About the IFC

About the Icelandic Film Centre


The Icelandic Film Centre plays a key role in the vibrant Icelandic film industry, through its financial support scheme, international promotion of the Icelandic cinema and other initiatives intended to further develop film making and film culture in Iceland.

BRIEF HISTORY: The Icelandic Film Centre was established in 2003, with a new law stipulating the Icelandic government's growing support of domestic filmmaking. The Icelandic Film Centre took over the responsibilities of the older Icelandic Film Fund, established in 1979, which enabled the start of regular film production in Iceland. Building on the achievement of their predecessors, a new generation of Icelandic filmmakers has gone from strength to strength in the new millennium, resulting in increased global attention for the Icelandic cinema. Film and TV production has steadily increased and many Icelandic films now regularly appear at key international festivals and hundreds of others throughout the world, winning a large number of awards every year. Furthermore, several Icelandic films and TV series are sold and screened around the world annually.

CORE ACTIVITIES: The Icelandic Film Centre is a publicly funded organization whose role is to provide funding for Icelandic films, promote them abroad and nurture film culture in Iceland by supporting festivals, seminars, workshops and other networking opportunities for film professionals. The Icelandic Film Centre also provides funding for coproductions. 

FUNDING: The Icelandic Film Fund operates under the auspices of the Icelandic Film Centre. The role of the Icelandic Film Fund is to further Icelandic filmmaking by providing financial support. A project supported by the Icelandic Film Fund must have connections with Icelandic culture unless special cultural grounds exist for deciding otherwise. 

Grants made by the Icelandic Film Fund are divided among the various branches of filmmaking as follows:

  • Full-length feature films
  • Documentaries
  • Short films
  • Television fiction
  • Minority co-productions
  • Promotion of Icelandic films

Grants from the Icelandic Film Fund can be made to support screenwriting, film development, production, post-production and promotion.

The Icelandic Film Centre follows the Regulation on the Icelandic Film Fund set by the Ministry of Culture and Education.

PROMOTION: One of the key roles of The Icelandic Film Centre is to promote Icelandic film abroad. The Icelandic Film Centre maintains a physical presence at A-list film festivals; arranges Icelandic film weeks and retrospectives in collaboration with the film societies of many nations; maintains strong relations with foreign liaisons and ensures that Icelandic films (features, shorts and documentaries) are properly introduced and made visible at international venues around the world.

25%-35% REIMBURSEMENT SCHEME: The Icelandic Film Centre also handles applications for the reimbursement scheme of eligible costs incurred in the production of film and TV projects in Iceland.

FILM AGREEMENT: Every four years or so, the Icelandic government and the main film making bodies, make an agreement on general film policy for the relevant period. The agreement covers the total amount of state financial support for film making for each year, subject to approval from Althingi, the parliament. It also depicts the contributions to each type of films. In addition the agreement covers various other elements of film culture and policy, such as film preservation, and support for newcomers and children's films. In the current agreement (2016-2019) a special emphasis has been made on increasing the participation of women in key roles of film making.

THE FILM BOARD: The Icelandic Minister of Culture oversees the affairs of The Icelandic Film Centre and The National Film Archive.

The Ministry of Culture is aided by The Film Board, whose role is to give advice and make proposals about public policy and objectives in matters of film and television art.

The Minister appoints members of the Film Board for three year terms; the chairman and vice-chairman are appointed without nomination, while the other five members are nominated by the following organizations: The Association of Film Producers, The Association of Icelandic Film Directors, The Icelandic Filmmakers Association, The Association of Cinema Owners and The Icelandic Artists Alliance.