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NORTH PITCH — Below Zero 2019

January 16-19, 2019. 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 the 11th NORTH PITCH - 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 projects was November 28, 2018.

NORTH PITCH — Below Zero is an international pitching session for documentary projects focusing on life above the Arctic Circle. The event will take place from 16 - 19 January 2019 in Tromsø, Norway. 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 NORTH PITCH — Below Zero will be competing for 2 awards. The Arctic Documentary Award, NOK 40.000, 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. Samfunnslöftet SparebankEN Nord-Norge is funding both awards.

Filmmakers from all over the world are welcome to submit projects for NORTH PITCH — 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.

NORTH PITCH - Below Zero consists of a 2-day workshop and will conclude with a 1-day pitching session, where the selected projects are pitched to a panel of international financiers and experts.

An essential part of NORTH PITCH — 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 NORTH PITCH — Below Zero program

The programme will consist of the following elements:

- 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.

Overview of confirmed panelists:

Anders Riis-Hansen, Danish Film Institute, Denmark

Anne Laurila, Business Oulu & North Finland Film Commission, Finland

Pekka Uotila, Finnish Film Foundation, Finland

Fredrik Færden, NRK, Norway

Ingrid Kristin Dokka, North Norwegian film Centre, Norway

Helle Hansen, Norwegian Film Institute, Norway

Liisa Holmberg, International Sámi Film Institute, Norway

Katja Härkönen, Filmpool Nord, Sweden

Juan Pablo Libossart, The Swedish Film Institute, Sweden

Anna Svensson, SVT, Sweden

Aleksandra Derewienko, Cat&Docs, France

Sergey Trofimov, Current Time TV, USA

Esther van Messel, First Hand Films, Switzerland

Sabine Bubeck-Paaz, ZDF-ARTE & Head of Studies EsoDoc, Germany

Mandy Chang, BBC, UK

Ralf Quibeldey, NDR, Germany



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:

Phil Jandaly, Editor, Sweden

Emma Davie, Director, Scotland

Karolina Lidin, Documentary Advisor, Nordisk Film & TV Fund, Norway

David Herdies, Producer, Sweden

Mikael Opstrup, Head of Studies EDN, Denmark


Projects Selected for NORTH PITCH - Below Zero 2019

CAVEAT ANDØYA | Prod: Andrew Grant | Dir: John Trainer | Mattima Films | Norway

DPVX1 | Prod: Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas | Dir: Jørn Stenersen | Ten Thousand Images | Norway

SOUND OF ICE | Prod: Benedikte Danielsen | Dir: Tommy Gulliksen | Norsk Fjernsyn AS | Norway

TEKLE | Prod: Laurence Buelens | Dir: Emilien Hofman, Nicolas Taiana | Rayuela Productions | Belgium

KATLA | Prod: Maarten Bernaerts | Dir: Ischa Clissen, Dorus Masure | Diplodokus | Belgium

FIVE BROTHERS | Prod: Trude Berge Ottersen | Dir: Trude Berge Ottersen | Koko Film | Norway

HEARTS IN THE ICE | Prod: Kjell Eriksen | Dir: Sven Arild Storberget | Trad film AS | Sweden

NENETS - PEOPLE AT RISK | Prod: Sergio Ghizzardi, Valérie Montmartin | Dir: Sergio Ghizzardi | Domino Production, Little Big Story | France/Belgium

RADJI - THE BORDER | Prod: Georg Götmark, John Erling Utsi, Eric Goossens, Fredrik Nicolai | Dir: John Erling Utsi, Georg Götmark | Filmfront Media AB, Off World | Sweden/Belgium

TWICE COLONIZED | Prod: Emile Hertling Péronard, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril | Dir: Lin Alluna | Ánorâk Film | Greenland, Denmark, Canada

SMILE AND WAVE | Prod: Eva Charlotte Nilsen | Dir: Eva Charlotte Nilsen | Rampelys AS | Norway


What do previous participants say about NORTH PITCH — Below Zero?

Photo from ‘Where Man Returns'

Last year`s pitch participant at NORTH PITCH – Below Zero "Where Man Returns" (working title ‘The last Hunter’) is the opening film of Tromsø International Film Festival 2019. Producer Racha Nia says this about NORTH PITCH:

"Below Zero became a very important arena for our film and for whom we ended up collaborating with. We got incredible support, and not least important feedback to determine and understand the strengths and weaknesses of our project. We encountered a lot of resistance, but also met the people who loved our project and became our invaluable partners."

How to Participate

You submit your project by sending a written 2-page presentation of your project accompanied by visual material. Submissions are now closed. The deadline for submitting projects was November 28, 2018.

The 2-page presentation

Your written 2-page presentation should include the following elements:

• Project info: project title, status of the project, expected time of delivery, length, & format
• The film: depending on the nature of the project this can include the story, characters, visual approach, director’s note, etc.
• Contacts: name of producer, production company, director and contact information
• Profiles: short CV & filmography of company and director
• Financing: budget sum (total sum for the production, not the whole budget) and brief financing plan.

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

The visual material
We prefer receiving applications accompanied by visual material; either as material already shot for the submitted project or as a previous work. You submit your visual material by including a link to an online streaming facility like Vimeo or YouTube when you email your 2-page presentation.

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.

Participating as Observer

For NORTH PITCH - 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 NORTH PITCH - Below Zero

The NORTH PITCH - 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 ten editions of NORTH PITCH - Below Zero, this eleventh edition will further strengthen and develop the international network for documentaries made around or focusing on the Arctic region. NORTH PITCH - Below Zero is set in Tromsø, Northern Norway, during the last days of the polar night.

EDN Contact:

Mikael Opstrup


NORTH PITCH - Below Zero is arranged by Nordnorsk Filmsenter and organised by EDN. The event takes place in the framework of Tromso International Film Festival.

NORTH PITCH - Below Zero is made possible by the support from:

Nordnorsk Filmsenter AS 

Tromso International Film Festival

Samfunnsløftet SparebankEN Nord-Norge