Welcoming the Indian film & tourism industry to Norway

The huge Indian film industry are shooting more scenes in Norway in recent years. This opens up for tourism and business opportunites for companies working with transport, creative industries and more.

Actors Naga Chaitanya and Shruti Haasan shooting near Ulvik in Norway. Photo: Amala Locations

Actors Naga Chaitanya and Shruti Haasan shooting near Ulvik in Norway. Photo: Amala Locations

The shooting of Hollywood film The Snowman based on Jo Nesbø’s famous novel made headlines in Norway and globally recently. At the same time, another wave of cinema has been hitting Norwegian shores in a big way: That is the Indian film industry.

Since July 2015, the Norwegian Embassy in India has been working actively and closely with the South Indian film industry to help promote Norway as an attractive destination, an initiative that is already showing positive results.

Even before 2015, some Indian movies, KO, Maatrran and Baadshah, were shot in Norway. Norway also has been successfully hosting Bollywood Festival Norway since 2003. The Festival is a nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films, supporting emerging filmmakers, recognizing the leadership of entertainment industry performers and business executives, and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora. By bringing the best of Indian cinema to Norway, Bollywood Festival Norway presents the city and the film industry with a singular platform that fosters creative and technical talent.

India produces the world’s largest number of films annually. Being a large country with a population of over 1.25 billion people, India offers to the world a wide range of cinematic offerings in over 14 different languages and a financial market of over USD 1000 million annually.

Of this collective figure, the South Indian film industry (based in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai) is a market of USD 510 million, with tremendous scope and offerings for international players. A trendsetter for the entire Indian film industry, including Bollywood, South Indian films offer the best of trends, technology, global hits and creative ideas, which then are replicated by other parts of Indian cinema.

Why Norway?

It is common for Indian films to shoot song and dance sequences at international locations. On an average, every Indian film features 2-3 such songs that are shot abroad as dream or fantasy sequences. In addition, fight scenes, car chases and many other aspects in a film are weaved into as a part of their “international location” package.

For the audiences of Indian films globally, the featuring of such international locations is one of the key attractions in their movie-watching experience. In many cases, movies manage to do well at the box-office solely due to the songs shot abroad.

Given that specific requirement of Indian films, the picturesque locations and breathtaking views of Norway are a perfect stop for Indian filmmakers. For over two decades, countries like Switzerland, Italy, France, UK, USA and Canada have benefited from the Indian film industry by offering their locations, support and subsidies. Now, Indian filmmakers want to explore new, untouched locations, and Norway has emerged as their preferred stop.

Norwegian companies from the Indian film industry

So how can Norwegian businesses benefit from more and more Indian films coming to Norway? One of the biggest goals for the Norwegian Embassy and Innovation Norway in India is to attract Indian tourists to Norway. Film is one such medium to drive this trend. Statistics reveal that wherever Indian films go, Indian tourists follow. For an average Indian tourist, holidaying with friends and family at the location where their favorite stars have been is a very common practice. That is the biggest reason why countries like Switzerland, France and Spain have seen a large influx of Indian tourists.

Tourism industry

Indian films crews are a group of 25 – 30 people on an average. They travel far and wide, and into deep and untouched areas within Norway, opening doors for the hotel industry across the country. Recent crews have stayed at places like Ulvik, Stalheim, Geiranger in addition to big cities like Oslo and Bergen, offering business opportunities to the hotel industry. Films followed by large number of tourists is then an obvious next step.

Transport companies have plenty to gain from Indian films. From big buses, caravans, moving kitchens to cars and vans, Norwegian transport companies can look forward to travelling in Norway with celebrities from India that have a huge fan following.

It is also common for films to use Helicopter companies a lot for their shootings as many remote areas in Norway are beautiful as locations but nearly impossible to reach for filming purposes.

Technical industries

If you are Norwegian line production company, local supplier of equipment and technicians and/or can provide crew support, then Indian films are your next stop. Innovation Norway (India) can assist Norwegian production companies in finding partners in India and also help better understand this industry. Innovation Norway India is the Commercial Section of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi.

Norwegian crew member in action during the shoot. Photo: Amala Locations

Norwegian crew member in action during the shoot. Photo: Amala Locations

Creative industries

Indian films always need local artists, dancers, fighters and actors while shooting abroad.

Sponsorship

The most common way to reach the Indian market if you are an airline, Telecom Company or any other business is through films. Millions of viewers see Indian films and sponsors can get excellent value for money by marketing their product through a film to their Indian targets. It could be a famous actor holding a cup of coffee with the sponsor’s logo on it, or driving a new car to be launched. Scripts are even re-written to accommodate the needs of the sponsor in return for their monetary contribution.

Equipments such as jimmys and drones are hired through local Norwegian companies. Photo: Amala Locations.

Equipments such as jimmys and drones are hired through local Norwegian companies. Photo: Amala Locations.

The Norwegian Embassy and Innovation Norway supports the Film Commission’s recently announced incentive scheme, offering foreign producers a 25 % refund of their costs in Norway (up to € 5 million).

It is expected that the interest in Norway will continue to be at its current pace and peak over the next 4 – 5 years, until the filmmakers move to finding newer untouched locations.

For many years, Norway has been assumed as an expensive filming location, but with support from government bodies and assistance from genuine Indian players, Norway can be promoted as a cost-effective market. This is an excellent window of opportunity for Norwegian businesses to leverage the increased interest.

Some Indian film/song videos shot in Norway:

http://www.norwayemb.org.in/News_and_events/Media/

http://www.norwayemb.org.in/News_and_events/News-and-Events/Indian-romance-in-Norwegian-fjords/

For further information or enquiries, please contact:

Arti Bhatia Kumar
Market Advisor
Innovation Norway, New Delhi, India
Email: arti.bhatia@innovationnorway.no

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