North of the Sun // Film Review

We have another surf film review from a reader we thought you would be interested in. There is talk about this documentary being one of the best, and with cold water surfing gaining the notoriety that we know it is, we can see why this excursion to the North of the Sun has been impressing festival audiences the world over. Here, a KTV reader shares a bit of detail on the film. We’ve included the trailer and where to find more info at the end. 

North of the Sun (2012)

This award-winning documentary, by Jørn Nyseth Ranum and Inge Wegge, portrays the experiences of two Norwegian surfers who spent months cleaning up some remote beaches on an Arctic bay off the coast of Norway. While they worked hard, they found some quality time to ride a few uncrowded cold-water waves.

The film explores some of the challenges faced by the boys on their adventure: the surf conditions were a bit different – the water was less than 5 degrees but, according to the filmmaker, Inge Wegg, “It’s okay when you have a good wetsuit. We never complained when we were in the water but afterwards it was kind of chilly.”

The movie also examines themes of conservation versus consumerism and traces the trajectory of environmental waste. It emphasizes the wider impact of garbage, even in remote, uninhabited environments. The team managed to collect about one ton of rubbish – a surprisingly large amount of garbage in an uninhabited bay that had washed up from other spots and accumulated on an otherwise pristine beach. They arranged for it to be helicoptered out for disposal (joking about the chances that it might just eventually end up washed back up to the same Arctic shore).

In their days off from surfing and cleaning up beaches, they managed to squeeze in some trekking up mountains to snowboard down them.

Overall, the easy-going style of the two main figures and their gentle jokes, when added to the original content, create a really entertaining movie. However, the highlight of the movie is the magnificent cinematography of the rarely-seen Northern Lights and some amazing views of the snow-covered mountain tops. The nature of the vast arctic sea and immense mountain landscapes was captured with a Canon 5D mil (save for some GoPro footage).

Honors:

The Norwegian Documentary Film Festival: Audience Award, The Norwegian Short Film Festival: Honorary Mention – Documentary Films, Nordic panorama: Opening Film, Canadian Surf Film Festival: Best Film, Best Cinematography, London Surf Film Festival: Best Documentary and the Viewer’s Choice, Wavescape Surf Film Festival: Best Feature Length Film, Waimea Ocean Film Festival: People’s Choice Award, Best Film Ocean Experience, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival: Grand Prize – Gold Award, Spirit Of Adventure – Silver Award.

Official selection:

Docpoint – Helsinki documentary Film Festival, Göteborg International Film Festival, Fjellfilmfestivalen, Snøfilm, Supersonic, One World – International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Aotearoa Surf Film Festival.

Watch the trailer below and find more details on their Facebook page.