Morgunblaðið 29th May 1979

Concerns about the number of foreign film groups

Icelandic media article from May 1979 about foreign film companies filming in iceland without permits from the authorities, mentioning the BBC Scotland adaptation of Desmond Bagley's novel Running Blind.

The Association of Icelandic Film Makers has sent Morgunblaðið the following press release:

The Icelandic Filmmakers’ Association expresses its concern about the growing number of foreign film groups filming in Iceland, while domestic filming is starving and domestic filmmakers are short of projects.

These groups work with equipment from which no import duties are paid to the Icelandic state, and benefit from facilities from national institutions and companies that Icelandic filmmakers are not used to. Overall, foreign filmmakers enjoy privileges over their domestic counterparts.

Recent projects of these groups include: Brekkukotsannáll, Paradísarheimt, Running Blind and Söguna um Sám.

The first two are made in collaboration with Icelandic television, which participates in funding, provides actors and actresses, but Icelandic filmmakers have not been approached for film work. The other films have been worked on without any contact with Icelandic filmmakers.

Most recently, the national football match between Iceland and West Germany was filmed by the Germans under the auspices of the ARD television station without any request from domestic parties for the work. It is customary, however, for the locals to take care of such recordings.

The Icelandic Filmmakers’ Association has requested from the Ministry of Social Affairs that it require a work permit from foreign filmmakers, as is customary for other professions.

Should the development of foreign filmmakers continue to be privileged over their colleagues in Iceland, the The Icelandic Filmmakers’ Association reserves the right to take action to protect the professional market of domestic filmmakers.

Also reported: ‘Innlend kvikmyndagerð: Forréttindi útlendinga’ [Domestic filmmaking – Foreigners enjoy priviledges]: Þjóðviljinn 30 May 1979, p.5., and  ‘Félags kvikmyndagerðarmanna: Útlendingar njóta forréttinda’ [Filmmakers’ Association – Foreigners enjoy priviledges]: Tíminn 2 June 1979, p.15.

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  1. ‘Áhyggjur af fjölda erlendra kvikmyndahópa’: Morgunblaðið, 29 May 1979, p. 27; © / Árvakur hf.