Hollywood filmmakers who have shot in Iceland have added their support in a fight against plans by the government to slash state support of the local film industry.
Directors Clint Eastwood, Darren Aronofsky and Terrence Malick; Game of Thrones producers David Beniof and Chris Newman; G. Mac Brown, executive producer of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; and Judge Dredd producer Beau Marks are among the group that have signed a petition saying they stand “with the entire film community in Iceland, in their efforts to maintain the current levels of government support for filmmaking,” urging the Icelandic government “to reconsider their current plans to cut the budget of the Icelandic Film Fund.”
Iceland's government announced plans in November to chop financing for the Icelandic Film Fund by around 40 percent, part of the country's overall cost-cutting measures in the wake of the 2008-2009 economic crisis. The local industry reacted with disbelief, pointing to a boom in film production. According to industry reports, production turnover in Iceland has shot up some 248 percent since 2010, helped by international shoots such as HBO's Game of Thrones and feature films including The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Prometheus, Noah and Oblivion. The Icelandic industry estimates the planned cuts could result in the loss of 200 jobs – a significant figure for the tiny island nation.
This is the second time in recent years the government in Reykjavik has proposed budget cuts to Iceland's film industry. In 2010 they trimmed the Icelandic Film Fund's budget by 25 percent.
The government is holding its second round of budget talks on Friday with a final bill to be voted on next week.