Documentary to be made about Utøya massacre

A planned Nordic documentary will recreate the massacre on the Norwegian island of Utøya that killed 69 mostly young Labour Party summer campers in 2011. Several of the survivors of the massacre are taking part in the documentary.

The Northern Norwegian film production company Jabfilm is involved in the Nordic project that has secured the cooperation around ten survivors.

“This is a story from the survivors, and at the same time, a demand that it’s those who experienced Utøya who own that story,” producer John Arvid Berger of Jabfilm told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “This film is about giving them the opportunity to take the island back. We are very glad that everyone we asked to participate in the film said ‘yes.’”

The documentary will the titled Reconstructing Utøya, the documentary will be directed by Carl Javér of Sweden and has a budget of around NOK 6 million (USD 723,000). Several foreign film distributors have expressed interest in the documentary, which also involves a Swedish production company. Berger is prepared for reaction about a film reconstruction of the massacre on Utøya, but he thinks the film is necessary.

The Nordic filmmakers have already filmed a pilot with some of the Utøya survivors. If all pre-production details come together, including full financing, filming will start at FilmCam in Målselv, Troms County, this fall.


Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.