Icelandic Industry Plots Next 10 Years in New Action Plan – Global Bulletin

In today’s Global Bulletin, Iceland lays out plans to grow its film and TV industries over the next decade, HBO Europe announces two major premiere dates, Cineflix Rights hires former Miramax and BBC exec Tom Misselbrook and the Smithsonian Channel and Terra Mater Studios co-commission a new U.K. wildlife special.

POLICY

Iceland’s minister of education and culture Lilja D. Alfreðsdóttir has outlined a new 10-point action plan to create and maintain a sustainable film and TV sector for the island nation over the next decade.

The paper, titled “Film Policy Until 2030 – An Art Form at a Crossroads,” was organized with input from local industry professionals with four specific goals in mind: create a film culture, offer a more diverse film education, strengthen competitiveness, and strengthen Iceland’s brand as a filmmaking nation.

In the paper, plans to further develop existing tax incentive and reimbursement systems are laid out, with an emphasis on strengthening the country’s place as a year-round destination for international co-productions. Currently, a 25% rebate is available on costs accrued while filming in Iceland.

The plan also emphasizes the need for greater communication between the industry and government. To that end, the Icelandic Film Center will work to strengthen the bond between the entities and oversee a newly established TV Investment Fund. It will also launch a streaming service for Icelandic films and create a more detailed film database.

SERIES PREMIERES

HBO Europe announced premiere dates for two of its most anticipated series of the year in Álex de La Iglesia’s Spanish thriller “30 Coins” and “Beartown,” an adaptation of Swedish author Fredrik Backman’s bestselling novel.

“30 Coins” will premiere on Nov. 29 across HBO Europe territories and in the U.S. sometime in 2021 on HBO and HBO Max before heading to HBO in Latin America. The series, co-written by de la Iglesia and Jorge Guerricaechevarría (“Cell 211”), tracks exorcist, boxer and ex-convict Father Vergara after the church exiles him to a remote village where he hopes his enemies won’t find him.

Premiering this Sunday across HBO Europe territories, “Beartown” will also be available in the U.S. in 2021 on HBO and HBO Max. The series follows a youth hockey team that carries with it all the hopes of a slowly disappearing village and the traumatic results of that pressure. Peter Grönlund (“Drifters”) directs.

APPOINTMENT

Cineflix Rights has appointed Tom Misselbrook to the newly created role of senior vice president of scripted sales and development for the company’s London-based offices, where the company is expanding its English and foreign-language drama catalog.

Misselbrook joins Cineflix Rights from Miramax, where he was executive director of sales for APAC in Sydney and London and director of sales for EMEA. He also previously worked for BBC Studios at the company’s New York offices.

In the new role, reporting to head of scripted James Durie, Misselbrook will work with Cineflix Rights’ sales and acquisition teams to sell existing content while growing its slate of scripted co-productions and acquisitions.

COMMISSION

Smithsonian Channel and Terra Mater Studios in Australia have commissioned Big Wave to produce “New Forest: The Crown’s Hunting Ground,” a new one-hour wildlife special hosted by British actor Hugh Bonneville (“Downton Abbey,” “Paddington”).

New Forest National Park in Southern England has remained mostly unchanged since being declared King William the Conqueror’s hunting ground 900 years ago. Emmy, BAFTA and RTS award-winning cameraman James Aldred grew up in the area and returned to spend the last year filming local wildlife.

The series is executive produced by Sarah Cunliffe from Big Wave, Tria Thalman from Smithsonian and Sabine Holzer for Terra Mater.

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