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FkN Newsletter

May 2011

FkN News

FkN in Toronto
Jing Haase will be in Toronto, Canada, 31 May-3 June, attending Worldwide Short Film Festival.

Besides promoting recent Nordic short films as well as Nordisk Panorama - 5 Cities Film Festival to an ever expanding network of professionals, FkN is present in Toronto to highlight the online screening service Nordisk Panorama Market Online.

To set up a meeting with Jing in Toronto, send her an email or call her on +45 3132 0212.

FkN at Sheffield Doc/Fest
FkN's managing director Katrine Kiilgaard will be at Sheffield Doc/Fest with a Nordic delegation of 26 film professionals.

During the Friday Night Gala Party on 10 June Filmkontakt Nord will be hosting the Nordic Vodka Hour. All accredited guests are invited to meet the Nordic delegation over a shot (or two) of vodka!

10 Nordic projects have been selected for this year's MeetMarket and 8 Nordic films can be enjoyed in the official selection.

Katrine Kiilgaard is in sheffield 8-11 June. To set up a meeting with her, send an email or call her on +45 2042 4529.

Nordisk Forum Deadline approaching
The deadline for submission of projects to Nordisk Forum for Co-financing of Documentaries is fast approaching.

Check out the guidelines and make sure you have everything ready and shipped on 10 June!

Nordisk Panorama Film Update
The deadline for submission of films to Nordisk Panorama has come and gone.

More than 600 short and documentary films have been submitted to the festival and around 75 will be selected for the three competition programmes: Nordic Short Films, Nordic Documentaries and New Nordic Voices.

All submissions will receive notice of acceptance or rejection no later than 15 July, and the selection will be presented in the July edition of the FkN Newsletter.

DocXchange - Halfway Report
1-3 May during Hot Docs in Toronto the first part of docXchange was successfully carried out.

docXchange, a new initiative by Filmkontakt Nord in cooperation with Hot Docs for European and North American producers, is a two-step programme comprised of fostering professional development and offering potential financing opportunities for your interactive documentary project.

"Communicate with your audience!" was the key message to the 20 selected producers from North America and Europe participating in the docXchange seminar taking place at Hot Docs 2011. Anna Serrano from CFC Media Lab expressed it clearly "knowing your audience is no longer enough, it does not necessarily mean that you will get them to come to you."

For three intensive days the experts and speakers at docXchange laid out the emerging landscape of creative interactive documentaries together with the participating producers, all working with concrete interactive documentary projects, some with a significant track record and some facing the challenges of interactive narrative communication for the first time.

"Interactive documentaries are a new form of storytelling that is evolving in a nascent marketplace. They are experimental and exiting. They suit documentary storytelling well as they can directly link to audiences to communicate a message and forge deeper engagement", says Elizabeth Radshaw, Director of the Forum and Market events at Hot Docs.

In 2010 Filmkontakt Nord saw a strong need for enhanced collaborative measures between Europe and North America in the area of interactive documentaries. The plans for a two-step program with a seminar followed by a financing forum for interactive documentaries emerged and the collaboration with Hot Docs was initiated. In January 2011 docXchange was ready for launch as the project succeeded in getting MEDIA Mundus funding.

Through the course of the action it became even more obvious to the organizers that both regions have something to offer one another. "In the selection process to docXchange it was clear that the European projects were strong in the area of story telling while the strength of the North American projects was to be found in the interactive models." says Asta Wellejus from Die Asta Experience who also served as moderator and speaker during the docXchange seminar.

Alexander Knetig, interactive commissioning editor at Arte France says: "The international potential of interactive content is really big: you can get people from throughout the world to interact with your storytelling. This is why it is very important to create innovative international production structures in order to finance those new media projects".

The docXchange seminar will be followed up by a financing forum taking place at Nordisk Panorama Event in Denmark the 28th of September 2011 and 8 of the participating producers will be selected to pitch at the event.

"We are very exited about welcoming the interactive documentary producers to Denmark for this event", says Managing Director of Filmkontakt Nord, Katrine Kiilgaard. "We hope that it will not only benefit the select few, but also serve as a learning experience and inspiration for the greater amount of observers, who will be invited to take part. We are thrilled to help pave the way for new forms of documentary storytelling responding to a rapidly changing media landscape."

If you have an accreditation for Nordisk Panorama or Nordisk Forum for Co-financing of Documentaries, observing at docXchange will be possible at a reduced rate of DKK 800. To be an observer at reduced rate, please register for docXchange while registering for Nordisk Forum or Nordisk Panorama (opens June).

Paticipation in docXchange as an observer without accreditation for Nordisk Forum or Nordisk Panorama is possible at the rate of DKK 1000. To register please send an email to

New Nordic and International Initiatives

STEPS International Commissions Shorts 
The Danish based non-profit organisation STEPS International has commissioned thirty short films on the subject of poverty as part of a global cross-media documentary project entitled Why Poverty.
In international partnership with broadcasters, NGOs, institutions and concerned citizens around the world, STEPS International wants to put poverty on the agenda and help audiences all over the world to understand what they can do about poverty.

