The film follows a young anthropologist, Zdenka, who moves with her family to Svalbard, Norway, to study how life is changing in the polar regions. After falling in love with her new home, she discovers that more than icebergs and permafrost are vanishing in the Arctic. She has to work out to what extent she can get involved in the local community that she only originally intended to observe.
Lišková, whose feature documentary “Daniel’s World” world premiered at the Berlinale in the Panorama section in 2014, said in a statement: “When I decided to follow sociologist Zdenka Sokolickova to Svalbard, I expected the primary location for filming to be one of great beauty and profound fragility. However, it turned out to be a microcosm that intensely encapsulated some of the most burning challenges faced today, not least regarding the environment. The two-year-long journey of the documentary with Zdenka resulted in an intimate testimony reflecting the disappearance of a unique local community, the risks posed by exclusionary practices and, above all, the universal need for a sense of belonging and a stable home.”
Taskovski Films’ CEO Irena Taskovski said: “We were following the work of Veronika Liškova since her controversial debut ‘Daniel’s World,’ underlining a huge talent and brave cinematic approach. ‘The Visitors’ touches the very sensitive topics of belonging and migration in a contemporary world. Set in the vast and cold Svalbard in the Arctic Circle, severely hit by global warming, the film is posing the question ‘where did we all go wrong.’ “
The film’s producer Kristýna Michálek Květová from Cinémotif Films said: “Even though it is a first time collaboration, we have known Irena and Taskovski Films for a long time. Both me and the director like their taste for films and the catalog they represent, thus we are excited about working together on our newest film, ‘The Visitors.’ ”
The director of photography is Vojtěch Vančura and the editor is Marek Šulík.
The producers are Kristýna Michálek Květová and Martina Netíková. The co-producers are Johanna Dorothea Raita, Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas, Peter Kerekes and Anna Mach Rumanová.
The film was produced by Cinémotif Films, and coproduced by Ten Thousand Images, Peter Kerekes and Czech TV.
It was financed by Czech Film Fund, Slovak Audiovisual Fund, Norwegian Film Institute, Fritt Ord Foundation, Bergensen Foundation and Viken Filmsenter.