The Icelandic film fund has gone back on it’s word to fund my next feature film BALDUR, and the 50% funding towards the budget of Baldur has been taken away. That leaves us at square one, with an option to re-apply for the film fund and most likely get turned down or be funded with a much lesser amount.
This is due to cut backs that government of Iceland is imposing on the film fund. All funding to feature films has been cut back 30%. This means that feature films no longer can expect figures like 60.000.000. It does not surprise me that our film has had it’s funding taken away, since the initial funding was quite a high number. But the sad thing is that the film fund is now money driven and they are losing a chance of being culturally relevant by supporting our film. Our film is the only feature film in pre-production that addresses the economy state of Iceland head on and the crisis that is happening in the country right now. But rather than fund a project on this subject the film fund would rather keep their money, keep their staff, keep their offices and fund nothing or next to nothing… certainly it seems that when it comes to subjects, they do not want film makers to be dealing with the situation.
I’ve already started plans for feature films outside of Iceland. I still have hope in making Baldur as I truly believe it’s an important film in the history of Icelandic film. It’s a movie that in these times needs to be made. But if the film is still finding it hard to get off the ground in 2010, then I will continue my journey in trying to make films abroad. There sadly doesn’t seem to be much of a future for The Icelandic Film Industry.
In development are projects in Latvia, China and Ireland.
My next feature film, that has been scheduled to go into production this year will be delayed until, hopefully, sometime in 2010. This is due to the massive cut-backs that The Icelandic Film Fund has suffered and the re-organization of their funds due to that. The film is a dark comedy that deals in part with the financial situation in Iceland. Very ironic, all of this…
BALDUR is going through some last minute re-writes, shooting is scheduled in the upcoming months. BALDUR is a feature film to be directed by Robert I. Douglas. The screenplay is written by Ottar Geir Borg and Robert I. Douglas. The film is a co-production between ALBRID ehf. and ZIK ZAK films. The story centers around BALDUR, a man who decides to take the day off and behave badly, losing all his morality in the progress. One of the main changes in the current re-writes is to change him from being a lawyer to a banker, which is a more current theme considering Iceland’s situation at the moment.
We are in on-going talks with a major celebrity in Iceland to play the leading role of Baldur. This is a celebrity that is not afraid of the role itself and is eager to act in the movie, the main stumbling block being his availability. He has indicated that he’s fully booked during our scheduled shooting. But we are trying to find ways to resolve these issues. Shooting was and still is scheduled for November, but the clock is ticking and we’ll have to see if we need to delay the film for another 2-3 months.
Just when we thought we’d be able to start shooting BALDUR the credit crunch hit’s Iceland the hardest. So, we’re running into various problems… nothing that can’t be sorted out. Our main problems these day’s seems to be finding a “big” name actor for the leading role, somebody who isn’t afraid of the script and who isn’t constantly worrying about their image, which seems to be the case with most celebrities in Iceland. Our money men want a celebrity, but the celebrities have so far been scared of jumping on board this “brutal”, “dark” and “nasty” film, to quote some of them.