The Icelandic Film Centre operates in accordance with the Film Act no. 137/2001. The Film Centre's main goal is to oversee the Icelandic Film Museum, the Icelandic Film Council and Icelandic Film Fund.
The Minister of Education, Science and Culture appoints a committee of seven individuals that serves as the Icelandic Film Council for a three-year term. The Council provides the government with advice and ideas on policies and goals to be emphasized within the film sector.
The Icelandic film and television production sector has seen incredibly rapid recent growth. With a number of large productions occurring within the country, Iceland has become a hotspot for international filmmaking. As such, the Film Centre's role has grown in importance over the course of the last years. The Film Centre provides incentive to foreign production firms to produce films in Iceland via a reimbursement of up to 25% of production costs that occur within the country. If 80% or more of the total production cost of a motion picture or television program is incurred in Iceland, the reimbursement is calculated on the basis of the total production cost incurred within the European Economic Area. Projects must fulfill certain cultural and production criteria in order to receive a letter of intent for reimbursement.
The Film Centre also plays a pivotal role in Icelandic filmmaking through management of the Film Fund, which provides financial support for films at various stages of production. These may be for example grants for screenwriting, project development, production, post-production and promotional purposes.
The Icelandic Film Centre has played a crucial role in supporting the rapid development of the Icelandic film industry in recent years. The fiscal support provided by the funds and measures that the Icelandic Film Centre manages has given Icelandic filmmakers the opportunity to create culturally relevant and meaningful content to enhance the local culture. In 2019, the Film Fund received a total of 180 applications for some form of support with 92 of those projects receiving funding, a 51% success ratio.
In 1999, the Act on Temporary Reimbursements for Film Production in Iceland no. 43/1999 was passed in Parliament. This authorized the State Treasury to reimburse filmmakers for partial production costs incurred within the country. Since the Act was passed it has attracted numerous sizeable international projects that provide individuals with employment, fuel the economy and expand the cultural landscape.
In 2019, a total of 8,126,831 USD (1,110 million ISK) was allocated to the Fund from the State Treasury.
In 2019 the State Treasury reimbursed a total of 8,173,748 USD (1,116 million ISK) as part of the filmmaking reimbursement incentive.