Iceland Attracts Foreign Film Makers

From the filming of an episode of Game of Thrones.

From the filming of an episode of Game of Thrones. Photo/Pegasus

Vala Hafstað

As a result of the weakening of the Icelandic króna, Iceland has become more attractive to foreign film production companies as a place to film, Lilja Ósk Snorradóttir, managing director of the Icelandic film production company Pegasus Pictures, tells Morgunblaðið .

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected demand, she adds. When Iceland appeared to have gotten the pandemic under control during the summer, interest in filming here increased, but since the second wave of the disease hit at the end of July, the number of inquiries from film production companies is down.

“These days, we’re mainly busy with larger projects, related to TV and film,” she explains. “The producers of ads, music videos and such don’t seem to be able to travel at the moment.”

Pegasus Pictures, which employs about 130 people, was established more than 30 years ago. Among its projects in recent years has been production of episodes for the TV series Game of Thrones, Succession and Fortitude, and the production of ads for large companies.

A scene from Fortitude.

A scene from Fortitude.

Some projects with foreign production companies are in the pipeline, Linda states. She is, however, unable to reveal any details.

In addition, the company is working on the production of two Icelandic films – one of which is based on Jón Kalman Stefánssson’s novel Summer Light, and Then Comes the Night , while the other one is a comedy/thriller.

Lilja stresses that the value of the króna always affects demand. “In my view, the country is in a strong competitive position,” she states. “We can offer popular filming locations, but fluctuations in the value of the króna can prove quite difficult in our industry. At present, we have an advantage because everything is closed in Los Angeles. They look our way and see they can work here…Filming has begun in Europe as well, and there we compete against larger refunds and a more stable currency.”

Finally, she notes that TV ratings are up considerably during the pandemic, making it easier to fund the production of TV programs, whereas independent producers have a harder time funding their films during these unprecedented circumstances.

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