The whole world comes to Tromso
This year sees the 25th staging of the Tromso International Film Festival (TIFF). As always, the film festival offers a window on the world, screening films you won’t see elsewhere.
“This year the festival is being opened by the film Return to Ithaca. There is always a great deal of excitement surrounding the film that opens the festival,” Head of Communications for TIFF, Håvard Stangnes, tells Scandinavian Traveler.
The film is directed by Laurent Cantet and is about the reunion of five friends in Havana after several years. One has been in exile, while the others have become disillusion with life in Cuba.
“One of Festival Director Martha Otte’s favorites is the film Taxi and Telephone, which is set in Kyrgyzstan. We don’t have many “Hollywood” films, but we have some that might be considered part of that genre, such as Birdman and Foxcatcher,” says Håvard.
Birdman is directed by Mexican-born Alejandro González Iñárritu, who lives in Los Angeles.
Foxcatcher is directed by screenwriter and producer Bennett Miller from New York. In light of the recent terrorist attack in Paris, the documentary about Charlie Hedbo will also be screened, called It’s Hard Being Loved by Jerks.
Tromso swells in size during the film festival. There are only 70,000 people living in the city, but huge numbers attend the festival, even taking local residents into account. 58,000 tickets were sold last year.
“What makes TIFF stand out from other festivals is that ours engages the entire community. Other festivals are mostly attended by people with a particular interest in film, whereas people here take time off from their work and studies in order to attend the festival. The bars and coffee houses are packed right up to closing time.”
The program contains 90 feature films and around 50 short films and documentaries, most of which are screened in the city’s movie theatres and the KulturHuset venue. Perhaps the most impressive arena, though, is the outdoor screen at Stortorget.
“It can get cold, so you need to wrap up warm. Hot drinks are available to buy. Our outdoor screenings are very popular. The square is full of children for our morning showings, while in the afternoon families come to watch a film together.”
You can also watch films on board one of Hurtigruten’s boats.
Ticket prices: An individual ticket costs NOK 95, a Value Card containing 12 tickets costs NOK 948 and a Value Card containing 22 tickets NOK 1,630. Various discounts are available. Tickets for all showings can be purchased at tiff.no, Aurora Kino Fokus, KulturHuset, Verdensteatret, Driv, and Hålogaland Theater. The festival is on until January 18.
Film Festival website:
Text: Inga Ragnhild Holst
Published: January 15, 2015
Last edited: May 20, 2017