Norway, Denmark, UK, Germany, Sweden


Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific Ocean in a balsa wood raft in 1947, together with five men, to prove that South Americans already back in pre-Columbian times could have crossed the sea and settled on the Polynesian islands. After gathering financing for the trip with loans and donations, they set off on an epic 101 day-long journey across 8,000 kilometres, all while the world was watching. KON-TIKI tells about the origin of Heyerdahl's idea and the events surrounding the group's voyage.

Director's Statement

We wanted this to be an exotic adventure, with nature in one of the major roles. We shot in six different countries: Norway, Sweden, Bulgaria, Malta (and the Mediterranean Sea), Thailand and the Maldives. These very different locations give the movie a rich look and enhance the adventure. Shooting for over a month on the open sea also gave the actors the opportunity to sail the raft for real and you can sense that in the acting. The Kon-Tiki raft in the movie is made from the Tangaroa, a raft that Thor Heyerdahl's grandson Olav sailed from Peru to Polynesia in 2006. So the raft in the movie has actually made the voyage - it's almost the real thing. We hear people say they think KON-TIKI reminds them of how Hollywood used to do movies – that it's classical in a sense. We hope that it is inspirational. Thor Heyerdahl went on the voyage even though he was terrified of water and could not swim - and that tells us something about what we can all do if we overcome our own fears. Thor sold over 50 million copies of the Kon-Tiki book and that is probably not because people are so into migration theories. It's because it's a real adventure and it tells you that your life can be filled with more adventure too. We believe most people have a dream of taking a few months off and go traveling – do something extraordinary. And hopefully this movie will inspire to actually do it.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg

Written by: Petter Skavlan

Produced by: Jeremy Thomas, Aage Aaberge

Cinematography: Geir Hartly Andreassen

Editing: Martin Stoltz, Perry Erikson

Production Design: Karli Juliusson

Costume Design: Stine Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Louize Nissen

Original Score: Johan Soderquist

Sound: Tormod Ringnes, Baard Haugan Ingebretsen

Cast: Pål Sverre Valheim Hagen, Anders Bassmo Christiansen, Tobias Santelmann, Gustaf Skarsgaard, Odd-Magnus Williamson, Jakob Oftebro, Agnes Kittelsen

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2013