Göteborg Is Sending One Cinephile to a Remote Lighthouse to Experience 2021 Festival in Isolation

As the pandemic keeps many of the world’s movie theaters shut down, the Göteborg Film Festival has responded with a novel offering for cinephiles looking to escape for a week. On the lonely lighthouse island of Pater Noster in the North Sea, one marooned person will be able to enjoy one of Scandinavia’s biggest film festivals in total isolation with only film as his or her companion. You can apply to the program via the festival’s website here.

Every day, according to the festival, he or she will provide a report about the films and the experience of being alone on an isolated rock in a vast sea. For the single spot on Pater Noster, interviews with selected applicants will take place on an ongoing basis. The selected participant will be announced on January 19 and will be isolated for one week from January 30.

According to the festival, the lighthouse is “perched at the very edge of the archipelago in one of Sweden’s most barren, windswept locations.”

While the 44th Göteborg Film Festival will be otherwise held digitally, January 29 through February 8, the festival is also offering exclusive, one-person film screenings at two iconic Swedish venues: the Scandinavium arena and the Draken Cinema. At the arena, the viewer will sit completely alone in the center of the rink, surrounded by the massive and empty stands, and at the Draken, the isolated visitor will get a personal introduction from the filmmakers before the curtains rise and the film begins.

“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,” said Jonas Holmberg, the festival’s 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. 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.”

Tickets for the festival’s isolated film screenings at Scandinavium and Draken will be raffled among visitors who register via the festival website. Registration begins on January 4. Read more here. The lineup will be announced on January 12.

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