Golden sunlight over Lapland forest
Photo by: Jani Kärppä

Axel Koenzen & Midsummer Light

Deadweight director Axel Koenzen says that filming in Finnish Lapland locations offers magical color temperatures and angles of light which shape perceptions of time and nature.

The color temperatures and the angles of the light when filming in northern Finland are something unique for film director Axel Koenzen. He spends summers with his family on the west coast of Finland and is familiar with the special qualities of Arctic light at this latitude.

—You have this kind of horizontal light from eight to eleven and it’s totally magic. If I would shoot something here, I would definitely think about the notion of nature and time in regards to the light. For example, how does this kind of light change in perception of time? Koenzen wonders.

The director had his first touch of Finnish Lapland at a young age.

—I was a child, like eight or nine. My brother’s ten years older than me. When he finished school, he wanted to go on a trip for two months in a caravan around Scandinavia with me and my father. So we went all the way from Sweden and Norway to Finland. I remember building little castles from stones at the lake in Inari.

Axel Koenzen was visiting Finnish Lapland at the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä where his debut feature, Deadweight, was screened. The film is a Finnish-German co-production and stars Finnish actor Tommi Korpela.