Iceland, the hub of glaciers, thermal springs, ice caps, volcanoes, prodigious waterfalls, raging rivers and cavorting whales is a place almost designed for film. Regardless of its name, Iceland’s winter is not as cold as expected and surprisingly summers there are quite warm. A European island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean, it is situated on a volcanic belt, which defines its landscape.
Whether black sands, imposing glaciers and snow-capped mountains, otherworldly lava fields, majestic waterfalls, lakes and lagoons with floating icebergs, the stark highland interior, tundra, moors patched with blue ponds, steam-emitting red and yellow sulphur mountains, active and dormant volcanoes or scenes of serene beauty, in Iceland all this is within easy reach.
The country’s stark landscape and amazing range of geological and natural phenomena stems from the active forces of nature still sculpting this geologically young island, sitting on top of the North-Atlantic ridge, where the continental shelves of the Americas and Europe are drifting apart. This land of contrasts, fire and ice, midnight sun, northern lights and lingering twilight, will enchant any filmmaker looking for some on-screen razzle-dazzle.
In recent years, many acclaimed directors have captured the untouched beauty of this country. Thanks to all this, Iceland is increasingly becoming popular in film industries across the world. Celebrating that success, the Icelandic government has increased the reimbursement to 20 per cent of the costs incurred on the production of films. With breathtaking locales, attractive pricing and huge incentives – could producers ask for more?
Icelandic production companies have in recent years produced five to six motion pictures a year of a high technical standard. This means that Iceland has a good pool of highly professional film crews to work on films and television programmes. Also, international movies have been made in Iceland in cooperation with local production companies, and scenes in many movies also originate in Iceland.
A wide range of production companies with years of experience can assist with all film production requirements in Iceland.
Rebate on Production Costs
The Icelandic government has approved a 20-per cent incentive on all production costs incurred in Iceland. This has made Iceland one of the most competitive locations in the world. On top of this, foreign filmmakers also enjoy the weakening of the Icelandic currency.
Filmmakers will also get all the services needed for filming – a number of production service companies offer well-educated and skilled crew to foreign filmmakers.
Special legislation has been passed in Iceland which aims to enhance domestic culture and promote the history and nature of Iceland by temporarily supporting motion pictures and television programmes produced in Iceland. Reimbursements are offered for film and TV production costs incurred in Iceland.
Producers can apply for reimbursements from the State Treasury of 20 per cent of the costs incurred on the production of films and television programmes in Iceland. When more than 80 per cent of the total production cost of a motion picture or television programme is incurred in the country, the reimbursement is calculated on the basis of the total production cost incurred within the European Economic Area.
Applications for reimbursement must be sent to the Minister for Industry before the start of production of a motion picture or television programme in Iceland.
The application for reimbursement shall contain the following:
Name of applicant
Postal number and city
The application should be accompanied by the following documents:
A certificate from the Register of Firms confirming the registration of the applicant, together with the articles of association or minutes of the initial shareholders’ meeting which include a memorandum of association and articles of association of the applicant.
A production plan and itemised budget for production costs and financing, in addition to confirmations from financers and information on proposed distribution.
Information on the substance of the motion picture or television programme, including a brief excerpt, manuscript and information on shooting locations.
Information on the principal parties involved and the share of domestic parties in the production.