This article traces the development and changes in film politics in Norway from 1913 to 2013. With the Film Theatres Act of 1913, the government in Norway established a cultural law that has had wide-reaching consequences, and this law is still regulating important aspects of distribution and presentation of film in Norway. Initially film was only seen as a dangerous medium, and from 1920 an entertainment luxury that should be taxed, but after World War II the attitude of the government changed. Since 1950 all feature-length fiction films has received government support. The changes in attitude as well as in means of support of film from 1950 to today in Norway are discussed in this article.
Norwegian film policy during the 2000s. Restructuring a growth industry.
Film policy has been one of the most important areas of cultural policy in Norway during the 2000s, with an ambition that the Norwegian film industry shall be top in the Nordic countries. In seeking to realize this goal the Ministry of Culture has initiated a major restructuring of both the administration of the Norwegian film industry and the system for subsidies. In this article we present the major changes in these areas from the 1990s until today. We look at the cultural policy arguments for initiating a restructuring of the film industry, and how this has affected the administration of the industry.
Nøkkelord: Filmpolitikk, Norge, kulturpolitikk, filmbransjen
Harry Schein (1924–2006) is without question one of the most influential Swedish film and media politicians. His most famous achievement was the major Swedish film reform of 1963, when the state and the film industry came to an agreement on the financing and administration of a new film subsidy. The process that preceded the Swedish film reform of 1963 was longer and more complex than is usually noted. In the article this process is described and investigated through two interwoven narratives: one deals with the institutional and cultural conditions that preceded the reform, the other with the role of Harry Schein in the process. This is accomplished in the article by focusing on Harry Schein’s own writings and activities in the area of film politics from 1946 to 1962; the time when the film reform was initiated.
This study focuses on how the central public agency in the Danish film field, The Danish Film Institute (DFI) sought to increase its legitimacy and stave off criticism through two structural organizational design maneuvers. The first structural maneuver deals with mediating the tension between artistic and commercial considerations and demands by constructing two subsidy programs, one oriented towards commercial films, and the other towards artistic films. The second structural maneuver seeks to deal with the almost inevitable vulnerability inherent in the artistic subsidy scheme – how, and ultimately who, decides what is of artistic merit and should receive public funding, and how to make such procedures and decisions beyond reproach? Here, the DFI seeks to insulate the chosen evaluators – the film consultants – from external pressures by granting them an organizational position of sovereignty coupled with individual responsibility with regard to evaluations of artistic merit. This can also be seen as an attempt to build a firewall between the DFI and the film consultants. The article shows that neither structural maneuver provides watertight solutions to the problems and issues they seek to resolve. Based on archival research and interviews, two incidents that were portrayed in the press as «scandals» are used to analyze the dilemmas the film consultants and the DFI face in their attempts to deal with legitimacy challenges. One overriding dilemma identified for the film consultants – the «proximity-distance» dilemma revolves around the fact that most consultants are recruited from and eventually return to work in the Danish film industry, but for the period they hold the position of film consultant, they are expected to act in a neutral, disinterested, impartial and fair manner in making their (inevitably subjective) artistic judgments and subsidy decisions.
Key words: Film consultants, artistic judgment, bureaucracy, proximity-distance dilemma, film industry, film institute subsidies, cultural scandals
This article is concerned with the conditions for contemporary European film production as exemplified by the particular example of Scandinavia and Sweden. The investigation is a comparative survey where particular statistics, on contemporary as well as historical audiovisual production, serves as a base for a compare and contrast study. More specifically, an attempt is made to assess and relate some of the existing conditions and structural alterations within the present environment to the introduction of film policy and film support in the 1960s.
The abovementioned argument is contextualized in two ways. First, a historical perspective is introduced where the current situation is compared to an era during which vertically integrated companies existed in Scandinavia and many groups of film workers were under long-term contracts. Second, the introduction of public film support during the 1950s and 1960s in most parts of Europe is considered. This is done since the support seemed to have had the unintentional effect of facilitating the making of films without an «industrial backbone», as one observer has put it.
Both academic and practical discussions of film policy tend to focus more on governance issues (play of the game) than on institutional issues (rules of the game). In this article we choose copyright as an example of institutional factors of high relevance to the film sector to illustrate its impact on the ability of the Norwegian film sector to reach current film policy goals. We consider both the presence and enforcement of copyright law when investigating the consumption of film and TV-series in the Norwegian home video market. We find that approximately half of the total consumption takes place outside the legal framework established by copyright, which represents a considerable challenge in relation to the policy goal of achieving increased national film production through a robust national film industry. This shows the benefit of a wide perspective on film policy that includes both governance and institutional factors, and we suggest that institutional economics may offer an interesting framework for further research as it is concerned with both levels and the interactions between them.
Nøkkelord: Filmpolitikk, opphavsrett, institusjonell økonomi, filmkonsum, digitalisering
Unlike archiving most other artifacts and objects, film preservation has always been heavily dependent on industry practice. The complicated and vast machinery involved in shooting, duplication, processing and projection of new films has been the same ones used for preserving and presenting film heritage. The recent shift from analogue to digital technology in capture, post-production and distribution of cinematographic works has led to the biggest challenges ever faced by the global archive community. The digitization of heritage films has the potential of providing access on an unprecedented scale, as new platforms have emerged to facilitate access and the fact that digital copies are not subject to same wear and tear as analogue film elements. But there are severe financial, legal, curatorial and technological challenges to overcome in order to fulfill this potential. The industrial shift to digital technology has led not only to dwindling photochemical laboratory capacity, film stock supply and 35mm projection equipment, which threatens the preservation and access to film heritage in original formats, but also to declining demand for scanning equipment, resulting in the fact that the window of opportunity for high-quality digitization of analogue films is already closing. Unless necessary funding is put in place very soon, 115 years of film heritage may become forever inaccessible in the future.
Cottage industry is a part of both economic and cultural history, and in its institutionalised form it comprises an interesting part of the history of cultural policy as well. I discuss Finnish cottage industry with regard to the research on the history of cultural policy and apply the microhistorical approach in examining its cultural political history.
I closely read a report of a Finnish cottage industry committee from 1949 studying the meaning of cottage industry. In this way I indicate the cultural political relevance of Finland’s national Cottage Industry Department and the Central Organisation of Cottage Industry Associations, because these bodies claimed the administrative and controlling power over the field of crafts, including the everyday craft making, craft education and craft heritage. Cottage industries were chiefly justified as economic activity that fostered an entrepreneurial and self-sufficient way of life in the countryside. As such, cottage industry can be seen as a historical initiative that combined economic and cultural political efforts within an institutionalised framework. The microhistorical approach applied in the article displays how an elaborated reading of historical sources can lead to a wider analysis of the historical traditions and the nexus of ideas underlying cottage industry policies.
This article discusses how cultural policy research concerning cultural policy towards children and young people is used and talked about in the field of art and among politicians in Norway. The article shows how different cultural policy initiatives such as The Cultural Rucksack (Den kulturelle skolesekken) is surrounded by certain discourses on art and the effects that that art might have on the children that are being exposed to it. These are discourses that make it difficult for researchers to do critical evaluations of the policy, and as a consequence the article discusses possible relations between cultural policy research and the field of art.
Nøkkelord: Kulturpolitikk for barn og unge, Den kulturelle skolesekken, diskurser om kunstens godhet, kulturpolitikkforskningens grunnlag og roller