Alfred is a short documentary film that tells the story of an elderly Norwegian whose roots are deeply anchored in Sami culture. The Sami are an indigenous tribe, formerly persecuted and still not fully integrated into Norwegian culture.
Alfred lives in isolation on the lonely peninsula of Seglvik for the past decade. Usually, not more than 2 to 3 people live on Seglvik at the same time. He sees his family, who lives in Kautokeino, only every few months. The living conditions in this region are extreme. They are mainly characterized by the extreme sub-zero temperatures, snow, ice and the isolation from civilization. He has worked as a chef all his life and used to run his own restaurant. He is passionate about fishing and preparing his dishes using only regional ingredients.
This film is an exciting portrait of Alfred's story from childhood to today and gives an insight into a life outside the big city without social media, influencers and luxury.
DIRECTOR: NIKOLAS MEYBERG
DP: PETER KÄMPF
ADDITIONAL CAMERA: NIKOLAS MEYBERG
PRODUCTION COMPANY: BLACK CORRIDOR
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: HANNES HÖHN
PRODUCER: NIKOLAS MEYBERG
EDITOR: NIKOLAS MEYBERG
COLORIST: MAXIME DEMARTIN
VOICE-OVER: ALFRED LARSEN
COMPOSER: ARDIE SON, KYLE PRESTON, ROZA
SOUND DESIGNER: STEVE PATUTA
VFX SUPERVISOR: SVEN HUELSEMANN
LOCATION MANAGER: RAFAEL SIERRA, ISABELLE HVITTFELDT
For some time, this project had been lingering in my mind. When I first traveled to Norway in 2019 to explore the unique landscape, witness the Northern Lights, and experience diving with orcas and humpback whales, it was an event that would not let me go. I vowed to come back.
As a director mainly in advertising, I decided to break out of my daily routine and start a completely different project. By the end of 2021, the time had come. With no detailed concept and no main protagonist, we set off in a two-man team towards the Arctic Circle. Via Oslo and Tromso, the final destination was the Seglvik peninsula. Accessible only every few days by ferry, here you are separated
from the outside world and in case of an emergency, cut off from it. With four heavy suitcases containing five cameras, a drone, underwater housings, tripods, a gimbal, and other accessories, and only the essentials of clothing, we arrived. Even at that point, we were not prepared for what was to follow.
Extreme cold, sometimes -30 degrees Celsius, days without hot water, no showering, small wooden cabins, and poor mobile phone reception. For a week, we went out every morning on small military rubber boats, in strong waves, extreme wind, and freezing temperatures. This was the toughest test for man and machine - in our case, our equipment. Landing my drone safely on a 2.5m wide boat in extreme waves and winds of over 30 knots, or filming orcas in freezing water with seasickness and heavy underwater housings was something very different from filming a car commercial on a sunny coastal road.
Our stroke of luck came in the form of "Alfred," our protagonist. As a member of the Sami tribe, Alfred belongs to a minority in Norway that still faces oppression. It took him several days to open up to me, as social interaction is rare for him. Due to the fact that Alfred works as a cook and the daylight is limited to a maximum of 3-4 hours, we had three days and a time window of two hours each to shoot all scenes with Alfred and record the interviews.
Our core team consisted of DOP Peter Kämpf and my business partner, best friend, and executive producer Hannes Höhn. It was important for us to leave the smallest possible carbon footprint in such a production, which mainly thrives on untouched nature and its wildlife. Therefore, every step was tried to be as sustainable as possible, from pre-production to post-production. Great emphasis was placed on finding the most environmentally friendly alternative in every aspect, whether it was the abandonment of paper, serving only vegetarian food, working with a local post crew in Berlin or handling the entire post-production via video conference we avoided additional travel.
As I reflect on the past, I cherish the memory of that time when we were disconnected from mobile phones, social media, and distractions. It was then that I developed a deep respect for Alfred and his way of life, which made me realize that we all need to prioritize the things that truly matter. My experience with Alfred taught me to view the world from a fresh and unique perspective.