SØRFOND was established back 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 recognised that it is difficult for filmmakers in developing countries to realise 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 needs to 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 eligble 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 grants from Sørfond is about € 60 000 for fiction films, and € 45 000 for documentaries. SØRFOND normally grant 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 assessment and selection of the applications shall be based on an overall assessment of artistic, production-related, economical 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 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 relevence 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 production support from SØRFOND. The complete list of eligible countries, also referred to as 'List of 85 Countries':
(revised and updated in January 2019)
Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kirgizstan, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, South Africa, South Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
GUIDELINES & DEADLINES
Official guidelines in English (PDF)
The deadline for 2023 will be published once the Norwegian Film Institute has signed a new agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The new deadline is expected to be announced shortly.
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). The application form will be available in beginning of February 2023.
Deadline for the SØRFOND Pitching Forum:
By invitation only.
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. We hope to open a new call for applications in 2022.
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).