Norwegian Directors Compete To Tell South Pole Story

There are three competing productions seeking funding from the Norwegian Film Institute to tell the story of Roald Amundsen and the Norwegian South Pole Expedition of 1911. However, it seems likely that only one will receive production support.

The first men to reach the Geographic South Pole were the Norwegian Roald Amundsen and his party on December 14, 1911. Almost at the same, and unaware of his competition, British Explorer Robert F Scott headed to Antarctica with the Terra Nova Expedition.

Scott along with four other men reached the South Pole on January 17, 1912, thirty-four days after Amundsen. On the return journey, Scott and his team died of starvation and hypothermia.

Trolljegeren (Trollhunter) director André Øvredal and Lara Croft director Roar Uthaug plan to concentrate on the race for the South Pole. However, the directors of Kon-Tiki, Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning, want to focus on Amundsen himself and his relationship with his brother, Leon, who once saved his life.

On September 7th the Norwegian Film Institute will decide which of these projects, if any, will receive funding, but there are 18 projects in all being considered, seeking a total NOK 200 million.

Production Advisor for the Norwegian Film Institute, Arve Figenschow, told Aftenposten:

“We have 29 million kroner to award. It is enough for one large and two smaller films…. The requirement is that the films must expect to sell at least 200,000 tickets at theatres. Those with the highest estimate, and the best plan to be commercially successful, will be victorious.”

[ Read more at ]

Meanwhile, Norway’s TV2 recently announced that it is developing its own drama about the race to the South Pole, which is hoped to go into production “in a year or two”.