Iceland as a filming location: stunning and cheap

Iceland is famous for its stunning nature and wide open wildernesses and has been attracting film crews for decades. The country has recently increased its production costs refund scheme to 20 percent. In other words: there has never been a better time to create films and television programmes in one of the world’s best filming locations.

Recent years have brought a string of famous directors and film actors to Iceland’s shores, attracted not only by the unique and surreal natural surroundings on offer; but also by the chance to get 14 percent of production costs refunded by the government.

This refund option was recently increased: 20 percent refund on production costs in Iceland is the new, generous figure. This is clearly great news for film and television producers in difficult economic times and the weakened Icelandic currency is also having a positive effect. When Clint Eastwood was filming Flags of our Fathers in Iceland in 2006, each dollar he spent was buying him 72 kronur. That number is now around 120 kronur and the savings just keep piling up.

Another aspect of the refund scheme is that if over 80 percent of television or movie production costs are incurred in Iceland, then all production costs incurred in the EEA (the EU plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland) become eligible for the 20 percent refund. And because the quick and convenient application process has to be completed and approved before filming begins, there can be no nasty surprises lurking round the corner.

For its small size, Iceland has amazingly developed and experienced production companies on hand to help international film and television crews make the most of their time in the country: knowledge of the best locations, modern facilities and a can-do attitude are what they bring to the table.

The Icelandic Film Commission is operated by the Invest in Iceland Agency, a part of the Trade Council of Iceland and the Ministry of Industry. For further information on how to take advantage of Iceland’s generous 20 percent refund on production costs for the film and television industries, visit