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Below ZERO 2016

January 20 – 23, 2016. Tromsø, Norway

No matter where you are based you can submit your documentary project on all aspects of life above the Arctic Circle. Projects selected for Below ZERO will pitch to a panel of international decision makers as well as compete for The Arctic Documentary Award and The Below Zero Award. The deadline for submitting your project is on November 26, 2015.

Below ZERO is an international pitching session for documentary projects focusing on life above the Arctic Circle. At the session a wide range of documentary projects on all subjects related to this matter will be pitched. These can be projects focusing on culture, environment, resources, politics, climate changes and indigenous peoples as well as general human stories.

For the second time the projects selected for Below ZERO will be competing for 2 awards. The Arctic Documentary Award, NOK 40000, is granted to the project which has the best political, environmental or cultural relevance to the Arctic and has an international potential for financing and distribution. The Below Zero Award , NOK 10.000, is given for the most innovative project. Kulturnæringsstiftelsen SNN is funding both awards.

Filmmakers from all over the world are welcome to submit projects for Below ZERO. Stories with a broad international market appeal are preferred. From the submitted project proposals a maximum of 12 projects will be selected for participation. The working language will be English.

Below ZERO will conclude with a pitching session, where the selected projects are pitched to a panel of international financiers and experts.


The following panel participants are confirmed so far:

Helle Hansen, Danish Film Institute, Denmark

Jan Daae, DR Sales, Denmark

Even Benestad, Norwegian Film Institute, Norway

Tore Tomter, NRK, Norway

Jesper Bergom-Larsson, North Norwegian Film Centre, Norway

Marja Bål Nango, International Sámi Film Institute, Norway

Klara Grunning-Harris, Swedish Film Institute, Sweden

Anna Svensson, SVT, Sweden

Katja Härkönen, Filmpool Nord, Sweden

Karolina Lidin, Nordic Film & TV Fund

Ralf Quibeldey, NDR, Germany

Jan Rofekamp, Films Transit, Canada

Andrea Hock, Autlook, Austria


An essential part of the Below ZERO is the pre-pitch workshop, where the selected projects will be developed under guidance from experienced international experts from the documentary business.


The tutor team for the workshop is:

Emma Davie, Director, Scotland

Salomé Jashi, Director, Georgia

Iikka Vehkalahti, Consultant, Producer, Director, Finland

Jesper Osmund, Editor, Denmark

Mikael Opstrup, Head of Studies EDN, Denmark



What do previous participants say about Below ZERO?

Aurelio Laino

‘Below Zero has been a great occasion for my project ADRIFT to grow. During three days in beautiful Tromsø, I worked on my project with a team of committed, enthusiastic and professional tutors before pitching it to a panel of high profile international commissioners. Through the workshop I had the chance to focus on both strong and weak points of the project and was able to shape the final pitch accordingly.

It was also useful getting to know other projects on the same topic and meeting producers and commissioners in a very nice and friendly environment.

Below Zero has been the starting point of a journey for ADRIFT, and yet most of the results we achieved today are direct consequences of the massive work we did during the workshop and the connections established with the commissioners after the pitch’.

Aurelio Laino, director, Italy. Below ZERO participant with the project ADRIFT.

The Below ZERO program

The program for Below ZERO will consist of:

- a pre-pitching workshop where the selected projects will be developed under guidance from experienced international experts from the documentary business. The workshop will focus on how the project can be developed in the best possible direction and how the presentation of the project can be optimized

During the workshop there will be a possibility to work with both the pitch trailer and the written presentation.

- a pitching session where each project will be pitched in seven minutes for a panel of international financiers and possible future collaborators. The pitch will be followed by a brief round of feedback from the panel and individual meetings between filmmakers and financiers

- networking events to encourage future collaborations between organizations, financiers, producers and filmmakers. 

How to Participate

The deadline for submitting your project for Below Zero was November 26, 2015.
The following projects have been selected for the 2016 programme:

The Book of the Sea | Director: Aleksei Vakhrushev. Producers: Aleksei Vakhrushev, Liisa Juntunen, High Latitudes / Napafilms, Russia / Finland
The Earth Masters | Director: Alba Sotorra. Producer: Alba Sotorra S.L., Spain
Jeanne d'Arc of Sodankyla | Director: Petteri Saario. Producer: Petteri Saario, DocArt, Finland
Northern Travelogues | Director: Kira Jääskeläinen. Producers: Jouko Aaltonen, Marianne Mäkela, Illume Oy, Finland
Navarana | Director: Pipaluk Lykke Løgstrup. Producer: Pipaluk Lykke Løgstrup, NEBULA, Greenland
Tourist | Director: Jean-Louis Schuller. Producers: Stéphane Hueber-Blies, Amel Bouzid,  Yaniv Wolf, a_BAHN, NOVAK Prod. / SUBMARINE, Luxembourg / Belgium / Netherlands
The Hidden City | Director: Victoria Fiore, Produced by Roast Beef Productions, UK
Silence in Sapmi | Director: Liselotte Wajstedt. Producer: Malla Grapengiesser, Fosfor Produktion, Sweden
Reconstructing Utøya | Director: Carl Javér. Producer: Fredrik Lange, Vilda Bomben Film AB, Sweden
Dikson, The Hometown | Director: Nikita Sutyrin. Producers: Nikita Sutyrin, Alexander Gundorov, Moviement, Russia
Dacca and the reindeers | Director: Fridtjof Kjæreng, f(x) produksjoner AS, Norway
Karerina & I | Director: Tommaso Mottola  Producer: Tommaso Mottola, Orto Polare AS, Norway



Participating as Observer

For Below ZERO a number of observer seats are available. When participating as an observer you will take part in all sessions on equal terms with the pitching participants. Only exception is not having a concrete project developed and pitched. Observers pay 200 Euro for participating.   

Participation fee

Each selected project pays a participation fee of 300 Euro, which includes one participating person. Every other member of the pitching team pays an individual fee of 200 Euro. We strongly recommend participation of both director and producer.

Background on Below ZERO

The Below ZERO event was initiated in 2009 in order to bring together filmmakers, producers, financiers and organizations whose common interest is documentaries thematically rooted in the Northern Polar region. Building on the success of the first six editions of Below ZERO, this seventh edition will further strengthen and develop the international network for documentaries made around or focusing on the Arctic region. Below ZERO is set in Tromsø, Northern Norway, during the last days of the polar night.

EDN Contact:

Mikael Opstrup

+45 3313 1122


Below ZERO is organised by EDN. The event takes place in the framework of Tromso International Film Festival.

Below ZERO is made possible by the support from:

Nordnorsk Filmsenter AS 

Tromso International Film Festival

Kulturnæringsstiftelsen SNN