The European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production was launched on 2 October 1992. The convention was prepared by the Council of Europe and signed by 43 states. It was created as many countries in the 1970s were establishing bilateral co-production agreements and European co-productions became increasingly more common.
The European Co-production Convention is a regular legal framework that may be used in co-productions between two or more countries. Originally intended as a supplement to the bilateral agreements and for use in multilateral co-productions, the convention has gradually become universal as a framework for most European co-productions. Productions applying for co-production grants from Eurimages must comply within this convention.
Norway joined the convention in 2009. In 2017, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture, the Norwegian ambassador to the Netherlands signed an updated version of the convention during the Rotterdam Film Festival. The updated convention entered into force on 30 January 2017.
Upon accession to the European Co-production Convention, Norway remained a member of Eurimages, of which Norway have been a member since January 1989.
Approval of the Norwegian share in co-productions
NFI is the authorized authority for the approval of co-productions in accordance with the European Co-production Convention.
Approval of the Norwegian share for minority co-productions
The principal producer must apply for authorized authority in his or her home country. When this is approved and the producer has received provisional approval from the authorized authority, this must be sent to NFI. If accepted, the NFI will then issue a "provisional approval" which is forwarded to the minority producer for further transactions. When the film is finished and the final accounts have been approved, the authorized authority in the main country issues a "final approval" which is sent to NFI. The same process is undertaken at NFI.
Approval of the Norwegian share for majority co-productions
In order for NFI to approve a Norwegian share for a majority co-production, the applicant must submit an application for approval of the Norwegian share in accordance with the convention. The approval takes place in two phases. Application is sent to the responsible production consultant for the project.
Phase 1 - provisional status
Applications for preliminary approval must be submitted no later than 2 months before the start of filming and applicants must meet the requirements set out in the convention. The approved applicants will then be issued a preliminary letter of approval, a "provisional status letter".
Phase 2 - final status
When the project is completed and the audited final accounts have been submitted and approved, NFI issues a «final approval».
Attachments to be sent with the application:
Agreement on rights
Progress plan / plan for shooting
Complete list of artistic and technical participation from each country
Financing plan (for provisional status) / final accounts (for final status)
Co-production agreement that includes clauses regarding the distribution of income and territories between all parties
If Norway is a minority country: Confirmation from authorized authority in the country of origin
Norwegian bilateral agreements
Bilateral co-production agreements are agreements entered into between two countries that makes it easier for them to produce and finance film projects together. In some territories, the country requires the film in question to be recognized as a "national production" in order for the co-production to have access to national support schemes. The bilateral co-production agreements can give support to such productions.
Norway has entered into bilateral co-production agreements with some selected countries:
Norwegian-Dutch cooperation agreement documentary co-productions
Agreement between EFTA and South Korea on Co-production of Broadcasting Programs
Audio-visual Co-production Agreement between Canada and Norway