A Digital Movie Pageant Needs to Ship You to a Terrifying Lighthouse, Alone and Telephone-less

Every industry has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, but few were as quickly and thoroughly disrupted as the live events field—given that mass gatherings are ill advised and, in many countries, illegal.

In Sweden, the Göteborg Film Festival—which runs from Jan. 29 to Feb. 8, has found a novel way to make the most of the fact that it is going digital-only for the first time.

Event organizers are promoting the festival by sending a handful of lucky (or brave, depending on your aptitude for solitude), film fans to truly isolated venues.

One of those venues is extremely isolated: a lighthouse on a remote island in the vast North Sea, where the winning guest will be sent for a week to watch the film festival’s 60 film premieres, alone—and without a mobile phone. The winner will be dropped off by boat with food supplies, and collected after seven days.

The Pater Noster lighthouse is perched at the edge of an archipelago in one of Sweden’s most barren, windswept locations. In return for a place, the winner will make a video diary for the Göteborg Film Festival.

The festival will also offer isolated film screenings for one person at a time at the entirely empty Scandinavium arena and the Draken cinema. Applications can be made online.

Total isolation

“The 2021 festival focus, ‘Social Distances,’ examines the new world that has emerged in the wake of the pandemic, and the role of film in this new world,” explained Jonas Holmberg, Göteborg Film Festival artistic director. “The creation of isolated film experiences for single-person audiences at iconic sites is a way of ensuring entirely safe festival screenings, but it is also an attempt to process how the pandemic has changed people’s relationships with film.”

“The sensation of being utterly alone in the Scandinavium arena or Draken cinema ties in with the altered relationship people now have to all those places that normally buzz with activity but are now deserted,” he added.

The film festival has explored other innovative, immersive audience experiences. In 2019, it invited fans to climb into a coffin to watch a sci-fi movie about isolation in what it dubbed as the world’s most claustrophobic cinema experience.

Agency: Stendahls
Art Director: Alexander Skoglund
Copywriter: Eva Råberg
Chief Creative Officer: Martin Cedergren
Account Director: Peter Ohlsson
Intern Copywriter: Ruben Widin Dahlström
Intern Art Director: Daniel Fasth
Film production: Is This It & Tussilago
Directors: John Boisen & Björn Fävremark
Producers: Robert Danielsson & Theo Gabay
Actress: Julia Forssell
DOP: Fredrik Sellergren
Focus Puller: Hannes Johansson
Drone Operator: Adam Hinsch
VFX Supervisor: Jonas Gramming
VFX Artist: Marcus Holst & Eric Ljunglöf
Storyboard: Jakob Sundström,
Soundtrack: BF/C
Sound Design: Andreas Mellkvist
Key Still Visual: 
Retouch: Studio Mint
Photographer: Henrik Trygg
Manifest PR: PR
PR strategist: Annika Svahn
PR strategist: Johanna Svantesson
Göteborg Film Festival:
Head of Marketing: Karl Svedung
Head of Communications: Andreas Degerhammar
Press Coordinator: Nanna Jamshidi
Project Manager: Anton Romanus
Isolated Cinema:
In-house web editor: Linda Gester
In-house production manager: Erik Toresson Hellqvist
In-house copywriter: Johanna Wingstrand
In-house art director: Jussi Öhrvall

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