Written by The Location Guide on Oct 13, 2015. Posted in On Location

BBC Worldwide to film new docudrama on Svalbard in Arctic Circle

A new docudrama series likened in tone to Fortitude has been commissioned by BBC Worldwide to shoot on Svalbard in the Arctic Circle. The Norwegian archipelago is one of the world’s northernmost inhabited regions and is home to a small expat community.

Tentatively titled Svalbard, the production will follow characters living in Longyearbyen in the west of the archipelago.

“With extreme arctic conditions, three months of total darkness and the ever-present danger of polar bears, Svalbard is not your average neighbourhood,” said Wendy Rattray, executive producer at Hello Halo.

“I'm thrilled to be able to bring this strange and quirky world and its even quirkier inhabitants to audiences across the globe.”

Added Julie Swanston, VP of commissioning for BBC Worldwide: “Svalbard’s combination of larger than life characters, who have chosen to live almost completely ‘off the grid’ will captivate our international audiences.

“We’re very excited to be partnering with Hello Halo to bring the town of Longyearbyen an isolated outpost in the breathtaking wilderness of Svalbard to the world.”

The new production has been likened in some reports to the drama series Fortitude, which played out a murder mystery in a remote Arctic town. The production filmed exteriors in a town in Iceland, but shot interiors at an adapted studio facility in London.

Svalbard is technically an unincorporated Norwegian territory. Plans were recently announced for Norway’s first national filming incentive for international shoots, targeted for a formal launch sometime in 2016.

“This is a breakthrough for Norway,” said Sigmund Elias Holm of the Western Norway Film Commission when the plan was first announced: “It clearly shows that there's a political and administrative will to make Norway a competitive filming location.”

(Image: Tiger Aspect)

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