Baltic film initiative gets €2m backing to target international productions

A collective of Central Baltic organisations has received a €2m European Union funding grant to promote the region to international film productions. Dubbed North Star Film Alliance, the initiative combines companies and agencies from the Estonian, Finnish and Latvian film industries. The grant comes from the Interreg programme, which is funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund.

North Star Film Alliance is led by Estonia’s Production Services Export Alliance – the company behind the €6m production facility project Tallinn Film Wonderland – and it is partnering with the City of Helsinki and the Film Services Producers Association of Latvia. Associated partners are the Estonian Film Institute, the National Film Centre of Lativa, and Finland’s Tekes funding agency – the three organisations that govern the individual countries’ film tax credits.

One of the goals of the initiative is to promote those tax credits, to help international producers understand and access the credits, and to potentially allow them to access all three on a production. Ultimately, the key aim of the venture, which will cover a three-year period, will be to attract more international film productions to the three countries involved. North Star Film Alliance plans to put a focus on targeting productions from Canada, USA, Japan, South Korea and China.

One of the initial parts of the project overseen by North Star Film Alliance will be to commission a market analysis of Estonia, Finland and Latvia, to highlight what the region has to offer to international productions, and what current weaknesses can be addressed.

The organisation said that the region’s current strengths are: Finland’s experience and technical capacity, the upcoming Estonian studio complex and highly digitalised business environment, and Latvia’s existing backlot and reasonable cost level.

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