Three into one goes when it comes to Norwegian docs, as evidenced by the launch of UpNorth Film, a merger of established production houses Gammaglimt, Faction Film and Volt Film. “We really think we will be stronger together because we can share our capacities and our network and all the creative aspects,” comments producer Christian Falch, formerly of Gammaglimt.
“We are three producers and two directors and three other employees, so a lot of creative, hardworking, inspiring people. Our ambition is to make more and better films, raise more money and become even better at launching and distributing our films, because our philosophy is that we are stronger together,” he continues. The other partners are director Håvard Bustnes (formerly Faction Film), Volt Film’s Tonje Hessen Schei and Jonathan Borge Lie, and Torstein Parelius from Gammaglimt. Falch produced Bustnes’ Golden Dawn Girls which screens in this year’s Feature-Length Competition.
“We are very fortunate in Norway having a good financial system for documentaries. The competition is of course fierce, but there is money to be found; we would never survive, or even exist, without the Norwegian funding system,” continues Falch. “By creating this new company we also have the international financiers in mind and hope that this strong team of producers and directors, and our combined track records, will make it a little easier to access international funding as well.” Falch also says that the company is looking to establish a board of consultants from across the doc industry to advise Norwegian and international documentarians on all aspects of the sector.
Meanwhile, Norwegian producer Ingrid Lill Høgtun explained her reasons for co-producing IDFA opener All About Amal. The film received support of 350,000 NOK (€37,000) from the Norwegian Sørfond. “We are very happy to be aboard this documentary. I have been following it for some years, from when the director was doing it all by himself, but immediately when he pitched it to me I saw the potential and thought it was great and a very necessary documentary today too, because of the polarisation in this world between Muslins and non-Muslims, and here we have [the character] Amal, who embraces us all.”