In a position to tell
Evaluation of Sørfond - the Norwegian South Film Fund
Sørfond is a film support scheme managed by the Norwegian Film Institute, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The film fund, which was established in 2011, has the goal of strengthening the possibilities of producing film in developing countries, where filmmaking has turned out to be difficult to realise for financial or political reasons. The fund is aimed at filmmakers in countries on the OECD's DAC list. It is a requirement that an agreement must be signed with a Norwegian co-producer, but the funds shall mainly be used in the lead producer's country.The evaluation of Sørfond was performed in the autumn of 2014 and is mainly based on qualitative interviews and document analysis. The assignment has consisted in evaluating whether Sørfond reaches its goals. An overarching goal of the assignment has been to elucidate to what extent and in which ways funds from Sørfond contribute to strengthening film as a cultural expression, furthering diversity, strengthening freedom of expression and artistic integrity in film from developing countries on the international film scene.The evaluation shows that although Sørfond still is a young fund that so far has supported a small number of film productions, it has already contributed to lifting several filmmakers from developing countries and strengthening the filmmaking communities surrounding them. In its three rounds of grants, the fund has displayed broad coverage in terms of geography and genres. Several of the films have been made by women filmmakers. Moreover, Sørfund has contributed to the realisation of film projects that thematically challenge social and cultural values, taboos and controversial issues. Considering its short period of operation and rather modest funds available for awards, Sørfond has, in our opinion, obtained a lot.The evaluation also shows that Sørfond facilitates increased cooperation between filmmaking communities in developing countries and Norway. In the ever more globalised film industry, Sørfond represents a small, but efficient stimulant for lifting filmmakers from developing countries onto the international film scene.