The stories should give a fresh perspective on poverty and engage a wide range of audiences and encourage debate. The filmmakers can apply in three categories: 1-2 minutes inventive, viral films for use on the Internet and mobile phones.
7-10 minute films that challenge the perception of poverty and its representation and 15-20 minute films that tackle solutions to poverty and create understanding.
Submissions should be made via Berlinale Talent Campus where you can also read about deadlines and regulations.

New Film Centre South of Stockholm
A new film centre is in the pipeline to be built in the municipality of Botkyrka, south of Stockholm in Sweden, reports Filmnyheterna. The aim is to help develop the film industry in the area and to stimulate collaboration between different creative players in Subtopia, which is a sort of Swedish version of Silicon Valley for entertainment and culture. Around 40 cultural enterprises including a media college, the talent development centre Filmbasen, a film festival, etc. are located here. An area of 2.500 m2 will be dedicated to the new film centre, which will offer all aspects of film production from stunt to studios. Subtopia is a member of the European network of independent culture centers. The new film centre, is a publicly funded regional initiative inspired by the Danish Filmbyen in Avedøre built by Zentropa's Peter Aalbæk Jensen and Lars von Trier. The Coordinator of film production at the Botkyrka municipality is Ulf Andersson-Greek, earlier Head of the regional resource centre Film Stockholm.

The Botkyrka municipality wants to fill the gap between film education and professional film industry and develop a resource centre that can attract film talents to make their films in the region. Plans are to offer a whole scheme of film related activities to children and youths of Botkyrka including film education, training and film production.
The overall ambition is to build a film industry able to compete with the established film centers in Sweden. The municipality of Botkyrka does not offer economical support for film production, but filmmakers can seek funding for short films and documentaries at Filmbasen or at the Film Region Stockholm-Mälardalen.

Read more about the Botkyrka film initiative here.

DFI Establishes New Co-Production Unit 
The Danish Film Institute wants to strengthen international collaboration with the creation of an international office.
The new unit will work for a strategy that aims to coordinate DFI's co-productions, festival activities and culture promotion and exchange. The office will provide information on international co-productions, development and support Danish producers in international financing forums and provide the possibility for smaller film production companies to exploit their international potential.
DFI hopes to take the domestic success of recent Danish films a step further and to stimulate production of Danish films that appeal to an international market. This is made possible with the Film Agreement 2011-2014 that opens up for support of films in foreign languages and allows for a stronger focus on new international co-production projects.
Through its festival activities, DFI already supports Danish films with international potential and DFI also stimulates culture and exchange initiatives with the Project Youth & Film Uganda that combines mobile cinemas, film festivals and master classes.
For the position as international producer, The Danish Film Institute is seeking an international producer with experience in international development, financing and production to the new office. The position is still open.
For more information about the position, click here.

Norwegian Doc Released on DVD through Crowd-Funding 
Film producer Jan Dalchow (Dalshow's Verden, Norway), Italian Paolo Pallavidino (EiE Film) and the director Line Halvorsen wanted their documentary film, Living Without Money, to be seen by as many people as possible and decided to go for an alternative distribution form. They launched the Screening without Money campaign using social medias and inviting anyone interested to host a screening for free simply by filling in a screening form on the website. The campaign was a success resulting in 100 public screenings in 20 countries. The film was released on DVD with subtitles in 13 languages and can be purchased on the film's website at an optional price.

To raise the money for the DVD release of the film, the team chose the crowd-funding-way and collected USD 10.242 in less than three months on the American funding platform
The film that portrays Heidemarie Schwermer, a German woman who gave everything away to live without money has so far been broadcast on YLE in Finland and ERT in Greece and will soon air on NRK in Norway and on ORF in Austria. The film is supported by Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

New Finnish Film Portal Launched
The new Finnish non-profit film portal launched in Cannes earlier this month offers trailers of new Finnish films in all genres, (both Film and TV), and provides information on shooting locations in Finland.
The Finnish Film & Audiovisual Export, (Favex), the Finnish producer's association and film commissioners are behind the initiative of creating a window to the Finnish audiovisual industry. aims to reflect the broadness of the Finnish audiovisual scene and is open to Finnish filmmakers and associations for upload of trailers and information on services or shooting locations in Finland.

New Media Law in Iceland to Regulate the Media Sector 
According to a press release on Nordicom, the Icelandic Parliament has adopted a new Media Act, which establishes a legislative framework in the media sector, irrespective of media platforms.
The law aims to promote freedom of speech and the right to information, it includes provisions to prevent children from seeing "obscene content," establishes a media committee, and calls on broadcasters to be licensed. Iceland's national public radio and TV station, RUV, however, is not included in the law's jurisdiction.

