SØRFOND grants top financing for co-production of fiction and documentary films where the main producer is located in a DAC country. The applications to Sørfond must be made through a Norwegian minority producer.
SØRFOND was established in 2011, after an initiative by the Films from the South Festival, a festival run by Stiftelsen Festivalkontoret. Since the beginning, SØRFOND has been jointly run by Stiftelsen Festivalkontoret and the Norwegian Film Institute.
Stiftelsen Festivalkontoret and the Norwegian Film Institute recognized that it is difficult for filmmakers in developing countries to realize film projects that are locally based, despite the great demand for such productions. Filmmakers in developing countries have the need for both production capital and international professional networks. It is in that spirit that SØRFOND was created.
SØRFOND is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- FILM FORMAT - Fiction and documentary films of feature-length (Minimum 50 minutes).
- REQUIRED FINANCING IN PLACE - At least 50% of the budget must already be confirmed at the time of submitting the application.
- NORWEGIAN CO-PRODUCER REQUIRED - The Norwegian minority producer and the main producer must have entered into a co-production agreement in order to apply.
- SHOOTING LOCATION - Shooting must be done in one of SØRFOND's eligible countries.
- NATIONALITY OF MAIN PRODUCER & DIRECTOR - The main producer must be established in a country one of Sørfond's eligible countries. Furthermore, the director must be a citizen of, or resident in, one of these countries.
- SPENDING REQUIREMENT - At least 70 % of the grant must be spent in a country on Sørfond's list of eligible countries.
The grant shall not exceed NOK 1 million (approximately € 100 000). The average grant from Sørfond is about € 60 000 for fiction films and € 45 000 for documentaries. SØRFOND normally grants support to 6-8 projects annually.
Up to 10% of the grant amount may be retained by the minority production company in order to cover its administrative costs.
ASSESSMENT AND SELECTION
The evaluation period is up to twelve weeks from the application deadline.
The assessment and selection of the applications shall be based on an overall assessment of artistic, production-related, economic, and technical aspects of the project. Particular emphasis is placed on the purpose of SØRFOND and the project’s cultural identity, including the use of local languages and local shooting locations. Emphasis is also placed on the director’s and the producers’ experience, as well as the representation of women in key positions.
The incoming applications might be screened through a pre-selection before being presented to the jury. This pre-selection process will consider the track record of the director and the main producer. For debut filmmakers, previous shorts will be considered. Furthermore, the pre-selection will consider the project's relevance to Sørfond's overall objective (§2 in the guidelines), and in doing so the applicant country's ranking on the DAC-list (Least Developed Country – Upper Middle Income Countries and Territories) and Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World-report will also be relevant. Projects that have participated in the Sørfond Pitching Forum will automatically pass through the pre-selection process.
Projects from countries on the Norwegian Government's list of countries eligible to receive aid (ODA) from Norway are qualified to apply for production support from SØRFOND.
GUIDELINES & DEADLINES
Official guidelines in English (PDF)
15. March 2024 at 12.00 (GMT +2)
Note: the application can only be submitted by the Norwegian partner in the project (you need Norwegian Bank ID to be able to log in to the application portal).
SØRFOND Pitching Forum:
No deadline. By invitation only.
5 to 6 international film projects will be selected from partnering film markets around the world and given an invitation to come to Oslo in November to pitch their projects to an audience of Norwegian producers.
With support from Creative Europe's MEDIA-programme, 5 films was supported through one round of grants from Sørfond+ in 2017.
Unfortunately SØRFOND+ is now closed for applications.
For SØRFOND+ largely the same criteria as for SØRFOND applies, but you do not need a Norweian co-producer. In stead you can apply SØRFOND+ with any European co-producer from a country participating in the MEDIA-sub-programme of Creative Europe (including Norway).