August 11, 2022

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Norway’s next major movie is out – NRK Kultur og underholding

The Saga of Sacred Olaf was to be the next major Norwegian film.

The producers of Storm Film were ready to make the movie after “Three Nuts for Cinderella”.

Now they have decided to stop all production around the movie.

Genghis Al and Astrid Simplas in “Three Cinderella Nuts”.

Photo: Nordisk Film

For a long time, the film company has focused on big patriotic films that gather family and friends in front of movie screens during the Christmas season.

This year it was “Three Nuts for Cinderella”.

The year preceding the Dragon Guard’s Birthday.

from the movie "Dragon Guard Christmas", 2020

From the movie “Christmas Dragon Guard”.

Photo: Storm Films, Nordic Film Distribution

Both films suffered from the epidemic.

Two consecutive films have fallen victim to the shutdown, says Storm Film producer Frederick PN Howard, adding:

Loss of income after two years of the pandemic means we don’t dare start Norway’s biggest film production next year.

Frederick Howard

Producer Frederick P.N. Howard Storm Film has discontinued “The Sacred Olaf Epic”.

Photo: private

Howard sees no basis in life to produce this film in today’s market and with what he calls unexpected schemes for the culture industry.

Consequently, Storm Film and Howard renounced support of seven million kroner from the NFI.

– Have you done that before?

– No, we haven’t done it before, and I hope I won’t have to do it again, he says.

Did this result in the film’s total budget being covered by other investors?

The film was ready for the so-called green light, but the overall evaluation means that we and other private investors choose to close the project, Howard says and explains the meaning of the green light:

– This means that the owners of the project are satisfied with the financing and move the project to the production stage.

Want more support from the authorities

There is no indication that November should not be stimulated.

This is Howard’s reaction to the new Corona schemes from the government.

Although there were no nationwide measures in November that restricted movie theaters, Howard believes that signals from authorities last month scared people away from going to the movies and other cultural activities.

Labour's health policy spokesman, Ingefield Kirkul

Health Minister Ingfield Kirkul (Labour) and the government introduced new, stricter measures on Monday.

Photo: Ingrid Lindegaard Stranden

In addition, regional and municipal measures have been introduced in certain places of the country.

Therefore, he believes that November should be included in the government’s stimulus plan.

Resubmits the scheme as of December 8

Last week, Culture Minister Annette Tretbergstoen confirmed it Reintroduction of the incentive scheme.

It ended on October 31 this year.

Norway's Minister of Culture and Gender Equality Annette Trietbergstein

Anette Trettebergstuen reintroduced the stimulus scheme from December 8th.

Photo: Amalie Bernhus Årtun / NRK

This week it became known that the new stimulus plan will be implemented from December 8 until the first quarter of 2022.

The same date as the application of the first national measures.

This means that November 2021 is the only pandemic month in which there has been no incentive program for the culture industry.

– There is a black zone, a gap between the two governments, from November 1 to December 7. In other words, it is the only period in which there is no stimulus system in a pandemic. It seems unreasonable, Howard says.

Anticipating the audience’s historical figures

“Three Nuts for Cinderella” was expected to reach an audience of 900,000 to 1 million in Norwegian cinemas.

This makes the film one of the most watched films in Norwegian history.

But due to the new procedures, the film did not reach half a million visitors, Howard says.

Astrid Semplas plays the main role in the movie

Astrid Semplas starred in “Three Nuts for Cinderella”.

Photo: Storm Films / Nordisk Film Distribusjon

Guttorm Petterson, CEO of kino.no, says October 2021 was the second best October for cinema visits in Norway in this millennium.

November started off well with the Cinderella premiere, but audience visits stopped after each week of the month, Peterson says.

Survey by Nordisk Film distribution It shows a clear trend of increasing uncertainty among the audience to visit cinemas from November onwards.

– Notwithstanding this, no infection can be traced back to a visit to the cinema, as far as I know, says Morten Malterode Christophersen at Nordisk Film Distribusjon.

It has nothing to do with the November stimulus plan

– What would you say to Trettebergstuen if you had two minutes with her?

The government should include November in the stimulus plan and ensure stable and predictable plans for those of us who create Norwegian culture for the future, says Howard.

Gry Haugsbakken (Labour) serves as Secretary of State in the Ministry of Culture.

She believes there has been a misunderstanding about what the stimulus scheme actually entails.

The purpose of the stimulus scheme that Howard is asking about is to stimulate the implementation of events in the cultural sector within infection control orders issued by public authorities, says Haugsbakken.

Since the production of the film is not an event, he cannot receive a grant from the stimulus scheme.

Gray Hogsbachen (AFP)

Gry Haugsbakken (Labour) explains that it has nothing to do with the November stimulus plan.

Photo: Ole Martin Spoonberg

However, the screening of the film is a cultural event that could fall under the scheme if there are infection control orders that place restrictions on film screenings.

In November, there were no restrictions on infection control in cinemas, so the stimulus scheme is not suitable for that period.

If there is a compensation scheme for failed ticket sales that Howard wants, there will be an entirely new scheme to be created. The government has no plans to create such a scheme now, says Haugsbakken.

She adds that the government has introduced various support schemes for culture, with 1.1 billion NOK being distributed.

And we’ve said if there’s a need, we’ll follow up with more, says Haugsbakken.

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