Filming in Iceland

Iceland: A Filmmaker's Paradise!

The Icelandic film and television industry has grown fast in the last few years, producing films, documentaries and TV Series with international reach and appreciation. Being between Europe and the US, Iceland is the perfect place for local and international film professionals to meet and develop creative and groundbreaking stories together. Close collaboration with filmmakers from around the world is common practice and Iceland has a long history of co-production with various countries, including the Nordic countries, France, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom. The Icelandic Film Centre and the Icelandic Film Commission are actively developing the local film industry and everything you need to know about co-producing with and filming in Iceland can be found on their websites.

Icelandic Film Commission | Icelandic Film Centre

Reykjavik Film City

The film industry in Reykjavik is thriving and ever-growing. Professionals in all areas of film-making call Reykjavik home and are inspired by the thriving cultural scene and proximity to the mountains. Production companies based in the Icelandic capital have taken part in many large-scale (international) film and commercial projects.

Reykjavik Film Village

A special project is under construction on the shores of the old industrial area Gufunes, about a minute drive from downtown. Reykjavik Film Village will in the future be not only a meeting place for creatives, but also a place to call home. The project is a joined effort of Reykjavik City and director Balthasar Kormakur, the owner of RVK Studios, which already graces the coastline of Gufunes.

More information on Reykjavik Film City and Reykjavik Film Village can be found on the website of Visit Reykjavik.

Scenery and Landscape

Iceland’s variety of scenery is stunning: from the stark highland interior, tundra, and moors patched with blue ponds contrasted with active geysers and steaming sulphur to endless black sand beaches, majestic glaciers, snow-capped mountains, rugged lava fields, imposing waterfalls, lakes, and lagoons packed with icebergs, Icelandic landscape provides all the different types of settings that a filmmaker can wish for.

Incentives and Refund

Iceland offers reimbursement of up to 35% of the costs incurred during the production of films and television programs in Iceland. Based on a specific law, the refund process is clear and simple for everyone. Production costs refer to all costs incurred in Iceland deductible from the revenues of enterprises pursuant to the provisions of the Act on Income Tax.

All productions for feature films, TV shows and documentaries in Iceland are eligible for a 25% refund, no matter the total cost of the project but to receive 35% a production must fulfil three requirements:

  • A minimum of ISK350 million (€2.5m) must be spent in Iceland
  • Productions must last a minimum of 30 working days in Iceland (be it in shooting days or in post-production work) with at least 10 shooting days required.
  • A minimum of 50 local staff must be hired for the project, for at least 50 working days.

All information about the refund can be found here.

Production and Service Companies

The best way to produce a film in Iceland is to cooperate with one of the local production and service companies. Icelandic producers have an extended network of talented and experienced professionals who can assist with all aspects of the project.

For more information check out the Directory of Icelandic Production Companies and overview of Service Companies.

If you are looking to shoot in Iceland or work with Icelandic professionals, this is a good place to start.