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British filmmaker, James Aiken takes us on a journey into the snow-covered landscapes of Iceland in his captivating film Norður: Almost Arctic.

Shot in the West Fjords in the northwest of the island, James’s short film presents us with a new take on the surfing films that often feature in mainstream cinema. He uses the rugged terrain as a glacial, monochromatic backdrop and skilfully succeeds in capturing the unique beauty of this environment.

Throughout James’s films, there is a focus on the relationship between man and nature. It is clear in this film how the unforgiving landscape is something we cannot change and he questions why people are drawn there.

“One challenge I face as a filmmaker in these locations is knowing when to put the camera down and simply absorb the experience of being there. The balance between filmmaker and traveller can at times be difficult to maintain.”

It was James’s own inclination towards these kinds of isolated places that led him to the Fjords of Iceland. “I’ve always found these remote northern areas fascinating and inspiring. I began surfing and hiking in Scotland and progressively attempted more distant and ambitious trips. As well as the vivid immersion in the natural surroundings, I love spending time with the people of these places. I think we can all learn from their values and the things they appreciate.”  

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