Why cinematographers say locations in Murmansk Region are filmmakers' paradise

For moviemakers the Polar Region is the place, where they may find whatever they may need, leader of the regional center for cinematography development Svetlana Soldatova noted

MOSCOW, September 14. /TASS/. Over recent hundred years, movie makers have chosen locations in the Murmansk Region for 120 films. Directors from Central Russia tend to pick locations near the Polar Circle. What attracts them? The Far North’s harsh views and the unique nature on the Kola Peninsula, or the logistics, technical opportunities, or the inspiration. We have talked to those who develop the moviemaking industry in the region and who come there to film movies.

Deep reality

“Last year, in the Murmansk Region were made five projects in different genres, however none of them has been presented to the public. This year, we have finalized the sixth project – to continue the Black Sea series – The Barents Sea. The production began in early August,” leader of the regional center for cinematography development Svetlana Soldatova told TASS.

Right now, in Teriberka, continues production of four projects: Fog, a psycho thriller, short movies My North and On Bones, and a drama titled Three Minutes of Silence.

Svetlana is adamant: for moviemakers the Polar Region is the place, where they may find whatever they may need.

“Houses, without exterior insulation, which make scenes of historical movies, small villages like Mishukovo, Ura-Guba, where the time seems to have stopped, various terraces, hills, lakes, unique technical equipment, and, surely, the accessible Arctic, which is only two hours by plane from Moscow,” Svetlana said.

Galina Lifanova, general director of the Gamma company in Moscow, has been working in moviemaking for 18 years. The Murmansk Region has overwhelmed her, she said.

“We are filled with inspiration from the days we have spent on the Kola Peninsula. First of all, from the nature: remarkable lakes, the endless tundra. Everything strikes as absolutely unique,” she said, unable to hide emotions.

Together with a delegation of Russian producers she has come to the Far North to pick locations. All the producers have highlighted the convenient logistics and good roads in the Murmansk Region.

“Here are two airports – in Murmansk and in Apatity, a railroad, any equipment could be brought by car. Here are hotels, affordable food in cafes,” said participants in the group, which featured well-known script writers Vera Sher (Mysteries of Investigation), Igor Ter-Karapetov (Sky on Fire, Fortuneteller), author and director Alexander Kazakevich (Neofit Studios, Moscow), who works for the Culture television channel, well-known Galina Lifanova – Director General of the Gamma Production Studios (Moscow), as well as Svetlana Stasenko – a director at the Passazhir studios – she has chosen a location in Kandalaksha for a new movie.

“This is not my first voyage to the Murmansk Region, here I’ve made two docu movies, one of which will be presented this autumn. This region has surprised me so much, that I have written a script for a regular movie, so that to make the movie here, because I must say these places suit best to tell about the Russian character, about the Russian personality. The region expresses so clearly our nature, that, I believe, we do not need to search for any deep, expressive sets,” Stasenko said.

Svetlana Soldatova shares this opinion. “Our nature – harsh, northern – helps to reveal the character. It’s a different story when a person goes through hardship in a very comfortable environment, at some beach in Sochi, and in our case, the stories are rather like in the “Survived” or in “How I Ended This Summer”. We show the tundra, when everything seems to be opposing, and thus it highlights the strength. The current demand is for the heroes who overcome every-day and natural conditions,” she said.

More than strong character

The Murmansk Region is a wonderful setting to make movies not only about severe hardships. The nature there is so rich, and it takes a few hours by car to get from the old village on the Barents Sea – Teriberka, where Leviafan was made, to Kirovsk, which in Mystery of Dyatlov Ridge was filmed to show Siberian towns Vizhai and Ivdel.

“Here, in a complex, you may find anything – the Kola Peninsula is like a macro pavilion, where any movie may be made. Here were produced the Dead Lake mysterious series, the Kola Superdeep horror movie was also made here, as well as documentaries, dramas, take again Zvyagintsev’s Leviafan, many movies about the war (World War II), like, for example, Rogozhkin’s Kukushka (Cuckoo),” said Svetlana Soldatova, whose center in Murmansk assists the producers who come to film movies in the region.

Murmansk center for cinematography development

Only a few years ago, such a center did not exist in the Murmansk region. However, the demand from visiting filmmakers for local experts was only growing, and it was apparent such a center must exist.