To uphold its goals a new media committee will be created to mediate between the media, the public and government. The main task of the media authority will be to ensure that the overall objectives of Iceland's new law are complied with. The authority shall have the right to make sanctions in the form of fines.
It is the first time that a controlling body will operate in Iceland, and the establishment of it has caused some criticism. It has been argued that the authority will be a censorship body, and according to DV (Dagblaðið Vísir) some 2.000 people have signed a petition urging the president to veto the law and thereby send it to a public referendum.
According to Nordicom, neither the new Media Act, nor the Constitution authorize pre-censorship.

New Award to Women's Issues Doc 
The Spotlighting Women Documentary Award has been launched by the PPR Corporate Foundation for Women's Dignity & Rights and Gucci in collaboration with Tribeca Film Institute.
The new award is part of the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund (GTDF), and will annually offer USD 50.000 to a minimum of two documentary film projects dealing with women and women's issues. Each grantee will also receive consultation and one-on-one guidance from the Institute to help the projects reach completion.
The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund provides finishing funds to feature-length documentaries, which highlight and humanize issues of social importance from around the world. In its first three years, the GTDF has awarded a total of USD 100.000 annually to at least four different doc films.

More State Money to Norwegian Docs 
Following its agreement with TV2 Norge, the Norwegian government has raised its 2011 grants to documentaries with NOK 3 mio. and to TV-fictions with NOK 7 mio. The extra NOK 3 million to the documentary sector means that total grants to documentary films has increased by NOK 10 million between 2010 and 2011, from NOK 32 million to NOK 42 million. The increase means a doubling of the 2011 budget for TV-fiction compared to 2010.
According to the agreement between TV2 Norway and the Norwegian state, NOK 10 mio. is transferred annually from the TV station to the production of TV-fiction and documentaries.

The Cultural Department is managing the funding and the Norwegian Film Institute is responsible for the distribution of the funding to individual projects.

Help to Co-Production Applications 
Nordisk Film & TV Fond and the national film institutes in the Nordic region are offering a financing plan template in order to create a common standard of application between the Nordic countries.

The template is meant to make life easier for Nordic producers applying for co-production funding that often includes complicated financing plans, and the template is meant to be used as a guideline. It can be simplified and adjusted freely by producers to meet their specific requirements. The template will be available on websites of the national film institutes and there will be an example of a co-production to learn from.

The template and the example can be found at the Nordisk Film & TV Fond's website.

FILM-X Goes National 
The popular interactive learning lab, FILM-X, established in 2002 and based in Copenhagen, will in the future be available in six main libraries in Denmark, according to an agreement between The Danish Film Institute and the Danish Agency for Libraries and Media.
The ambition is to expand the FILM-X concept to children and youths everywhere in Denmark and to make an online version of FILM-X free and available to anyone.
The online service will include facilities with editing tools and sound library as well as social communities and network features. The online version is intended for use in combination with physical studies at the libraries. In the years to come, librarians will get training in film practice and the teaching of film.
The main goal of FILM-X is to give children and youths an experience and an understanding of the film medium and to stimulate them to create their own films.
FILM-X has already gone mobile with the FILM-X-ON-THE-ROAD initiative.

VoD Expands on Social Networks and - Zentropa 
VoD platforms are starting up in all corners of the online world.
On Facebook, Warner Bros. are offering films for rental with the FlickLaunch service where filmmakers can upload their films on a Facebook fan page against a fee. Viewers can then rent films for one week for USD 1 - USD 5. So far, the service is only available to American Facebook users.
The Google-owned YouTube company has also introduced the rental feature MakingOf in the US. YouTube will release titles the same date they are available on DVD at prices ranging from USD 2.99 to USD 3.99.
Danish Zentropa also joined the VoD club with
Zentropaondemand went live earlier this month offering Zentropa's entire film catalogue of feature films as well as films not yet on DVDs as well as short films and unreleased extra material.
Rental prices range form DKK 39 for new titles to DKK 29 for older titles and DKK 10 for TV-series and short films.

Viral Video Competition on Diversity 
The European Parliament's web television channel has launched a viral video competition on Diversity in Europe.
European citizens are invited to make viral spot of 1 to 3 minutes that focuses on cultural diversity within the EU, i.e. language(s), fashion, music, arts, cooking, architecture, landscape or any other topic. The video should be of high quality, imaginative, entertaining and appeal to an international audience.
From 15 September, all pre-selected videos will be released on EuroparlTV's website where the public can watch and vote for the best video until 15 October. The voting results will be published on a daily basis allowing the public to follow the public voting in a transparent way.
Read more about awards and regulations here.

EuroparlTV is the official web television channel of the European Parliament offering coverage of parliamentary business with daily news bulletins, magazines, interview and videos for younger audiences, as well as live streaming of parliamentary meetings, in 22 languages.