Experiencing Interruptions?

Wandering in the White

When two former top orienteers end up in a snowstorm in Lapland wilderness, they face an impossible orienteering task: how to reach your destination when you can't tell earth from sky?

  • Otto Heikola
    Back Towards Light (2018, editing), Mother’s Day Gift (2018), Giveaway (2018, editing), Punk Voyage (2017, editing), White Rage (2015, editing), The Long Shift (2014)
  • Anniina Kauttonen
    Prince of Paris (2019, editing), A Stop (2019, editing), Mother’s Day Gift (2018), If I Ruled (2015, editing), White Chimney (2015, editing), The Long Shift (2014, editing)
  • Otto Heikola
    Back Towards Light (2018, editing), Mother’s Day Gift (2018), Giveaway (2018, editing), Punk Voyage (2017, editing), White Rage (2015, editing), The Long Shift (2014)
  • Valtteri Munkki
    Mother’s Day Gift (2018), The Long Shift (2014)
  • Tuomo Peltola
    Key Cast
  • Liisa Peltola
    Key Cast
  • Ole-Thomas Baal
    Key Cast
    The Committee (2016)
  • Mikko Heino
    Sound Designer
    Mother’s Day Gift (2018), The Long Shift (2014)
  • Salla Luhtala
    Baby Jane (2019), Fingerling (2018), Wheels of Freedom (2018), Efter Inez (2017), Dance on Thin Ice (2017), Once I Was a Dragonfly (2017)
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Sport, Adventure, Survival, Biography
  • Runtime:
    28 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 17, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    80,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Finland, Norway
  • Language:
    English, Finnish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Golden Raven International Arctic Film Festival
    Russian Federation
    May 25, 2019
    International Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Adventure Outdoor Fest
    July 25, 2019
    European Premiere
    Official Selection
  • International Documentary Festival of Ierapetra
    August 9, 2019
    Greek premiere
    Official Selection
  • Filmfestival Kitzbühel
    August 23, 2019
    Austrian premiere
    Official Selection
  • DOCUTAH International Documentary Film Festival
    St. George, Utah
    United States
    September 4, 2019
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Winter Film Festival
    Bourg Saint Maurice
    November 9, 2019
    French Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Anchorage International Film Festival
    Anchorage, Alaska
    United States
    December 6, 2019
    Runner-Up, Best Short Documentary
  • Tromsø International Film Festival
    January 15, 2020
    Norwegian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • The Explorers Club Polar Film Festival
    New York, New York
    United States
    January 25, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Snowtown Film Festival
    Watertown, New York
    United States
    January 24, 2020
    Official Selection
  • DOCfeed
    February 14, 2020
    Dutch Premiere
    Official Selection
  • International Festival of Winter Cinema
    Edmonton, Alberta
    February 16, 2020
    Canadian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Trento Film Festival
    August 27, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Eho Mountain Film Festival
    Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of
    October 7, 2020
    Macedonian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • GAFF Galil Adventure Film Festival
    Rosh Pina
    October 21, 2020
    Israeli Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Nordic Adventure Film Festival
    November 28, 2020
    Danish Premiere
    Best Nordic Film
  • BBK Mendi Film Bilbao Bizkaia
    December 11, 2020
    Spanish Premiere
    Best Cinematography
Distribution Information
  • Side Stories
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Otto Heikola

Otto Heikola is a Finnish film editor and director as well as one of the founding members of the production company Side Stories Ltd. He graduated from the Tampere University of Applied Sciences film program in 2014. He, along with Riitta Poikselkä, was nominated for the Finnish Jussi Award for editing the feature documentary Punk Voyage (dir. Jukka Kärkkäinen & J-P Passi, Mouka Filmi 2017), a follow-up film to the highly acclaimed Punk Syndrome (2012). His other editing works include feature documentaries Back Towards Light (dir. Arto Halonen, Art Films production 2018), Hobbyhorse Revolution (dir. Selma Vilhunen, Tuffi Films 2017) and White Rage (dir. Arto Halonen, Art Films production 2015). Otto wrote and directed the short documentaries Wandering in the White (Side Stories 2019) and Mother’s Day Gift (co-directed by Anniina Kauttonen, Side Stories 2018) as well as the feature documentary The Long Shift (Hyperfocus, 2014).

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The first time I heard about Tuomo and Liisa Peltola’s exceptional winter hike in the Lapland wilderness, I was struck by the unique surroundings and many cinematic moments the story provided. As we got better acquainted with Tuomo and Liisa, we stumbled into yet another striking feature: the vast difference between their personalities. Liisa, who has always emphasized spiritualism and humanism, made her career as a student counselor while Tuomo is a very analytical and dry-witted retired engineer. Despite (or because of) their differences, they are an inseparable couple that likes to move in the nature a lot, both of them capable of anticipating each other’s reasoning, even in tough situations.

Wandering in the White is about survival, perseverance and calm thinking without being a heroic story of the classical tradition. It reminds us that not even lengthy experience can shield us from something unexpected happening on our own journeys – especially when forces of nature are pitted against the fragility of a human being. At its core, it’s a humane story about a man who is forced to question his understanding of the world and make way for new perspectives.

When the hypothermia-stricken Tuomo was rescued, his body temperature was only 22 degrees Celsius. In medical circles, survival of this kind is called a miracle. The marks left by the dramatic hike ended up being only physical and not mental. According to Tuomo, his brain is just as frozen as before.