“Here should have been people, who could help the visiting producers and direct them. We have connections, we have grown here, and, surely, we know a lot about what people coming from Moscow or St. Petersburg even do not have a slightest idea,” Soldatova said.

Producer Svetlana Stasenko remembered how one of her documentaries, produced near the Arctic Circle, was at stake.

“Without the producer center, the movie was not possible. I came here with incorrect papers, and Svetlana Soldatova was here next to me, adjusting everything, rewriting the applications, and in the long run the movie was made, and I am not ashamed for what I’ve produced,” Stasenko said.

“People, working in the Murmansk center, speak the language we speak,” continues Galina Lifanova. “Those are people, caring for production, knowing it. It is easy to work with them, we even have consulted them at the stage of scripts for the movies we plan to produce on the Kola Peninsula next year. Imagine surfing the net, or when you simply make a call, ask a question, and they help you, liaise with the people, this is great.”

Technical opportunities

It is not a problem to find people in the Murmansk Region, who can be helpful in filming. Producers from the capital cities say it is not a big deal to staff a second crew there.

“Those could be light technicians, assistant directors, cameramen; in the Murmansk Region there are a few theaters, from which it is possible to borrow background actors, or extras. Our company, Gamma, has filmed a few movies here, and we have used local actors very actively. It is quite possible to be bringing from Moscow or St. Petersburg the minimum crew, and get the rest here,” Galina Lifanova said.

Svetlana Soldatova agrees with Galina. “For the locals it is most interesting. No wonder – to work face to face with celebrities. Recently, when we were filming the Barents Sea, a Murmansk radio presenter became a swing for Ekaterina Vilkova – that was unique experience.”

Polar day and magic hour shooting

The locals may receive unique experience of acting. No less experience receive the producers who come from other regions: only here they can experience the Polar Day. In summer, the Sun remains above the horizon and, thus, it is never dark.

Galina Lifanova laughs saying due to that phenomenon producers (it’s a joke!) are happy to keep actors awake and have them work round the clock.

On a serious note, the polar day has great advantages – the outdoor shooting, which normally is very limited in time, here could last endlessly. Cinematographers love this time, calling it magic time.

“I keep thinking about lighting directors. They would have got marveled. This time, the magic hour, our favorite time – twilights, half-evening, the fantastic state, and when Zvyagintsev came to make Leviafan here, he was set to be shooting during that magic hour,” said Director Svetlana Stasenko, and Galina Lifanova added: “When in the south, this condition continues for hardly 20 minutes, within which we must manage to prepare and film everything, and here this condition stays for probably six hours. This is unique. The magic hour is endless here.”

“It’s impossible to set light of this kind in a pavilion, this is our natural lighting, very Scandinavian, low-key, low and nearly horizontal shades, which emerge at the time when the Sun gives light at night,” Svetlana Soldatova said, finishing the conversation: the Murmansk Region loves cinematography, and cinematography loves the Murmansk Region.

In place of epilogue

The most popular movies, filmed in the Murmansk Region are: Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Leviafan, Alexander Rogozhkin’s Cuccoo, Finnish Renny Harlin’s Dyatlov Pass Incident, the Dead Lake series with Evgeny Tsyganov, Deep Bay with Ivan Oganesyan, and many others. A new line on that list is Juho Kuosmanen’s Compartment Number 6 (Finland), which has scooped the Grand Prix award at the Cannes film festival in 2021.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


DDoS attacks against Russian educational institutions up 118% YOY — company

According to StormWall, the higher activity of hackers can be related to the start of the academic year start Read more »

'If you have no past, you have no future': The Hungarian fortuneteller keeping Roma culture alive

Zoltan Sztojka, by his own account Hungary’s last Roma fortuneteller, lays 36 weathered tarot cards on a table at his home in the village of Soltvadkert, and peers at them ... Read more »

Moscow's newly Michelin star awarded restaurant Twins Garden site crashes

Earlier, it was announced that Moscow's restaurant Twins Garden become one of the two restaurants that received 2 Michelin stars Read more »

