Lapland’s wilderness stretches from beneath the Arctic Circle to the Scandinavian Mountains and the borders of Norway and Russia. Despite a region with more semi-wild reindeer than humans, Lapland has the infrastructure and support services necessary for film productions large and small.
Lapland has been called Europe’s last wilderness. Here, on the edge of the Arctic, wild forests of pine and spruce and birch extend beyond the line of sight. Despite its remote location, getting here and traveling around are easy and convenient, and Lapland’s extensive Film Friendly support service network assists in making productions, behind and in front of the lens, as smooth as possible.
What sets Finnish Lapland apart from other Arctic filming possibilities is our infrastructure. Despite sitting mostly above the Arctic Circle, Lapland has an extensive network of roads, rails, airports and communications infrastructure, perhaps the best in the North. European two-lane roads criss-cross Lapland from Kemi on the tip of the Gulf of Bothnia to the Scandinavian mountains beyond Kilpisjärvi. From the hometown of Santa Claus Rovaniemi to Utsjoki on the Norwegian border. From city streets to national routes, Lapland keeps the roads clear of snow in the winter and well-maintained throughout the year. Even the smallest roads in the wilderness can bear heavily loaded vehicles like lighting trucks.
But there’s perhaps no other Arctic location on Earth is as well-connected by air than Finnish Lapland. During the peak seasons (winter and early spring), most of our five airports offer direct flights with many European and even a few Asian cities. The airports in Rovaniemi, Ivalo and Kittilä offer direct international flights all year round, and no matter the season, you can always reach Lapland via Helsinki.
When you get here, you don’t have to spend your valuable time dealing with red tape. Finland’s liberal Everyman’s Right removes the need for most film permits, giving filmmakers free access to most of Lapland’s ample forests, fields, rivers, lakes and fells without dealing with location fees or bureaucracy.
In case you need assistance regarding permits, please contact us.
Despite our network of communications and transportation infrastructure, Lapland remains the last wilderness in Europe. We are home to 7 of the 10 largest national parks in Finland, including the top three. Lemmenjoki and Urho Kekkonen sprawl across northern Lapland, wrapping around Inari and Sompio (in Sodankylä). The Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park stretches from the southern reaches of Enontekiö to the historic villages of Äkäslompolo and Ylläsjärvi. The rocky, barren fells of Pyhä-Luosto share many characteristics with their distant northern cousins. Riisitunturi National Park is home to some of the Arctic’s most magical, iconic forestscapes, the snow-covered pine trees every winter a myriad of shapes and sizes.
Antarctica is probably home to some of the most sweeping, haunting, isolated and cinematic vistas on the planet. And it’s nearly impossible to capture them. Because as every location manager knows, it’s not just the scenery that determines a location. Lapland has the landscapes. We have epic forests, magical snow cover, frozen lakes and rocky fells. But it’s the combination of wilderness locales, transportation infrastructure and support and production services that make Lapland full of locations. Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland and has 5500 – 6000 beds for cast and crew depending on season. The Kemijoki and Ounasjoki rivers cut through the city, and the Ounasvaara fell and forest are within walking distance of downtown. Even in the far north, the Inari-Ivalo-Saariselkä region, nestled between Finland’s two largest national parks, can host almost 14,000, with easy access via the Ivalo Airport. Kilpisjärvi boasts Finland’s tallest fells and is home to a dozen accommodation options, including holiday villages, cabins and high-class chalets.
With decades of experience and Arctic expertise, the production services companies in Lapland offer everything from conceptual basics like storytelling to equipment like cameras, lighting rigs and drones to full production service. Check out our complete list of support services for film productions.