With parts of the latest James Bond film shot in the Faroe Islands, and TROM, the first crime series being produced solely in the Faroe Islands from March 2021, it is time to catch up with Tina about the development of filming and the industry in the Faroe Islands — and what directions the ambitions of the Faroese Film Institute point to.
Why having a film institute in the Faroe Islands?
About 3 years ago, the law for reimbursements of production costs was created and the Institute was founded to set the rules and develop the segment further. It was then when I started the job to be responsible both for educating and growing the local talents and to attract international productions to shoot in the islands. Our budget is small, but it allows us to reimburse up to 25 % of the production costs if these surmount a spending of 500.000 DKR up to max. 800.000 DKR. Both local and international productions can apply for the grant, with national artists having to raise an investment from outside the Faroe Islands of 25 % of the costs.
The rapid growth in the Faroe Islands over the past 10 years due to travel, a much valued restaurant and food environment and all kinds of innovation and businesses have led to an increase of new film productions from the Nordic area. Our dramatic nature scenario fascinates — and so that message spreads.
The film industry always wants to tell visual stories that haven’t been told before and that creates a strong USP for the Faroe Islands with their many spectacular spots, not yet seen before. To consider making a film in the Faroe Islands, a focus is needed, on the nature or on a story that needs to be told here. That is also why we are so interested to develop local talent, to provide opportunities and reasons to telling “our” own stories, which will always be different from what foreign productions will see in our land.
How can you support?
We did a promotion at the Berlinale In 2019 to show that the film industry in the Faroe Islands is upcoming and developing.
Our young Faroese director Sakaris Stórá attracted attention at the Berlinale in Germany already in 2018 with his short film DREAMS BY THE SEA and he will be back in Berlin with his next project in October. The new project is produced by Jón Hammer – they won a pitching competition for 10.000 EURO in Berlin to develop that project further. More info on Berlinale Talents
In 2019 our funds went into the new James Bond film which had sequences shot in the Faroe Islands. Unfortunately the launch of it is still on hold due to the pandemic. In 2020, we worked on the new crime series “TROM” (which means cliff or sharp edge of a mountain) the production of which will start now in March 2021. Here we got extra grants from the government of 4 million DKR to reimburse 25 % of the total budget of 16 million DKR. These expenses will remain in the islands – our interest is to have the budget fully spent here and involve available local supplies and people as much as possible. And the next local project is already in the pipeline… That makes 4 projects in total that have been reimbursed within our national program.
What is your main goal for the film institute’s work here?
The film and production space in the Faroe Islands can create a “lighthouse” for talent and stimulate them to stay here. There is a need to develop the support to be able to offer jobs and opportunities, so the young people will want to make their living in the industry here.
The film institute recently became a member of the Nordic Film Commissions network with 27 partners, all with reimbursement schemes. We need to be at the main industry festivals as in Berlin, Mumbai, Cannes, to be visible for the location scouts searching there.
Also it is on our bucket list to have more film industry services available in the Faroe Islands: directors, composers of music for productions and other services.
A new VFX production company called Tectonic has set up, which can do all kinds of digital visual effects production. https://www.tectonic.fo/who-we-are.
That is the right direction for which we need political support!
And your vision for a film nation Faroe Islands?
- We have an evolving community, educated abroad in film schools of Denmark or Norway or autodidacts. To keep up with that spirit, we must create opportunities for which we need more money from the government. Then local artists and filmmakers will be able to shape our own Faroese DNA in art. I think it is the locals that should tell their story, not only foreign artists. Our soul needs to be expressed. A higher ratio of funds would need to go into local support.
- The second wish is that there will be more ambitious goals for the film ecosystem which includes a higher reimbursement scheme. We need to increase the visibility of the Faroe Islands. It is about funding and realizing that this is a highly evolving quality industry for the Faroe Islands — similar to the meetings’ industry goals.