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Greenland

Greenland Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Greenland? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Greenland

For an introduction to shooting in Greenland see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.

Greenland Film Locations

Greenland is an autonomous territory of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The territory is best known for its frozen landscapes. The Arctic Ice Sheet covers most of Greenland. Film locations include snow-covered mountains, icebergs, icefjords, glaciers, remote weather stations, hot springs, Inuit igloos, and the Aurora Borealis.

Commercial fishing and shrimping is the main industry. Fishing trawlers are available for filming. Greenland mines iron, uranium, aluminium, nickel, platinum, tungsten, titanium, copper, gold, niobium, tantalite, rubies, diamonds, and other gemstones.

Productions that have shot in part in Greenland include The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013), Frozen Planet (2011–2012), The Last Airbender (2010), Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).

Film locations can be divided into the following municipalities:

Sermersooq

Sermersooq is a municipality covering an eastern and southwestern part of the territory.

Nuuk is the capital, and the largest city. Nuuk Centre is nine-story tower which is both a shopping mall and home to Greenland’s government. Other film locations of note include the Katuaq Cultural Centre, Greenland National Museum, Nuuk Art Museum, University of Greenland, and Sisorarfiit-Skiliften ski resort.

Tasiilaq is located on the island of Ammassalik. The picturesque town is set amongst a fjord, on a small river, surrounded by spectacular mountains.

Kulusuk and Ittoqqortoormiit and picturesque settlements with colourful houses in beautiful settings.

Bluie East Two is an abandoned WWII military base located in Ikateq. The landscape includes a mountain, glacier, and fjord backdrop.

The Denmark Strait cataract, located between Greenland and Iceland, is the world’s highest underwater waterfall.

Avannaata

Avannaata municipality is located in the northwest of the territory.

Ilulissat is a picturesque coastal village with colourful houses. Sermeq Kujalleq glacier feeds into the bay. Ilulissat is one of the few places where you can watch glaciers calving from shore, instead of having to take a boat. Knud Rasmussen’s Museum is also located in Ilulissat.

Uunartoq island is a short boat ride from Ilulissat. The island has hotsprings warm enough to bathe in.

Upernavik and Uummannaq are island settlements with colourful houses in beautiful settings.

Camp Century (Project Iceworm) is a Cold War atomic camp buried under the ice.

Infrasound Station IS18 is a listening sensor designed to detect atomic blasts, located in Qaanaaq.

Qeqqata

Qeqqata municipality is located in the west of the territory.

Sisimiut is the second largest city.

Qeqertalik

Qeqertalik municipality is located in the west of the territory.

Kangerlussuaq is a small town with an international airport. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) filmed in Kangerlussuaq.

Russell Glacier is a spectacular location. Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) filmed Russell Glacier.

Qasigiannguit, Aasiaat, and Kangaatsiaq are unspoilt little towns.

Kujalleq

Kujalleq municipality is located in the south of the territory.

Qaqortoq is a hillside fishing village that has brightly painted houses.

Nanortalik is a beautiful town located at the mouth of Tasermiut Fjord.

Northeast Greenland National Park

This unincorporated area is located in the northeast of Greenland.

The Northeast Greenland National Park is the world’s largest national park. The coastal regions of the park are home to polar bears, arctic fox, walrus, seals, beluga whales as well as 40% of the world population of musk ox. Frozen Planet (2011–2012) filmed in Northeast Greenland National Park.

Summit Camp is one of the most remote research stations in the world.

Kaffeklubben Island is home to the Cape Morris Jessup, the world’s northernmost blooming flower.

Greenland Film Location Permits

Expeditions require special permits from the Danish Polar Centre. Crew seeking to film in national parks, glaciers and mountains require a permit from the Ministry of Nature, Environment, and Justice. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Greenland has an Arctic climate. Temperatures generally do not exceed 10°C (50°F) in the warmest summer months. In central Greenland the sun does not set from the end of May until the end of July. The peak of winter has 24 hour darkness with recorded temperatures as low as –87°C (–66°F). Greenland has very low humidity. The dry climate has the effect of cold not feeling as cold as it actually is. It also makes distances seem to appear closer than they actually are. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:

• After weeks of total darkness, the return of the sun is celebrated by locals in January.
• The Nuuk Snow Festival takes place in February / March.
• Arctic Palerfik dogsled race takes place in April.
• The best months to view polar bears are March to May when the ice starts to break up and they journey in search of food.
• Summer solstice celebrations take place in June with 24 hours of sunlight.
• Whale photography is best done in June / July. The waters see humpback, minke, fin, blue, beluga, sperm, and pilot whales, as well as orcas and narwhals.
• The Arctic Team Challenge, a combined stage and expedition race, takes place in July.
• The Greenland Adventure Race is held in September.
• The best months for Aurora Borealis photography are between November and March.
• The Polar Circle Marathon takes place in October.

Christianity is the the main religion, so those holidays are observed.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Greenland.

Unique Local Stories

Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.

If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.

If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Greenland is an expensive place to film both in terms of getting there and local costs which are high since nearly all goods need to be imported. Since little to no filming infrastructure exists all key crew and equipment must be brought in from abroad. Hotel accommodation is basic and expensive. Our Greenlandic fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. There are no tax incentives for foreign feature films or commercials shooting in Greenland.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Greenland has no pool of local directors, videographers and stills photographers. Only basic local production support. Your shooting crew needs to be brought in from abroad.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiated on a personal basis.

Greenlandic (an Inuit-Yupik-Unangan language) is the official language.

Greenland has mostly Inuit looks with a small European population. All other looks must be brought in. With a population of less than 60,000 Greenland is the least densely populated country in the world. In fact, a single apartment building in Nuuk (Blok P) houses 1% of Greenland’s total population.

Greenland Film Equipment

Equipment. None available locally. Bring in your camera, grip and lighting equipment from abroad.

Communication. Mobile phone coverage and internet access is limited to main towns.

Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.

Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.

For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department, set construction, studios and backlots don’t exist in Greenland.

Post Production. Not available.

Visas & Work Permits

Although Greenland is not a member of the Schengen Area, the territory maintains an open border with the Schengen Area. Crew travelling on passports of western countries can enter visa-free for stays of up to 90 days. No work permits required for short-stay filming. See here for more information. Contact your local Danish / Greenland embassy or representative for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Greenland does not have a road or rail network. All distance transport is by ship or air with Air Greenland the main carrier. Dog sleds are available for shorter journeys.

Accommodation. Greenland has a handful of film friendly hotels. Best options in Nuuk include:

Hotel Nordbo
Hotel Hans Egede
Hotel Seamens Home

Please contact us for corporate rates. Our Greenlandic fixer / producer also organises serviced cottages.

Final Notes

Safety. Appropriate safety and cold weather gear is essential. Greenland has virtually no street crime. See here for more information.

Down Time. Bathe in Uunartoq island hotsprings.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Greenland, please see below:

Hire Greenland Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Greenland, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Greenland, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.