TALLINN: North Star Film Alliance received a 2 m EUR grant from the European Union through the Interreg programme for a three-year project aiming at attracting international productions to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The project kicks off in February 2018.
Liina Maria Lepik, the CEO of Tallinn Film Wonderland, a studio complex planned to open in the Estonian capital of Tallinn in 2019, admits that it is difficult for the three countries to attract larger productions on their own as there are not enough people, competences, variations in locations, technical capabilities, etc. “Working together as a joint region, we will target larger film and TV productions from outside of Europe, able to offer higher quality and opportunities,” she told FNE.
An important prerequisite for the joint venture has been the establishment of cash rebates in all three countries. In order to facilitate access to the financing schemes, one of the first steps of the project is to harmonise the system to reduce bureaucracy.
Other activities to be undertaken include commissioning a competitive analysis to identify the region’s strengths and weaknesses and conducting market analysis. These will form a basis for the future actions, including an online platform, case studies, a package of strongpoints, events, roadshows, etc. Agents will be hired in both America and Asia to open doors to their networks.
A sort of metacluster is formed for the project from representatives of local filmmakers – the Estonian Production Services Export Alliance, the Film Service Producers Association of Latvia and the City of Helsinki. Other partners include the Estonian Film Institute, the National Film Centre of Latvia and Tekes, the cash rebate implementer in Finland, who do not fund the project, but invest their know-how.
“Tallinn Film Wonderland established the Production Services Export Alliance with this kind of objectives in mind – to run projects that encompass a larger area of the industry than just a studio complex. While Estonia brings in the region’s only modern studio, we will be stronger and more competitive together”, Liina Maria Lepik also said.