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A model small cinema: Icelandic film policy since 1978

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This article argues that film policy-making in Iceland offers an example of a marginal European culture that has been able to balance cultural and economic imperatives in a way that acknowledges the reality of transnational film production. Following a brief description of Icelandic film culture, the article discusses film laws of 1978, 1984, 1999, 2001 and 2003. The article also provides a sketch of Icelandic archiving policy and exhibition. Overall, we can see that Icelandic film policy has for several decades been simultaneously locally oriented and internationalist, and has allowed for the simultaneous emergence of popular and less mainstream film-making practices, and that it is quite exceptional by the standards of small countries.

Keywords: Iceland; archiving; exhibition; film policy; marginal cultures; national cinema

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Alberta.

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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  • The Journal of European Popular Culture investigates the creative cultures of Europe, present and past. Exploring European popular imagery, media, new media, film, music, art and design, architecture, drama and dance, fine art, literature and the writing arts, and more, the journal is also of interest to those considering the influence of European creativity and European creative artefacts worldwide.
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