Scandinavian Films five Nordic film institutes rebrand umbrella organisation

The film institutes of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden rebrand their umbrella organisation Scandinavian Films as The Five Nordics

By Ben Dalton 29 Apr 2024

Scandinavian Films five Nordic film institutes rebrand umbrella organisation
Cr: The Five Nordics

The film institutes of the five Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden are relaunching their umbrella organisation as The Five Nordics, taking over from the previously-named Scandinavian Films.

There are two technical reasons for the name change. Firstly, it is to signify the work the organisation does on audiovisual projects outside of film, including series and gaming. Secondly, it is to better represent Finland and Iceland, two Nordic countries that fall outside of the boundaries of Scandinavia.

The Five Nordics is a collaboration between the Danish Film Institute, Finnish Film Foundation, Icelandic Film Centre, Norwegian Film Institute and Swedish Film Institute. It aims to engender collaboration on audiovisual projects between the five countries, as well as promoting Nordic projects at major markets and festivals.

The Five Nordics has written new bylaws to increase the organisation’s focus on sustainability, data analysis, diversity and inclusion, and artistic freedom.

Like its Scandinavian Films predecessor, The Five Nordics is primarily a promotional organisation, so will not directly finance or produce films. However it will provide marketing support to projects from a development stage and look to increase co-production between the Nordic countries.

The new organisation will be present at next month’s Cannes Film Festival (May 14-25) at the Nordic House, situated directly across from the Palais des Festivals. Nordic productions in the Official Selection this year include Magnus von Horn’s The Girl With The Needle and Ali Abbasi’s The Apprentice, both in Competition, and Halfdan Ullmann Tondel’s debut Armand and Runar Runarsson’s When The Light Breaks, bothin Un Certain Regard.

Mission statement

A mission statement for The Five Nordics says its aims include “moving beyond the great level of co-production, co-financing and co-promotion we have today.”

“We have made this rule that if we can achieve more together than on our own, we will do it together,” says Kjersti Mo, CEO at the Norwegian Film Institute. A new strategy for the umbrella organisation was first floated in 2020, with the new name decided upon last summer.

As a non-commercial entity working in a commercial art form, Mo says The Five Nordics “can establish long-term strategies where the industry cannot afford to. We can map future opportunities and stay ahead of the curve.”

Sustainability is a key tenet of the new organisation. The Five Nordics has financed and overseen the training of between three and five sustainability managers for each Nordic country, and is now looking into common standards for sustainability in film production.

Greater transparency on data collection will allow the five countries “to compare better how [their films] do in the market,” adds Mo.

It will continue the work of Scandinavian Films on equality and inclusion, and artistic freedom. “We are living in uncertain times,” says Mo. “We represent countries where democracy and freedom of expression are core values in our culture. We need art that challenges us and that challenges the status quo.”

The Five Nordics will be of particular use at events where one country has a project but others do not, Mo believes. “By joining forces, our presence can be more visible. We can show the international film community what we can offer when we stand together.”

This story originally appeared on our sister site Screen

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