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Below ZERO 2015

January 14 – 17, 2015. 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 27, 2014.

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 have confirmed their participation: 


An essential part of the Below ZERO is the pre-pitch workshop, where the 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
  • Jakob Högel, Producer & former film commissioner Danish Film Institute, Denmark
  • Hans Eirik Voktor, Director, Professor University of Stavanger, Norway
  • Miriam Nörgaard, Editor & Producer, 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 27, 2014.

The following projects have been selected for the 2015 programme:

Chasing the Aurora Director: Fritz Mueller, Teresa Earle. Producers: Fritz Mueller, Teresa Earle, Sagafish Media, Canada

To the Ends of the Earth Director: David Lavallee. Producer: David Lavallee, White Gold Production, Canada

The Arctic March Director: Bernice Notenboom. Producer: Hans Bouma, Inuksuk Media, Canada

Antarctic Last Mystery Director: Didier Martiny. Producer: Christophe Barreyre, Kino, France

Man and Seal Director: Trude Berge Ottersen. Producer: Gry Elisabeth Mortensen, Koko Film, Norway

MÁZE REPRESENT! – Rappers of a lost language Director: Simen Braathen. Producers: Stig Andersen, Aleksander Olai Korsnes, Indie Film, Norway

On Thin Ice Director: Anders Øvergaard. Producer: Anders Graham, Turbin Film, Norway

The Political Jester Director: Kenneth Elvebakk. Producer: Karl Emil Rikardsen, Relation04 Media, Norway 

Missing from Maud Director: Erlend Hein Lauge. Producer: Hilde Skofteland, Skofteland Film, Norway

The Whale from Lorino Director: Maciej Cuske. Producer: Mikolaj Pokromski, Pokromski Studio, Poland

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


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