Would you spend a week on a remote Swedish island watching films? This festival needs you

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards - [email protected]
Would you spend a week on a remote Swedish island watching films? This festival needs you

Could this be the best way to spend coronavirus isolation: watching films on a remote Swedish island for a week, with no contact with the outside world? That's the opportunity being offered by a cultural festival, and applications are open now.


The Gothenburg Film Festival has had to adapt its plans for 2021 to comply with the need to curb the spread of the coronavirus infection in Sweden, and a ban on public events for more than eight people.

Instead, one film fan will be invited to spend a week on a remote island, watching the 60 films in isolation. 

The theme of this year's festival, the largest of its kind in Scandinavia, is Social Distances, and applications to spend the week on the remote lighthouse island of Pater Noster, are open now

The film fan selected for the role will be asked to provide a report not only about the films they watch, but also their experience of isolation. If chosen, you would be committing to a week without contact with the outside world, including social media and phone calls.


The experience is currently scheduled for the week beginning January 30th, but might be shifted as the boat transport to and from the island is dependent on weather.

For centuries, Pater Noster was deemed uninhabitable and dangerous – its name comes from the Latin version of the Lord's Prayer, supposedly repeated by sailors as they approached. That may no longer be the case, since the island's lighthouse was turned into a luxury hotel, but it remains a remote and barren place and the person chosen by the festival will spend the week as the only guest.

For those who are unsuccessful or unable to spend the week on the island, the festival is also offering screenings for one person only at a time at Gothenburg's Scandinavium arena and Draken cinema. Alternatively, you can join the festival's digital platform, where the films and talks will also be available.

"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. On Pater Noster it’s all about the total isolation experienced by so many people the world over this past year. 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," explained the festival's artistic director Jonas Holmberg.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also