September 29, 2009 / 4:06 PM / 9 years ago

Stockholm marks film festival with giant ice screen

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A full-sized movie screen made entirely of ice will be installed somewhere in Stockholm next month to celebrate the Nordic capital’s 20th film festival in the freezing cold, organizers said on Tuesday.

The giant screen, weighing around 10 metric tonnes, will be crafted from ultra-clear ice harvested in slabs from a frozen riverbed in northernmost Sweden, near the Arctic circle.

“We wanted to do something spectacular that has never been done before,” said Emelie Klein, spokeswoman for the Stockholm International Film Festival. “It will be the first time a feature film is shown on an ice screen.”

The near 5-meter-wide screen will be set up on November 21 at an undisclosed location in central Stockholm where outdoor film buffs can catch two special anniversary features.

Given the complexity of building such a screen, organizers called on the expertise of the team behind another famous ice structure — the ice hotel at Jukkasjarvi in northern Sweden.

“They’ve got lots of experience working with ice and building different shapes,” Klein said. “They also use ice that freezes while streaming, which makes it incredibly clear.”

The project’s total cost is estimated at about 500,000 Swedish crowns ($71,140), Klein said.

She added that the ice for the screen has already been carved from the frozen Torne river in March, when the temperature was minus 24 degrees Celsius. Ice from the same stream has been used before to make TV screens for the Jukkasjarvi hotel.

Festivalgoers were advised to wear their warmest clothes to screenings of two silver screen classics, the titles of which will be revealed closer to the festival’s start date.

Asked if she was worried the screen would start to melt before the festival was over, Klein said: “Not worried now, but we may be afterward when we have to take it down.”

Stockholm’s film festival has a precedent for quirky innovations: in 2000, it was the first to launch an internet festival and in 2007, it set up an online forum where directors and the audience could work together on films.

Reporting by Nick Vinocur, editing by Paul Casciato

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