COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Denmark/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.6 Film, video and photography

With the adoption of the 1972 Film Act (Law No 236 of 7 June 1972 om film og biografer passed by the Parliament on 31 May 1972), the old film fund was abolished and replaced by the state-administered Danish Film Institute. At the same time, the cinema licensing system was abolished, and film now came within the province of the Finance Act.

Today, the Ministry of Culture is responsible for the overall administration of state institutions connected with the Danish film industry.

The Film Act came into force in March 1997 (Law No 186 of 12 March 1997 om film passed by the Parliament on 27 February 1997). The Act fused the formerly independent film agencies - the National Film Board of Denmark, the Danish Film Institute and the Danish Film Museum - into one agency now known as the Danish Film Institute. The Media Council for Children and Young People was also established at this juncture to replace the National Film Censorship Board, the agency responsible for censoring films and videos aimed at children and young people following the abolition of adult censorship in 1969.

The Danish Film Institute is responsible for promoting the art and culture of film in Denmark by granting financial support to film production and other initiatives. It supports the development of film as an art form and Danish film and cinema culture.

Support granted to feature films is two-pronged: (1) the Consultant Scheme, which supports the development and production of films, based on an evaluation of the artistic merits of the individual project; and (2) the 60-40 scheme, which allows the Film Institute to grant subsidies of up to 60% without the necessity of the foregoing consultancy. The Film Institute also supports short and documentary films that promote educational, artistic and cultural activities.

Video is regulated according to the Film Act of 1994 (Law No 435 of 1 June 1994 om mærkning af videogrammer) passed by the Parliament on May 24, 1994.

Most recently, a new Film Act (Law No 563 of 24 June 2005) related to the implementation of the Local Government Reform has come into force.

Danish Film Crisis

As opposed to the positive development of the commercial market for contemporary art (see chapter 5.3.1), the market for Danish film has taken a negative curve in 2007 after years of success in the mid-1990s.

Just a few years ago, the most successful Danish films could easily sell 400 000 tickets. However, Primo 2008 was expected to sell less than 300 000 tickets. The average ticket sale for a Danish film in 2007 was 124 000, which is the lowest figure since 2000. Even with subsidies from the film institute (see chapter 7.3), this has created a crisis among Danish film producers.

To solve the crisis, it has been proposed to give the film institute greater flexibility, so that the institute can choose to subsidise 18 films instead of 26. Such a reform would ensure each film production would have a better economic foundation. Aside from this, the film industry has expressed a wish to start film-aesthetic discussions on how the industry can create films with high cultural content that capture viewer interest. Money alone will not do it.


Chapter published: 10-04-2012

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