Danish “Game of Thrones” star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, his wife Danish-Greenlandic multihyphenate Nukâka Coster-Waldau, who is a former Miss Greenland, and Baltasar Kormákur, the Icelandic filmmaker whose Hollywood credentials include “Everest,” have joined forces to put their promotional muscle behind the Arctic Indigenous Film Fund, established by the International Sámi Film Institute in Norway.
The trio of top Nordic talents have come on board as Ambassadors of the AIFF fund, launched in 2018 to support the development of Indigenous filmmakers from the Arctic and to support the production of their films and TV series.
The Sámi are an Indigenous people with a population of about 100,000 spread across Norway, Sweden, Finland and northern Russia; they have a traditional song form called yoik. The group has been making its mark on the film circuit, with Sámi director Amanda Kernell’s “Charter” representing Sweden in the 2020 Oscar race.
“We are thrilled and honored to give our support to the Arctic Indigenous Film Fund,” the three Ambassadors said in a joint statement.
“We all have deep personal and professional connections to the Arctic and we know the incredible talent that exists there. Indigenous voices must be heard and those of the circumpolar region have urgent, vital and powerful stories of the kind the world has not yet heard or seen. It is our hope that the Arctic Indigenous Film Fund succeeds in its goals to support Indigenous filmmakers which will fill a void in funding and financing for these artists,” they added.
The AIFF fund was launched in 2018 during the Indigenous Film Conference in Kautokeino, northern Norway. Besides the Sámi Film Institute, the four other partners in the fund are the Sundance Film Institute, Canada Media Fund, Greenland Film Makers, Nunavut Film Development Corporation in Canada, and Archy Film Association based in Yakutia, Russia.
They are currently securing more international partners and donors.
Through its existing partnerships the AIFF fund recently awarded its first slate of development grants to the following filmmakers and projects: Kelvin Redvers (Canada) “Ice Road”; Pipaluk K. Jørgensen (Greenland) “This Road of Mine”; Marja Bål Nango (Norway “I love my Guodoheaddji”; Eduard Novikov (Sakha Republic” “At the end of the world”; and Nyla Innuksuk (Canada) “Slash/Back.”
These projects are in addition to the “Arctic Chills” horror anthology also supported by AIFF and being shepherded by the International Sámi Film Institute and ImagineNative,
“Indigenous stories from the Earth’s Arctic can inspire the world to a more sustainable future,” said Anne Lajla Utsi, Managing Director of the International Sámi Film Institute in the statement.
“Our stories offer immense potential to studios and broadcasters, while also serving a worldwide audience wanting to see original stories.”
“We are so thrilled to be working with Nikolaj, Nukâka, and Baltasar to continue on our important path to support Indigenous stories and Indigenous filmmakers from the Arctic. There is so much more to come.”