HBO's five-episode drama series Beartown tells the chilling story of a fictive small town whose inhabitants put all their hope in the local hockey team — only to discover that one player has a dark secret to hide.
Touted as a winner in the making, Kevin (Oliver Dufåker) moves miles to impress his extremely demanding new coach, Peter (Ulf Stenberg), and his similarly stern dad, Mats (Tobias Zilliacus) — until he snaps.
Beartown's small town might be fictitious, but where was the HBO series filmed? Keep scrolling for details.
These are the locations where 'Beartown' was filmed.
With its goosebump-inducing cinematography and crisp long shots depicting the snow-covered Swedish landscape, Beartown could easily be put in parallel with productions like The Valhalla Murders. Both series utilize breathtakingly beautiful long shots of the pristine land to convey a crippling sense of doom. Beartown was filmed in Sweden, while The Valhalla Murders was shot in Iceland.
Beartown tells the story of a promising hockey player determined to make it big — only to get too drunk on power once he starts to reach success. In a crucial scene of the series, Kevin attends a house party and sexually assaults one of his schoolmates. The incident and the following investigation shake up the whole community, raising new questions about the immense pressure put on a group of adolescent boys.
According to The Cinemaholic, Beartown was filmed in Norrbotten County, the northernmost part of Sweden. Some exterior shots were likely filmed in the Gällivare Municipality in Norrbotten County, and parts of the filming reportedly took place in Malmberget, a mining town. Additional scenes were likely shot in Övertorneå, a town near the border between Sweden and Finland, in Kiruna, and in the municipalities of Kalix and Haparanda.
The freezing temperatures posed a problem for the team behind 'Beartown.'
As Peter Grönlund, the director of Beartown revealed in a recent interview with Drama Quarterly, battling the elements was far from easy.
"It was really harsh conditions, and the cameras just stopped working," Peter told the outlet. "We could be stuck for hours sometimes just waiting for a camera or something to replace some part of the camera that went to hell. That was really hard."
"But still, it's always the same with directing. You lose a lot of energy and you lose faith, but then something happens that gets you going again, like a nice performance or a shot we’re filming, and the energy comes back into you," he added.
Clearing the snow-covered roads was another challenge they had to face during the months of shooting in the Swedish mountains.
"I love the frozen world that we portrayed in the first few weeks [of the shoot]. It's so important for the drama, so it was totally worth it. We used hard rigs. It wasn’t just a little camera. There were cranes and dollies and all this big equipment, and we had to create roads or paths through the snow without destroying the shots. It was crazy," Peter told Drama Quarterly.
Beartown airs Mondays at 9 p.m on HBO.