Attend a film festival all alone on this remote Swedish island

We’re all social distancing these days thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a Swedish film festival is offering one movie fan the opportunity to spend a week watching its offerings on an isolated lighthouse island.

Göteborg Film Festival is going digital and putting its entire festival online this year, and it has devised an initiative called The Isolated Cinema. The person chosen will stay on the remote Hamneskär island, which is home to the famous Pater Noster lighthouse. The tiny island is located off Marstrand on the Swedish west coast. It got its name because the extremely hazardous waters surrounding the island inspired seafarers to read the Lord’s Prayer – Pater Noster in Latin – when their ships approached the dangerous reefs.

Pater Noster hotel on the island of Hamneskar
The person chosen will stay on Hamneskär island © Erik Nissen Johansen

The lighthouse was constructed in 1868 and given the name Pater Noster as a tribute to the sailors’ prayers. A new hotel opened there in September on the site of the former lighthouse master’s home, designed by Erik Nissen Johansen’s design agency Stylt. This is where the chosen person will stay, and while they will be left alone to watch the films, one one other person will be there for safety reasons.

“For seven days you will spend your time alone on the island where you will be given full access to the entire film programme at Göteborg Film Festival 2021,” say festival organisers. “You will get supplies for seven days and be transported by boat to and from the island. But once there, it’s just you. And the films. During your stay, you’ll be able to talk about your experience in a video diary that the outside world can follow.”

The festival runs for eleven days from 29 January to 8 February with 60 gala premieres and film-maker introductions. Two more isolated cinema experiences will take place at venues that are now deserted in Gothenburg, namely the Scandinavium arena and Draken cinema. The experiences begin on 30 January and run to 6 February, and those who are interested in applying should check out the website here.

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