Scandinavian Day at Gdynia to highlight cooperation


    The artistic director of the 32nd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia believes Central Europe filmmakers have much to learn from the close cooperation among the film industries of the Nordic countries.

    "When we look at what's going on in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, we see we have a lot of stories that can interest others, but up to now there have been no productions done together," Miroslaw Bork, said in a telephone interview with FNE.

    The festival, Poland's most important market for feature films, lasts until Saturday. On Thursday it holds a Scandinavian Day during which two films will be shown from each Nordic country: Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

    Nordic cooperation began nearly 30 years ago, in March 1978, with the opening of the first Nordic Film Festival in Copenhagen. The Nordic film institutes involved in the promotion of feature films abroad work through a common body called Scandinavian Films. Scandinavian Films presents films from the region at foreign festivals and markets, such as Cannes and Berlin, under a common Nordic logo.

    The Nordic Council of Ministers also established the Nordic Film and TV Fund in 1990 in collaboration with the film institutes and the TV companies. The fund has an annual budget of 45 million Danish crowns (€6 million).

    Scandinavian Films' two-level management structure consists of a board with five institute directors, and a festival committee with five managers of international matters.

    "That is one of the reasons we invited Scandinavia this year," Bork said. "They have a unique system of supporting themselves and each other. I ask myself: Why can't we establish the same with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary?"