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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.

4 days
Nordnorsk Filmsenter AS
Tromso International Film Festival
Kulturnæringsstiftelsen SNN

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.

The projects selected for Below ZERO compete for 2 awards: The Arctic Documentary Award, worth NOK 40000, which 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 second award is the Below Zero Award, worth NOK 10.000. It will be given to the most innovative project. Kulturnæringsstiftelsen SNN is funding both of the awards.

Every year, filmmakers from all over the world are welcome to submit their projects for Below ZERO. Stories with a broad international market appeal are preferred. From the submitted project proposals a maximum of 12 projects are selected for participation. The working language is English. Below ZERO concludes with a pitching session, where the selected projects are pitched to a panel of international financiers and experts

What do previous participants say about Below ZERO?

"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 consists of:
- a pre-pitching workshop where the selected projects are developed under guidance from experienced international experts from the documentary business.

The workshop focuses 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 is pitched in seven minutes to a panel of international financiers and possible future collaborators. The pitch is then 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.

You submit your project by sending a written 2-page presentation of your project accompanied by visual material. Your written 2-page presentation should include the following elements:

  • the film, including a synopsis / treatment describing the story. Depending on the nature of the project the treatment can include character descriptions / story lines / visual approach / dramaturgical construction / director's intention etc.
  • title, name of producer, production company and director, length, format
  • short CV & filmography of company and director
  • status of the project: in development / in production / in postproduction
  • contact information

You can submit your 2-page presentation by email to:

  • 300 Euro for the first person connected to a project
  • 200 Euro for second or third person connected to a project
  • 200 Euro for observers

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.

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.


Mikael Opstrup
Phone: +45 3313 1122

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