currently becoming the dominating commercial radio company in Sweden after the auction for transmission rights which took place on 24 November. Energy can now transmit from 17 locations in Sweden.

Until the last moment, the social democrats attempted to block the entire auction. When she took office (in October), Ms. Margot Wallström criticised the way in which the previous non-socialist government had treated the question of private commercial radio, or local radio. Most of all, Ms. Wallström was critical to concessions being granted to the high bidders at an auction.

A law proposal to stop the auction obtained a solid majority in the Parliament, but the conservatives and two other parties invoked a rule to protect minority interests to delay the question for twelve months. The Parliament demanded that the rules for local radio should be subject to a parliamentary study.

According to the Swedish local radio law, no-one can possess more than one radio concession. The head of Radio Energy, Mr. Bertil Damberg, could put forward different individuals and land no less than 11 of the 23 concessions that were auctioned off. On the same day, the fact was made public that Energy also had bought the concession previously held by the controversial religious sect works. Medvik, owned by Kinnevik, which sends Z-radio, bought the concession in Three Cities, meaning Uddevalla, Trollhättan and Vänersborg, and also both concessions in Östersund. Megapol, owned by Bonnier, landed the concession in Skövde and Falun/Borlänge.

The concession fees were generally high. Nine concessions cost more than 1 million SEK yearly. The highest were for Falun/Borlänge where the concessions cost 2.3 and 2 million SEK respectively. One of the concessions in Östersund cost 2 050 000 SEK yearly, while the other concession for the same area was bought for 1 750 000 SEK.

Livets Ord in Uppsala. Energy already had six concessions. Several of the other concessions were purchased by the large networks.


Lower growth in revenue from TV commercials 

The revenue for commercial TV companies showed a lower growth in the third quarter of 1994 compared to the preceding quarter. In the first three quarters of the year, the revenue from TV advertising increase by 57.2% compared with the same period in 1993. For the entire 1994, the three leading channels TV4, TV3 and Femman are expected to have a turnover of 2.2 billion SEK. The share of TV4 is approximately two thirds or 1.4 billion SEK.


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Go-ahead for five new years of Nordic Film and TV Fund 

The Nordic Ministers of Culture, gathered in Copenhagen on 2 December 1994, have approved a new period and new statutes for the Nordic Film and TV Fund. For five new years, from 1995 to 2000, the Fund will remain a key network builder for the Nordic film and TV business.

Since 1990, the Film and TV Fund has supported 170 film and TV production. 66 of these have been full length films, several of which have won international awards. In addition, 17 major TV productions and a number of short and documentary films have received support.

The yearly support pledged to the Fund will be more than 51 million DKK. The Nordic Council of Ministers contributes one third, the Nordic TV companies one third, and the Nordic film institutes the last third.

Compared to the previous period which is nearing its end, a new feature is the participation of commercial TV companies in addition to the public service companies basing their revenue on licence fees. The Norwegian TV 2 and the Swedish TV 4 are among the participants, while MTV from Finland will join in 1996.

At the Copenhagen meeting, the Ministers of Culture agreed to contribute an additional 3 million DKK in 1995 to strengthen the distribution of Nordic film and TV productions in the Nordic countries. Distribution and marketing are key words in the new statutes for the Fund.

More money will be spent on distribution measures, and it may become viable to award distribution support to other films than the ones that have enjoyed production support from the Fund. As a main rule, agreements for marketing and distribution in at least two Nordic countries must exit before production support is given. The Fund wants to spend more money on fewer projects. It is important to support the locomotive movies which appeal to a wide public. It is no longer a requirement that films are co-financed in several Nordic countries, nor is there any longer any upper limit for how large a percentage of a project the Fund may contribute.

The Fund is given the responsibility to supply venture capital for film cultural and distribution measures. Money may also be spent on distribution through non-commercial channels, such as libraries, schools and Nordic houses. Filmkontakt Nord, which has the task of promoting Nordic short and documentary film, will be financed through the Fund from 1995 on.

Some people have voiced a concern that the Nordic Film and TV Fund is being restructured to fit the needs of the large production companies in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. A concentration of monetary support given to larger productions may lead to smaller companies in the other Nordic countries not receiving any support for their projects, according to some. Critics have also pointed out that a concentration of funds may lead to artistically innovative, but narrow movies not receiving any support.

In the statutes of the Fund, there are paragraphs included to hinder such a development. The Board is responsible for a just geographical distribution of support, and film projects with a supposed high artistic value may receive support also in the future.


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