Gold feaver in Lapland

Director: Åke Lindman

Production design & Props:
Jukka Uusitalo, Tiina Tuovinen

The gold rush in Finnish Lapland is a unique period in European history. When the first gold discoveries were made in Northern Finland in the year of famine in 1868, hundreds of gold prospectors, Finnish and foreign swarmed into the region. The access to the gold field was rough, people had to either walk, ski or row through the rapids in a river boat. Some risked everything, sold their property and set out to try their luck. The strong succeeded, the most did not. In extreme conditions where human greediness meets the cruel nature, also friendship is put to the test.

The film is partly based on these true events.


The tiny chips of gold found in Nulkkamukka, along the Ivalojoki river in 1868 started the first gold rush in Finland. The discovery was made by the expedition led by Mr. Johan Konrad Lihr, assisting manager of the Mint, that was sent searching for gold in the northern parts of the country.

Kultalan Kruunun Stationi, an outpost for government officers for keeping order in the gold field was built on the bank of Ivalojoki. The officers granted claim licenses and collected taxes for all the gold discovered. Kruunun Stationi was a general meeting place for gold prospectors in the wilderness with  a bakery, saloon and public house.

The first years of the rush were the most profitable, totalling up to 56 kilos per summer. The rush dwindled in a few years and prospecting continued on the tributaries of the Ivalojoki river, e.g. Sotajoki and Palsinoja.


The original Kultala area is rather isolated, situated roughly 15 kilometers from the nearest road. The Kultala set was built approximately four kilometers the from nearest road along the Ivalo river. The materials were transported by river boats.