Culture minister to scrap film agreement in 2017

4:46 min

Sweden's Culture minister Alice Bah Kuhnke says the government is to scrap the Film Agreement when it comes up for renewal in 2017. It will be the biggest change in the Swedish film business in 50 years. 

Critics have long called for the agreement to be scrapped, claiming it is outdated for the modern film consumer, with its reliance on revenue from cinema audiences.

In a debate article in Dagens Nyheter, Alice Bah Kuhnke writes that the government will take a bigger role in steering the national film politics from 2017, when the current film agreement expires.

The Film Agreement, set up in 1963, was the idea of film critic and businessman Harry Schein, which, with the agreement of parliament, aimed to support Sweden's domestic film production, with the help of a ten percent levy on cinema admission tickets. It has financed and governed Swedish film policy regardless of any party in government.

Roger Wilson, Culture correspondent for Swedish Radio, tells Radio Sweden that the current system, once so modern, is completely out of date.

"This agreement was made 50 years ago, and at the time it was a model for the future. Now we are behind the curve," he says.

"The problem with depending on Money from cinema tickets is that the whole business is changing and we are not watching films so much in the cinema anymore, and there has been a huge discussion on what other industries should be involved in the agreement.

"It's a system that has become more and more weird the more you think about it," he says to Radio Sweden.