Iceland increases film refund incentive up to 35% for major productions

Icelandwhich served as a dramatic backdrop for some game of thrones most dramatic scenes, today announces a major industry development initiative.

game of thrones filmed across Iceland in locations such as Svínafellsjökull Glacier, Lake Mývatn and Thingvellir National Park. Today, Film in Iceland – a division of Business Iceland and the country’s official film commission – announces an increase in refunds for films in the country Incentive program from 25% to 35% for major productions, following the adoption of new legislation.

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“I am very happy to see this new bill passed by the Icelandic Parliament,” said Icelandic Minister of Culture and Business Affairs Lilja Alfredsdottir.

“The widespread support in Parliament from all parties speaks to the support the film industry enjoys in Iceland. Since the introduction of the first refund system in 1999, Iceland has been fully committed to establishing a successful long-term relationship with those in the film industry. The new bill offers stronger incentives and presents one of many steps that Iceland has taken to underline this commitment.

Iceland’s parliament last approved a major increase in the film refund incentive scheme in 2016, when it raised the tax break from 20% to 25%.

The current incentive program includes all film and TV production costs incurred in Iceland, and there is no cap on the total reimbursement a company can receive. Productions can still claim the 25% refund; however, businesses are eligible for a refund of up to 35% if they meet these three criteria:

  • The film production must last at least 30 working days in Iceland

  • Production must create at least 50 local jobs for Icelanders

  • The minimum production expenditure is 350 million Icelandic kroner (approximately US$2.66 million)

As good as game of thronesthe star wars saga brought viewers to southern Iceland in Star Wars: The Force Awakensand Rogue One: A Star Wars Story filmed at several locations, including the black sand beach of Reynisfjara and the Krafla caldera. Recent projects also include Netflix season 2 the witcher and that of Amazon Hunters.

“Iceland has invested in infrastructure over the past few years, and our resources make the country particularly attractive for major blockbuster films,” said Einar Hansen Tómasson, film curator at Film in Iceland.

This news is accompanied by a strengthening of the country’s means of production. RVK Studios opens two new stages in 2022, creating an additional 17,000 square feet each with ceilings measuring 60 feet at the highest point, while the existing fully functional soundstage measures over 34,000 square feet.

The award-winning team of artists, technicians and developers of RVXa world-class visual content studio based in Reykjavík, has supported over 20 film, television, video game and virtual reality projects since 2008.

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Marjorie N. McClure