Moscow coronavirus cases rise by 20-30% per week — Moscow mayor

Apart from following hygiene measures, there are two ways to combat the coronavirus — timely mass testing to detect those who have been infected and vaccination Read more »

Government to slash energy taxes to offset soaring gas prices

Photo: Depositphotos.com The cabinet is cutting energy taxes by an average of €400 per household per year, to compensate for the sharp rise in energy bills, ministers decided at Friday’s ... Read more »

Russia's Kazan may host International Jazz Day in next two years

According to renowned Russian jazz saxophonist Igor Butman, it is difficult to plan such large-scale events due to the coronavirus pandemic Read more »

Sir David Amess: Police report stabbing where UK MP was meeting constituents

A British MP was reportedly stabbed on Friday as he met constituents in the coastal town of Leigh on Sea. David Amess is the MP for Southend West, in the ... Read more »

Frieze London 2021 in pictures: Experiencing art again

From giant pineapple structures, to tentacled vases, to being swallowed up in blue-hued light – this year’s Frieze London is a return to life with colour, creativity and calm. The ... Read more »

Revealed: The ultimate ski destination for families on a budget

Bansko – Balkan Holidays Ski resorts don’t come much cheaper than Bansko in Bulgaria. So said the recent Post Office Travel Money ski resort survey. And with our two large ... Read more »

This week in photos: Burning oil refinery, L-410 crash site and Mars landscape in Israel

Take a look at the world in pictures from a TASS photo gallery Read more »

Where are Britain's spookiest castles? Here's the hauntings to head for this Halloween

Watch: Ghost tours: Edinburgh, the haunted city As Halloween looms, it seems the nation's thoughts are turning to hauntings. Google searches for ghostly places are through the bat-infested roof, according ... Read more »

Amazônia in concert review – bringing the sights and sounds of the Amazon to life

Combining projections with a live performance is hardly a new idea. But the images involved rarely have the power and vividness of the monochrome photographs of the Amazonian rainforest and ... Read more »

Documentary about children kept on isolated farmhouse wins tv award

Three of the ‘children’ and documentary director. Photo: Sem van der Wal ANP Kippa The documentary series The Children of Ruinerwold by Jessica Villerius has been voted the best television ... Read more »

US set to lift UK travel ban early next month

Transatlantic travel The US is set to reopen transatlantic flights with Britain in early November as Joe Biden prepares to lift the 18-month ban on fully jabbed UK travellers. The ... Read more »

Russia kicks off ‘first-ever digital' nationwide population census

The first results of the national population census will be summarized at the end of 2021 Read more »

Russia records all-time high of over 32,190 daily COVID-19 cases

According to the center, over the past day, Russia has registered an all-time high of COVID-19 deaths of 999 since the start of the pandemic Read more »

Tycoon wanted for murder in Russia to seek political asylum in Montenegro, says attorney

The lawyer stressed that Telman Ismailov was not pleading guilty to any of alleged activities Read more »

New Travel Test: Everything You Need To Know About Lateral Flow Testing

You are reading Anywhere But Here, our series on travel at home and abroad, serving up the information and inspiration you need. The cost (and faff) of acquiring an expensive ... Read more »

Russia's top prosecutor requests extradition of tycoon wanted for murder from Montenegro

In Russia, Ismailov was charged in absentia with murder, illegal arms trafficking and kidnapping singer Avraam Russo Read more »

A great walk to a great pub: The Wallace Arms, Rowfoot, North Pennines

Start The Wallace Arms, Rowfoot, HaltwhistleDistance 4½ milesTime 3½ hoursElevation gain 215 metresDifficulty Moderate and potentially muddy The connection between William Wallace and Tynedale is as gory as a Sam ... Read more »

The Dante Project by Wayne McGregor at the Royal Opera House review: One hell of a show

Edward Watson and Marco Masciari (Andrej Uspenski) Never let it be said that Wayne McGregor shies away from a challenge. The resident choreographer of the Royal Ballet has made a ... Read more »

Fewer men under the age of 45 are working, as employment patterns shift

Fewer men under the age of 44 are currently working when compared to employment levels before the 2008 financial crisis, according to research by the government’s macro-economic policy unit CPB. ... Read more »

Australians will be able to travel overseas by November as Scott Morrison lifts travel ban

Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP Australia’s outbound travel ban will be lifted from 1 November in a move triggered by New South Wales announcing an end to quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals. ... Read more »

Satyagraha at the London Coliseum review: A magnificent show - the perfect choice to mark ENO's return

(©Tristram Kenton) Too many opera stagings provide no more than a picturesque backdrop, in front of which the singers fret and strut their stuff. Occasionally, though, a production comes along ... Read more »

The airports battling to be the world's biggest super-hub

T3, Dubai Airport Last week I checked in for a flight, dropped off a hold bag, cleared immigration, entered the lounge and boarded the aircraft – just by using my ... Read more »

Real-life “Squid Game” canceled over COVID concerns, refunds issued

Poster for “Saint Game” (St. John’s Hotel’s Instagram)A hotel in Gangwon Province that organized an event based on Netflix’s megahit “Squid Game,” on Friday started issuing refunds to more than ... Read more »

Two Moscow restaurants receive two Michelin stars, seven more awarded one star

Moscow became the first city in the CIS space to receive Michelin stars Read more »

The Tragedy of Macbeth, Almeida, review: Saoirse Ronan makes a spellbinding British stage debut

James McArdle and Saoirse Ronan in The Tragedy of Macbeth, at the Almeida – Marc Brenner One of the most admired actresses of her generation, Saoirse Ronan is making her ... Read more »

The Tragedy of Macbeth review – Yaël Farber's blood-curdling terror

The psychological terror is slow to rear and does not always lie in the usual places in Yaël Farber’s take on Shakespeare’s tragedy of power, guilt and vaulting ambition. When ... Read more »

Rapid tests to replace PCRs for vaccinated travellers at half-term

(Alamy Stock Photo) Fully vaccinated holidaymakers returning from non red list countries can take a rapid test instead of a more expensive PCR from October 24. The latest rule change ... Read more »

Travellers to England able to take lateral flow Covid tests from 24 October

Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Fully vaccinated international passengers arriving in England from countries not on the red list can take a cheaper and quicker lateral flow test from 24 October instead ... Read more »

America's most Instagrammed art museum revealed

Some museums are renowned for their artwork. Others, it seems, become famous as a backdrop for a very contemporary kind of art: the Instagram post. Now, thanks to hashtags used ... Read more »

You want my two TV recommendations? Succession and this superb Scottish drama

Mark Bonnar in Guilt – BBC/Robert Pereira Hind Writing about television means being asked, by friends and colleagues and strangers at parties, for recommendations of what to watch. And I’m ... Read more »

Banksy sets auction record with £18.5m sale of shredded painting

Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA A partially shredded Banksy painting has sold for more than £18.5m at auction, a record for the street artist. Love is in the Bin fetched £18,582,000 at ... Read more »

Banksy's shredded artwork sells for £18.6m in record for artist

Banksy – Sotheby’s Auction House/AP A partially shredded Banksy painting has sold for £18,582,000 at auction. His artwork Love Is In The Bin was sold in London by auction house ... Read more »

'Love is in the Bin': Shredded Banksy artwork sells for nearly €22 million at auction

A self-shredded work by British street artist Banksy has sold at auction for a record amount. “Love is in the Bin” was offered on sale by Sotheby’s in London, with ... Read more »

Two Moscow restaurants awarded two Michelin stars

MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. Two restaurants in Moscow received two Michelin stars at the ceremony held on Thursday. Artest Chef's Table and Twins Garden were awarded two stars. Read more »

British Airways recruits cabin crew after cutting thousands of jobs in 2020

British Airways has announced it is recruiting cabin crew, after thousands lost their jobs at the airline last year (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Wire) British Airways has announced it is recruiting ... Read more »

Turn back time: How the Swiss watch industry is embracing second-hand sales

To some, a realm for only elite, well-cuffed buyers and private jet-riding debonairs, the Swiss watch industry is changing with the times and embracing a more thrifty, sustainable side: Second-hand ... Read more »

Jessie J Flashes Her Super Strong Abs In A New No-Makeup Instagram Story Selfie

Jessie J, 33, just revealed her six-pack abs in a brand new, no-makeup selfie on her Instagram Story. She rocks a brown crop top under a sheer shirt, and her ... Read more »