The Arctic Circle of Lust

Cannes Docs

The Arctic Circle of Lust

Original title: Pohjoinen intohimo

Directed by: Markku Heikkinen

Produced by: Hannu-Pekka Vitikainen (Zone2 Pictures, Finland), Dirk Manthey (Dirk Manthey Film, Germany), Fredrik Lange (Vilda Bomben Film, Sweden)

Country of production: Finland, Germany, Sweden

Runtime: 80'

Expected release: February, 2025

Production stage: In production

Budget: €539 295 (90% in place)

1st feature: No

Looking for: Festivals, Sales Agents / Distributors, Buyers


The relationships and self-image of family men in remote northern regions are thrown into a crisis when a man is caught having an affair with another man. It is a warm-hearted family film about ordinary Finnish men who face an unnamed sexual desire, bisexuality and need to decide either to keep their secrets or « come out of the closet » regardless of the pressure of conformity created by society.

Director’s profile:

Markku Heikkinen is an award-winning documentary film director and screenwriter who has made more than twenty feature and short films. He graduated as Master of Arts in ELO Film School in Aalto University majoring in Documentary film 2006 with best ratings. Heikkinen is an active social debater and has worked also as a freelance journalist in numerous radio- and tv-shows in YLE from 1984 to 2013. He worked as a screenwriter for Ruthless Times- Songs of Care (dir. Susanna Helke) His film No Road Home won the critics prize and also the audience award at Docpoint Helsinki. He received a Cinema State Prize in 2015.

Producer’s profile:

Hannu-Pekka Vitikainen has a strong reputation in the Finnish film business thanks to his distinguished work as a cinematographer. After graduating ELO Film School in Aalto University majoring in cinematography he’s worked with Finland’s most talented directors on award-winning films including In The Shadow Of The Holy Book (IDFA Main competition), Emergency Call (IDFA Masters series). He produced Gods of Molenbeek which screened in more than 60 international film festivals including Hot Docs, Visions du Réel, Dok.fest Munich, DocPoint. He founded Zone2 Pictures in 2005 and has produced creative documentary films and is developing feature fiction films. Zone2 is one of the leading documentary production companies in Finland, and with Gods of Molenbeek, it won the Jussi-Prize for the best documentary film in Finland.