Restrictions due to the spread of COVID-19 have shut down many cultural events and highlights. That includes going to the movies. And while many film houses have decided to stream new releases or host online series, one film festival embraces physical isolation. Göteborg Film Festival, the biggest film festival in Scandinavia, offers one film enthusiast the opportunity to screen all the submitted movies from a remote island.
Dubbed The Isolated Cinema, the experience would set up one person for a week on the remote lighthouse island of Pater Noster, which is a barren, secluded spot in the North Sea. No guests or cell phones are allowed, and the sole source of entertainment will be watching the 2021 festival. The participant will be required to provide a report about the films and describe the isolated experience.
This unique experience goes along with this year’s festival theme: “Social Distances.” The films “examine the new world that has emerged in the wake of the pandemic, and the role of film in this new world,” according to Jonas Holmberg, artistic director at Göteborg Film Festival.
In addition to the remote island experience, the festival is also hosting one-person film screenings at two iconic venues in Gothenburg, Sweden: Scandinavium and The Draken Cinema. The solo moviegoer will sit alone in the large open space and only have a personal introduction from the filmmakers as the human interaction.
Holmberg added, “On Pater Noster, it’s all about the total isolation experienced by so many people all over the world 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.”
The goal of all the offerings is to ensure safe festival screenings but also examine how the pandemic changed people’s relationships with film.
For a chance to get a ticket to the festival’s isolated film screenings, you must register for a raffle via the festival website. Those interested in the remote island experience will go through a series of interviews after applying on the website. The winner will be chosen on January 19 and begin isolation from January 30. For everyone else, the 2021 festival will be digital, with access to all the films, premieres, and talks on a digital platform.