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PR(03)29: The EFTA Surveillance Authority declares support schemes for audiovisual production in Norway compatible with the EEA Agreement

29.10.2003

The EFTA Surveillance Authority decided today not to raise objections to support measures for audiovisual production in Norway.

The Norwegian Government notified an extension of its existing film support scheme (authorised by the Authority in Decision No 32/02/COL of 20 February 2002) to cover new support measures for the production of TV series and for the project development for interactive productions. The measures aim at advancing audio-visual production as a means of cultural expression.

The support measures for the production of TV series should stimulate a closer co-operation between, and the co-financing of projects, by broadcasters and independent producers in order to obtain a better financial platform for the production of quality TV series.

The support for interactive productions will only cover the early development phase of computer games and other interactive productions for digital distribution. Support is limited to 75% of the costs of the development phase.

The Authority assessed the compatibility of the support schemes under Article 61 (3)(c) of the EEA Agreement, taking into account the Communication on cinema and other audiovisual works that the European Commission adopted in 2002. The Authority was satisfied that Norwegian Film Fund would assess each individual project, based on objective criteria, as to whether the productions contribute to Norwegian culture and that the measures were necessary and proportionate to the objectives pursued. The Authority concluded that, given the limited market potential for Norwegian interactive productions and that support was limited to the early development phases, aid intensities up to 75% for interactive productions could be accepted. 

For further information, please contact Mr. Amund Utne, Director, tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 50 or Ms. Annette Kliemann, Officer, tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 80.

29 October 2003




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