Joint Film Company in Northern Norway

Filminnspilling på Fløya, Tromsø
Recording taking place on the mountain Fløya in Tromsø for the Northern Norwegian film and documentary productions There's Always Next Season and 1997 Forever. (Photo: Daniel Mikkelsen)

The three film companies in Northern Norway are to be merged following recent decisions by their owners, the two northern county councils. This is meant to strengthen regional film ventures and the North’s position within the national film policy.

Norwegian version.

This week, Troms and Finnmark county council and Nordland county council have decided to merge the three film companies in the north.

These are the joint-stock companies the Northern Norwegian Film Center, Filmfond Nord, and the Northern Norway Film Commission, which are all jointly owned by the two county councils.

Marlene Berntsen Bråthen (Sp), fylkesråd på kulturfeltet i Troms og Finnmark. (Foto: Sunniva Tønsberg Gaski)
Marlene Berntsen Bråthen (Center), County Official within Culture in Troms and Finnmark. (Photo: Sunniva Tønsberg Gaski)

The initiative for cooperation comes from the boards of the companies.

"Northern Norway is a power center on film. A restructuring of the companies will strengthen Northern Norway's position in the national film policy and strengthen the regional film investment," says Marlene Berntsen Bråthen (Center), County Official for Business, Planning, Culture, and Environment in Troms and Finnmark.

The decision of the Nordland county council to adopt the fusion also points to the same benefits both regionally and nationally. 


Gathering the various film resources in Northern Norway aims to provide the region's film industry with stronger muscles and contribute to more film productions being set in locations in the north. Picture from Troms. (Photo: Daniel Mikkelsen)

The new organization model will take into account the board's recommendation about a mother-daughter model, as well as safeguarding the current locations in Tromsø and Bodø. 

Troms and Finnmark county council describes a plan to complete the work on the merger during 2023, with implementation from the 1st of January 2024.

Better off in the fight for funds

The unanimous recommendation of a merger from the companies' boards to their owners came in January.

Christian Torset (SV), fylkesråd på kulturfeltet i Nordland og leder for Landsdelsrådet for kultur i Nord-Norge. (Foto: Susanne Forsland)
Christian Torset (Socialist Left), County Official within culture in Nordland and leader of the Regional Council for Culture in Northern Norway. (Photo: Susanne Forsland)

The county officials listened and suggested such a change be processed in the county council's meetings this June.

With this cooperation, the Northern Norwegian film industry will be better off in the fight for national film funds vis-à-vis the capital Oslo in particular, said Christian Torset (Socialist Left), county official for culture, climate, and environment in Nordland.

"We want to be a counter force to the Norwegian Film Institute, which has only to a small extent followed up the [national, ed. note] film white paper, and which still manages over 80 percent of film funding," said Torset, who is also the leader of the Regional Council for Culture in Northern Norway.

"This is an important move to ensure that as much film production as possible can take place in the north," he adds. 

Holistic strategy

In more detail, the boards see a promising basis for preparing a holistic strategy to strengthen the film industry in Northern Norway – and make the region a more attractive film location.

A joint film organization and strategy will, according to the boards, contribute to the following:

  • Targeted industry recruitment, development of expertise, and effective financial incentives
  • Strengthened influence in cultural policy and business policy in order to increase the financial basis for regional film production
  • Strengthened willingness and ability in the Northern Norwegian film industry to adopt new technology and platforms
  • Strengthened international network and market position of this film industry


About the film companies

– The Northern Norwegian Film Center (Tromsø) facilitates the development and production of short and documentary films and contributes to cultivating expertise in the Northern Norwegian film community. The center is also responsible for work aimed at young talents.

Filmfond Nord (Bodø) provides equity to feature films, documentaries, TV series, and games. The fund aims to increase the number of recordings in Northern Norway, as well as further develop the film industry and create more film-related jobs in the region.

– The Northern Norway Film Commission (Bodø) offers free and tailored commission services to major international and national film and TV projects filming in Northern Norway, including on Svalbard. It facilitates professional partnerships and collaborations with regional film industry and connects stakeholders with film-friendly service partners in the region.

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This article was originally published in Norwegian and has been translated by Birgitte Annie Molid Martinussen.