Where Was Arctic (2018) Filmed?

Co-written and directed by Joe Penna, ‘Arctic’ is a 2018 survival drama movie that follows Overgård, whose plane gets crashed, leaving him stranded in the extremely harsh and cold weather of the Arctic Circle. With only a limited supply of food and other tools for survival, he must decide between staying in the relatively safer territory of his camp in the crashed plane and waiting for help to arrive or climbing a dangerous trek through the unknown regions himself, hoping to stay alive by the end.

Starring Mads Mikkelsen in the lead role, the movie captures viewers’ attention from the get-go to the end, thanks to its nail-biting narrative and stellar onscreen performances from the cast members. Besides, the snowy yet dangerous terrains in the backdrop make one wonder where ‘Arctic’ was actually shot. Well, if you are one such curious soul, you might be interested in what we have to share regarding the same!

Arctic Filming Locations

‘Arctic’ was filmed entirely in Iceland, specifically in areas surrounding Reykjavik. The principal photography for the Joe Penna directorial reportedly occurred between March and April 2017 over 19 days. As per reports, the filming unit used to shoot for about 15 hours a day in the snow, with Mikkelsen referring to it as the most complex and challenging shoot of his entire career. Now, without much ado, let’s follow Overgård in his journey for survival and get a detailed account of all the specific sites that feature in the movie!


All the pivotal sequences for ‘Arctic’ were lensed in Iceland, mainly in the areas located near Reykjavik, the capital and largest city. The production team reportedly set up camp in Fellsendavatn, a lake situated in the south-central Highland region of Iceland, about 170 km away from Reykjavik. Moreover, the small mountain range of Bláfjöll and the Nesjavellir geothermal area served as two key production locations for the Mads Mikkelsen starrer.

The sets for the crashed helicopter and wrecked plane were constructed on location, and there were times when the crew had to dig some trenches in the snow themselves to create a hole to tape the ice-fishing scenes. During the production process, even though there was always a crew member or two within the range of the walkie-talkies, Mikkelsen often found himself in remote locations, which impacted him significantly.

During a May 2018 interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Mikkelsen was asked if they paused filming for some days due to unfavorable weather conditions. He replied, “They have a saying in Iceland: ‘If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.’ It’s so radical. In the beginning, we were chasing it because we needed a blizzard here and some sun there, and it was always changing. In the end, I said, ‘Guys, let’s just shoot it as it is; whatever we get, that’s what we do.’ There was a day when we opened the car door on the mountain, and the door flew off; it just broke off and flew away. Obviously, we couldn’t shoot on that day.”

In another conversation with Los Angeles Times in May 2018, Mikkelsen explained more about his experience. He said, “We had a big frozen lake I had to walk on, and we didn’t really know how solidly frozen it was. Sometimes I could hear the ice crackle, and sometimes I could hear fish splashing underneath the ice. It was extremely scary and extremely beautiful.”

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