About the Region
This film location catalogue presents the region of municipalities of Jondal, Kvam, Granvin, Ulvik, Eidfjord, Ullensvang and Odda. The region spans from open landscapes along the Hardangerfjord, over the Folgefonn Peninsula with its eternally white glaciers which send water in cascading rivers down to the fertile villages and industrial towns in Inner Hardanger, before making their beautifull and dramatic climb toward Haukelifjell and Hardangervidda, and the gentler mountains in the north and the west.
People have likely been living in this region for around 3700 years. Traditional farming and livestock combined with fjords and trails across the plateau offered food and provided contact with the outside world, shaping both the people and the landscape, perhaps especially after English monks brought the first fruit tree here in the 1300s. Ever since, fruit farming and fruit blossoms have essentially become the hallmark of the region, attracting tourists and artists for hundreds of years.
The landscape and people underwent an irrevocable change at the beginning of the 1900s when the industrial revolution took on a new direction by harnessing hydropower and turning it to energy. With the development of hydroeletric power in Tyssedal and later on in Ålvik, there came the story of modern industrialisation. Factory buildings started to appear in Odda on what were once cultivated lands; hundreds of workers arrived needing places to live; new roads had to be blasted along the fjords and in the mountains. The turbine hall in Tyssedal was architect-designed with particular consideration for aesthetics. Odda, Tyssedal and Ålvik gained their own residential areas designed by some of the country's most talented architects. Some of the factorys are now closed down and partially preserved, such as the Odda Smelting Plant. As film locations, however, these buildings are still incredibly alive.
In no other place in the world will you find constrasts like those of the great structures at the Smelting Plant which look out on Folgefonna. The old turbine hall in Tyssedal is now a vital part of the Norwegian Museum of Hydro Power and Industry (NVIM), and is used as both a concert venue during the Hardanger Music Festival and as an eating place for large banquets. The new power station with its grand halls was built into the mountain, while the original pipelines along the mountainside live on as a Via Ferrata climbing route.
Even active industrial sites are open for use as film locations. For example, Statkraft in Eidfjord is opening up the Sima Power Plant, located 700 metres inside the mountain, for ballets and concerts. All production at the power plant will come to a stop while events are being held.
Avalanche protection structures are many throughout the region, evidence of the wrath that nature can expel along the fjords. These barriers are in themselves interesting contructions, fit for setting the backdrop of a drama film.
The cultural milieu in the region is evident all over and in some most spectacular places: the avalanche cover in Velure, for example, is used as a venue for rock concerts, and the avalanche barriers over Agatunet resemble a massive Roman theatre against the mountain. It's just a matter of knowing that they are there.
Hardanger offers both old and new building styles and techniques. From medieval houses to new buildings like the Research Station in Lofthus. The Røldal Stave Church. Old and new building environments in the towns. Old boating traditions preserved in Norheimsund at the Maritime Centre.
Culture in our region is well-documented by our many museums, which can be great sources of information during film production. If you are looking for information about clothing or furniture from the Middle Ages, information on how to transplant a shoot from an apple tree, how to pull/run a rowing boat up a “støa” landing, why poles were cut for use in the furnaces in industry, or what it once looked like in the forge at the Smelting Plant, you will find all of your answers here.
Business and Industry
Our diverse business community not only offers locations, good hotels, fine catering and good transportation along natural roads, in the fjord or through the air, but also craftsmen of all kinds. If a film production needs design solutions for realising a successful film, for example, we have the businesses in our region that can accommodate those needs.
Hardanger also offers a variety of outdoor activities, and is well-versed in extreme sports, which can be important elements in film production: sea kayaking, river kayaking and canoeing, rafting and waterfall jumping, ice climbing, kiting and paragliding.
Hardanger also naturally has many compelling artists, who are great resources for any film production. Here you will find authors, visual artists, journalists, musicians, composers and film stars. They are all ready and able to offer their skills for film production, right out of the film-friendly Hardanger.