Iceland, which provided the dramatic backdrop to some of Game of Thrones’ most dramatic scenes, today announces a major industry development initiative.
Game of Thrones filmed across Iceland at locations such as the Svínafellsjökull Glacier, Lake Mývatn, and Thingvellir National Park. Today, Film in Iceland – a sector of Business Iceland and the country’s offficial film commission – announces an increase in the country’s film refund incentive program from 25% to 35% for major productions, following the passing of new legislation.
“I am very pleased to see this new bill passed into law by the Icelandic Parliament,” says Icelandic Minister of Culture and Business Affairs Lilja Alfredsdottir.
“The widespread backing in Parliament by all parties bears testament to the support that the film industry enjoys in Iceland. Since the introduction of the first reimbursement scheme in 1999, Iceland has been fully committed to building a fruitful long-term relationship with stakeholders in the film industry. The new bill offers enhanced incentives and presents one step of many that Iceland has taken to underline that commitment.”
Iceland’s parliament last approved a major increase in the film refund incentive program in 2016 when it raised the tax break from 20% to 25%.
The current incentive program includes all film and television program production costs incurred in Iceland, and there is no cap on the total refund a company can receive. Productions can still apply for the 25% reimbursement; however, companies are eligible for a refund of up to 35% given they fulfil these three criteria:
- Film production must last for at least 30 working days in Iceland
- The production must create at least 50 local jobs for Icelanders
- The minimum production spend is 350 million Icelandic Krona (approximately $2.66 million USD)
As well as Game of Thrones, the Star Wars saga brought viewers to South Iceland in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story filmed at multiple locations, including Reynisfjara’s Black Sand Beach and the Krafla caldera. Recent projects also include season 2 of Netflix’s The Witcher and Amazon’s Hunters.
“Iceland has been investing in infrastructure over the past few years, and our resources make the country particularly attractive for major blockbuster films,” says Einar Hansen Tómasson, the film commissioner with Film in Iceland.
This news comes alongside a boost in production resources in the country. RVK Studios is opening two new stages in 2022, creating an additional 17,000 square feet of space each with ceilings measuring 60 feet at the highest point, while the existing fully functional sound stage is over 34,000 square feet.
The award-winning team of artists, technicians, and developers at RVX, a world-class visual content studio based in Reykjavík, have supported over 20 film, television, video game, and virtual reality projects since 2008.
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