Funding for Danish films

May el-Toukhy's 'Queen of Hearts' from 2019 has received funding from the Film Commissioner Scheme. Photo: Rolf Konow
The Danish Film Institute supports the production of 20-25 feature films and 25-30 documentary and short films a year. Funds are awarded through three different schemes: the Film Commissioner Scheme, the Market Scheme and the New Danish Screen talent development scheme.

Types of production funding

Film Commissioner Scheme

This scheme supports films with unique cinematic ambitions – artistically innovative films that challenge their audiences. The scheme funds features, documentaries and shorts.

The work of the film commissioner involves prioritising the funding to secure the continual production and dissemination of a wide range of films, defined in terms of artistic quality, diversity, volume and audience appeal.

The Film Commissioner Scheme is based on individual case processing. In a close dialogue with applicants about the artistic development of their film projects, the film commissioner serves as a sparring partner, questioning the projects and pointing out weaknesses and problems.

Funds are awarded for scriptwriting, development and production.

Market Scheme

This scheme supports films with broad audience appeal – films that fascinate because they tell a popular story or cultivate a familiar genre. The scheme funds features.

Applications are evaluated on criteria of quality and audience potential, including narrative, production value, market position, distribution, marketing and the film's overall economic viability. To qualify, films are expected to perform better at the box office than an average Danish feature or perform well with a specific target group, e.g., children and youth. Decisions are made by a committee of two representatives from the DFI and three external film-industry representatives.

Funds are awarded for development, including scriptwriting expenses, and for production.

New Danish Screen

New Danish Screen supports talent development, giving new generations of filmmakers the opportunity to push their limits and create new audience experiences. What counts is enabling manifested talents to grow and test out their ideas.

The scheme is for filmmakers working on the professional level who are making their debut as feature film directors.

Funding is aimed at the development and production of low-budget fiction, documentaries, hybrids, series and cross-media projects.

Funds are awarded by New Danish Screen's artistic management.

Public Service Fund

This scheme supports Danish TV dramas and TV documentaries on commercial channels. The aim is to provide commercial broadcasters with the opportunity to produce public service content of high quality and risk-taking. To qualify for funding, it is crucial that projects show originality, significance and quality in terms of content, form and style.

Minority Co-Production Scheme

This scheme supports international films that have Danish production participation. Read more about international co-production

Games

The subsidy programme for Danish games aims at supporting the development and production of Danish video games.

Under the Games Scheme, the Danish Film Institute can subsidise concept and project development as well as the production of Danish digital games. Subsidies are awarded by the DFI's management.

The purpose of the DFI's subsidies is to strengthen video games as a culture-bearing medium and secure better development and growth conditions for Danish video games.

Cross-Media Development

This scheme supports the development of Danish cross-media projects of artistic quality and cultural value. The funding is aimed at projects that in innovative ways exploit the potential of various media and platforms.

Other Funding

Funding schemes also cover cinema culture, film education and promotion at international film festivals.

Regional funding

Regional funding is aimed at films that are produced, or partly produced, outside the Greater Copenhagen area. The aim of regional film funding is to ensure that Danish films tell stories from all parts of the country.

The funding is aimed at films that include filming and post-production work, supporting production milieus outside Greater Copenhagen. Regional film funding is awarded to features, shorts and documentaries that have received production funding from the Film Commissioner Scheme, the Market Scheme, or New Danish Screen. Read about Denmark's three regional film funds.

External workshops

The Danish Film Institute supports workshop activity aimed at strengthening talent development grounded in independent or municipal institutions, associations, etc. 

Cinema funding

This scheme supports projects for establishing and modernising Danish cinemas, for operating Danish arthouse cinemas and for special cinema initiatives. The aim is to ensure an attractive and dynamic, high-quality cinema milieu across the nation, and to ensure artistic and cultural diversity in the range of films in the Danish cinema market.

Dissemination of films to children and youth

Funds are awarded for developing and realising publications, projects or activities that disseminate film art, filmmaking skills and film teaching to children and young people. The aim is to foster opportunities for children and young people to experience, understand and themselves make films, and to contribute to developing and grounding film and media teaching initiatives at day-care centres and schools. 

Film festivals and screenings

Funds are awarded for establishing and holding film festivals and film-screening activities in Denmark. The aim is to ensure the development of a vibrant film and festival culture across the country. It is the ambition that at least 25% of the funds be awarded to film festivals and film-screening activities for children and young people.

Participation at international festivals

This scheme supports the participation of Danish films at significant international film festivals, in particular film festivals prioritised by the DFI, cf. the DFI's list of prioritised international film festivals (site in Danish). Funds are awarded to activities that raise awareness and sales of Danish films internationally, including shared stands, joint Nordic promotion, special campaigns and other efforts involving the participation of Danish films at international film festivals.

General purposes

Funds are granted to the promotion of film art, film culture and cinema culture in Denmark. The funding is moreover aimed at ensuring the possibility of developing the Danish film industry other than by direct film funding. By way of example, the scheme supports continuing education abroad and in Denmark, journals, publications, associations and initiatives within the film industry focusing on innovation and concept development.