University of New Mexico international alumna Martina Chamrad recently finished directing her graduate film “HJEM – Living at the End of the World”, a story about life in the city of Hammerfest, located in Norway. The film was recently awarded Best Short Documentary at the Berlin Independent Film Festival.

Chamrad studied at UNM during spring semester 2011 as an exchange student from the University of Applied Sciences in Würzburg, Germany. She directed the film as part of her graduate project, along with co-director Christoph Kirchner. The film premiered in Würzburg in April last year. Swedish conductor and composer Viktor Åslund composed the soundtrack for the movie.

The film has steadily gained international success and has been selected for screening at several film festivals including the Boomtown Film and Music Festival in Beaumont, Texas where it made its United States premiere; the Student International Film Festival (STIFF) in Rijeka, Croatia; and the SouthSide Film Festival in Bethlehem, Penn.

Hammerfest, the northernmost city in the world and located in the Arctic Circle, receives no sunlight in the winter and during the summer the sun does not set for two months. The documentary “HJEM” focuses on what the word “home” means to people who find themselves confronted daily with nature’s beauty and harshness. Chamrad and Kirchner filmed for five weeks in the Arctic Circle to authentically capture the surrounding area and its inhabitants.

The movie is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Video On Demand, and can be purchased by visiting the HJEM website. For a full list of the film’s credits, click here.