About Kiilopää Smoke Sauna
Witness a profound bond forged between friends and nature as they embark on a ritual between sensory extremes at Suoma Latu Hotel in Kiilopää in the heart of Finland's wilderness. Our short film is a celebration of the unique connection between nature, camaraderie, and the age-old tradition of sauna bathing – a true embodiment of the Finnish way of life.
Set against the breathtaking backdrop of Urho Kekkonen National Park, follow the unique journey of a group of friends having spent their day conquering the snowy landscapes on cross-country skis, eagerly anticipating the soothing embrace of the Kiilopää "savusauna" or smoke sauna at Suomen Latu Kiilopää which is 16 km, or 9.94 miles to the south of Saariselkä village.
As the sauna door creaks open, a wave of warmth envelops them, and the friends find themselves in a timeless space where conversations flow freely amidst the aromatic steam. The camaraderie grows stronger as beads of sweat glisten on their skin, a testament to the shared moments of relaxation.
But at 100 degrees Celsius, or 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the löyly (steam off the rocks) makes the space too hot to stay in for long, so these brave souls not only go outside to cool off, but embark on a plunge into the frigid, icy waters of the nearby Kiilopuro River – a true dance between extremes. The contrast between the intense heat of the sauna and the invigorating chill of the just above freezing temperature of the river creates a symphony of sensations, connecting with their primal nature, and ultimately, leaving them rejuvenated and exhilarated.
As the friends conclude their day, their spirits are high, their bodies invigorated, and the memories etched in the wintry landscapes of Lapland.
Filmmaker - Mika Hotakainen
DP - Sampo Johansson
Camera & Drone - Mikko Leinonen
Producer - Samuel Aarnio
Editor - Ben Kaplan