The Danish industry has for many years been lobbying for a national filming incentive; as of mid-2020, the government was engaged in an analysis of its potential. Although the Copenhagen Film Fund is dormant after working in recent years on projects such as Vivarium, Gentleman Jack and The Danish Girl, there are regional funds such as Film Fyn and the West Danish Film Fund, but their funding is restricted to Danish productions.
The country’s film infrastructure is strong. There are top creatives and craftsmen and more than 50 production companies that work on global TV shows and films. Copenhagen boasts several studio facilities: Filmgear Risby, Nordisk, Flyvestationen and Zentropa’s Filmbyen; and in Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city, Filmby Aarhus has two modern studios.
The Danish Film Institute has a funding scheme that can support up to nine minor co-production features per year. There has to be Danish creative and technical participation in the production to qualify, but not necessarily any shooting in Denmark. Recent projects backed include Ruben Östlund’s Triangle Of Sadness, Eskil Vogt’s The Innocents and Ali Abbasi’s Border.
First person to contact
Caroline Gjerulff, film commissioner, Film Greater Copenhagen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Generally speaking, Denmark has a film friendly and streamlined permitting process, with no extraordinary rules. A permit usually needs to be obtained from the location owner or public authority for all types of film or photo shoots on location in Denmark. Applications for permits must contain exact information about who wants to shoot what, where and when.
The cost of a permit varies according to the location, as well as the nature and size of the production. With regard to Copenhagen, the OFC says: “Generally, the cost level is very reasonable compared with other European capitals (but it) may at times be hard to get access to certain frequently used locations. If that is the case, the Film Commission will put its excellent government connections to work for you or suggest viable alternate locations. As far as private buildings and parks are concerned, the Oresund Region is generally very positively inclined to filmmakers. The sooner you establish contact, the better.” For the OFC Offical website please click here.
In terms of logistics, the OFC recommends all international productions work with a local location manager and a production company. “It is an advantage to have local knowledge about the required permits for carrying out any kind of production, however big or small. Working with a location manager it rarely takes more than three to five business days to obtain a shooting permit in the Oresund Region.”
Mainstream is one of the largest sound facilities in Scandinavia and is the studio of choice for a major part of Danish feature film soundtracks. A great number of commercials, short films and documentaries have also been sound designed there. In has at its disposal 12 sound studios, including 2 mixing stages, a foley studio and ADR studio.
Denmark’s jewel in the crown is capital city Copenhagen, which combines superb historical features with contemporary architecture. Locations of note are Amalienborg Palace, Rosenborg Castle, Tivoli amusement park and Grundtvig’s church. Gabled houses, narrow cobblestone streets, green spaces, canals, lakes and interesting neighborhoods such as Christiania and Nyhavn give it a distinct feel of Nordic sophistication. Examples of what is on offer can be found at the Oresund Film Commission (OFC) Locations Database, which embraces the area of Southern Sweden and Greater Copenhagen. This covers everything from cityscapes to forests, mountains and waterside locations. Not to be overlooked is Ørestad, a new town concept that is famed for its excellent infrastructure and modern architecture. Elsewhere in Denmark, Film Commission Fyn covers the very centre of Denmark with its rolling hills, orchards and thatched farmhouses.
Outside of the capital, you can find Kronborg Castle, Århus Teater, Legoland and Ålborg Viking, amongst other stunning locations. The OFC highlights “royal castles and hi-tech empires, dark gothic scenery and light-blue seafront vistas, bustling modern cityscapes and ancient Viking grounds”. The pastoral landscapes of the surrounding areas are bound to take one’s breath away and give your film a wonderful Nordic feel. The Faroe Islands and Greenland, autonomous territories of Denmark, also have much to offer.
One interesting testimonial from a producer on the OFC website suggests Denmark’s potential as a ‘substitute’ location: “Many are surprised to learn that it’s possible to shoot a wide range of North American scenery in the Oresund Region. Only, distances are much smaller here and costs lower.”
A world-class filmmaking infrastructure has been established in Denmark to service not only the domestic industry, but also the growing number of foreign productions that decide to base their operations there. There are plenty of excellent rental firms in Copenhagen, including Filmgear, Produktionen.dk and Kamera-udlejningen. Post-production is also in good shape thanks to companies like Duckling, a full service post-production, 3D and VFX company founded in 1999. In terms of studios, equipment rental firms like Twentyfourseven have their own capacity.