Tuesday, 4 April 2006

End of a Century

Everything must to come to an end. Yesterday, we announced the immediate disbanding of the Tromsø-based film production network "Paraplyen". Through three years of existance, Paraplyen has initiated eight short film productions, indirectly put four of our people in the Norwegian national film school, as well as creating a lot of positive PR for Tromsø outside the city limits.

Is this dramatic for Tromsø's filmmaking community? Certainly not. It is actually a huge leap forward. Paraplyen was obviously a success, and the unique approach to filmmaking has proved itself very effective at the level we have been working the past few years. Tromsø has certainly made itself known as a city commited to film, but apart from being described as very talented, we haven't managed to break through on the national scene.

As a response to this, youth culture house Tvibit has launched a project aimed at the semi professional filmmakers called "Tvibit +". The long term objective is to move one step closer to creating a thriving professional film industry in Tromsø, with a constant flow of feature film productions for our talented filmmakers to work on.

The problem with Tromsø is that it's a great city to learn and develop your creative skills in, until you are about 20 years old. With no creative industry to work in, all our talented people move to Oslo where the industry is located. This does not only apply to film. Did you for instance know that internationally reputed electronica duo Röyksopp originally came from Tromsø?

So, why couldn't Paraplyen just aim higher? Well, the problem with Paraplyen was always that it didn't have a working organization, and there was no money to pay anyone to administrate it. Basically, it was a mailing list with names of ambitious people who would work for free on each others films. Don't get me wrong, you can go a long way with talented volunteers, but sooner or later you are going to hit the roof.

Tvibit has a good organization with fulltime employees in offices on a daily basis, as well as a stupendous amount of knowledge when it comes to financing their projects. And this is the key. We need to unlock that government treasure chest, which currently injects most of its funds into the centralized industry.

Paraplyen is still here in spirit and it's noble principles will always be printed in our minds. But as far as taking the community to the next level, we need a different approach.

What's the plan then? Well, there are already three feature films being written, where two could be entering production next year, one already partially funded. Tvibit + has also initiated five short film productions, all aiming at next years Grimstad short film festival.

I don't mind moving out, actually, I'm sure I will. Being 20 years old, I still have a lot to learn, places to see and things to experience. But I would also love the option to stay in my home town if I want to. Exciting times are ahead. And I firmly believe we're on the right track here.

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