Norway Communicates


Rock and Roll Forever Foundation


Created by Steven Van Zandt, and with the Founding Board of Directors that include Martin Scorsese, Bono, Bruce Springsteenand Jackson Browne, the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation (RRFF)’s TeachRock educational initiative operates in all 50 US states - and now in Telemark, Norway.

DKS Telemark is part of the national Kulturtanken initiative in Norway helping school students from Grades  1-13 in Norway experience professional art and culture, a collaboration between the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education and Research. 

Facilitated by Norway Communicates, the June 2019 agreement signed with DKS Telemark is TeachRock’s first international educational agreement. The signing event held at Petter Stordalen’s hotel The Thief in Oslo also marked an agreement with the Oslo-based Edvard Munch High School). 

According to Steven Van Zandt, ‘This is a very important step for us. We are committed to make a difference in education in Norway.’ 

Sam Eyde - Silver Linings Film


Young, restless and uncontrollably ambitious, this young man from Arendal, Norway would change the world in the early 20th Century.

Described by Bill Gates as the man who 'saved 1.5 billion people from starvation', he would arrive on the scene in Notodden, Norway after a dozen years in Germany at the tail end of the 19th Century.

Norway has just become independent, the newest - and poorest – country on the continent. Sam Eyde, educated in wealthy Berlin is unstoppable.

This is an international tale of intrigue, power, money and change set against the backdrop of a turn of the 19th century Europe., a story told against the backdrop of a Europe in change and the coming ´War to end all Wars´

Seed funding for Rjukan-based Silver Linings Film to develop this film concept in close cooperation with Norway Communicates is the first step in the process of bringing the story of one of the great entrepreneurs of the 20th century.


A Viking World: Midtgardsblot


Midgardsblot, a unique outdoor metal music festival located in Vestfold

Located on historical grounds where the powerful Viking rulers of Norway lived and are also laid to rest, This is a unique festival you won't find similar anywhere else in the world.


Visiting Midtgardsblot this year from Norway Communicates are: 

· Ian Brodie, with a portfolio including film photography with major productions such as The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Birkerbeiner and many others.

· Per Ole Hagen, award-winning Getty photographer, University of Oslo instructor, with a long career with the national broadcaster NRK with a focus on legal rights and musicology.

We will be filming, photographing and storytelling about this unique festival - and we hope to see you there from August 15 - 17th, 2019. 

Do not miss it!

My Road Trip America


Take a literary journey with Norway Communicates' Founder David John Smith  through the heart and soul of Americaon a trip you will never forget.

From the ancient Appalachians on the east coast to the bastion of power in Washington DC, through the midwest to the Memphis and then on down to Austin and further to the great deserts of the west, and a finale that has been described as a David Lynch epic, you certainly do not want to miss this epic road trip.

Available on Kindle and Amazon 

My Road Trip America

Visit Hoth


Star Wars fans descended from nearly a dozen countries upon the tiny mountain village of Finse for the 3rd Annual VISIT HOTH celebration, deep in the glacier region of central Norway on the edge of the Hardangervidda National Park.

In collaboration with Norway Communicates, this brainchild of filmmaker Andreas Frølich is Norway’s best example of film tourism in action. The annual event celebrates one of the top-rated and influential movies of all time, The Empire Strikes Back, filmed in Finse in the winter months of 1979, during the worst storms in over 100 years. 

The Hoth film locations are just the same as they were during those long-ago winter months of 1979. During the weekend the Visit Hoth participants made the trek to these locations on cross country skis, snowshoes, and even by one of the many dog sleds available.

The annual Visit Hoth event is quickly becoming internationally known as Norway’s best example of Film Tourism. 

VISIT HOTH: Norway Film Tourism at its best

The Wild Telemark


Film is all about business, culture, tourism and education, and the Wild Telemark is showing the advantages the region offers to film projects nationally and internationally.

The Wild Telemark is a Norway Communicates initiative together with the Founding Municipalities of Tinn, Notodden and Hjartdal with DKS Telemark (The Cultural Backpack). 

 Film is all about careers - and cooperation with DKS  ensures that students learn that the film business is more than 'camera, action' but includes finance, logsitics, sales, design,  technology, and so much more.

Norway Communicates with David John Smith Ian Brodie (Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Birkerbeineren, Kampen om Tungtvann) and Per Ole Hagen  are working together with Telemark and beyond to build upon a long tradition of creativity here in the region. 

Building upon tradition of film here (The Heroes of Telemark, The Snowman, The Heavy Water War and more), the Wild Telemark profiles unique film locations and history, mythology,, tradition and culture in this spectacular region.

Meet Leo T.


Exhibitions in London and New York  confirm that Leo T is on the right track “to create something new and outrageous that the art world can’t ignore.”

Meet Leo T, aka Svein Tråserud, who was honored as the official contributing artist of the 2018 Notodden Blues Festival.

Over the years, there have been numerous art exhibitions featuring his art, solo as well as group, but with Notodden he embraced the opportunity to work with the festival that has always meant a great deal to him, the region and Blues-lovers all over the world.

Plans together for 2019 are in store on both sides of the Atlantic, including development of artwork for David John´s book ´My Road Trip America´ and other projects.

Deep in Leo T´s creative lair, new universes are being created by this unique artist. Come visit him on his outlandish home turf at the Opisthodome and follow his every creative move on Instagram.

RRFF and DKS - Teaching Telemark


 The `Bluestown Rising´ documentary was recently awarded status as part of the Norwegian national education program ´The Cultural Backpack´ (DKS - Den kulturelle skolesekken)

Together with Telemark County, DKS and Steven Van Zandt´s Rock and Roll Forever Foundation´s the kickoff for this collaboration will take place over two days next spring on April 10 - 11, 2019 in Skien, Norway, the capital of Telemark.

This is the first European project for the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation. According to long time Steven Van Zandt associate David John Smith, Founder of Norway Communicates:

 ¨Inclusion in this important program will give students the chance to learn the exciting story of Notodden and its industrial, cultural and musical heritage, and also the chance to work with Steven Van Zandt and the RRFF.¨

 Note: The event was a resounding success, see the June official signing above.

Andreu Jacob & Norway Communicates


Together with Norway Communicates, composer is Andreu Jacob Foglietti Nordland in the process of developing and creating a world-class Dolby Music and Film Laboratory.

Andreu Jacob is an acclaimed composer who works with classical, jazz, contemporary, flamenco and other musical styles. He has composed numerous symphonies and is considered ¨one of the foremost modern composers on the international scene¨ (IMDB)

This project fits well with Norway Communicates and the ongoing development of the film industry in The Wild Telemark, including work with Bluestown Rising, as well as with Ian Brodieand the project Film Rjukan

August - International Marketing Begins


Together with filmaker Alistair Wayte from Glasgow, Scotland, Bluestown Rising begins a international marketing/ crowfunding campaign. 

Featuring exclusive footage, interviews and insights, support our global campaign by following us on our website:   

Summer - Bluestown Rising Filming


Steven Van Zandt was in town this week of the Notodden Blues Festival. Wiith the film company Kings Mountain we filmed a series of sequences for the upcoming  documentary Bluestown Rising.

Supported by the national broadcaster NRK, the Municipality of Notodden, the trade union organization and others, the documentary will be released in 2019. 

Photo: Per Ole Hagen

June - Phase II Film Location Rjukan


From June we have begun Phase II of the Film Location Rjukan project, in cooperation with Ian Brodie, international known photographer and film location expert.

Late this summer we will launch in cooperation with Visit Rjukan. Keep an eye open for Film Rjukan and learn more about The Wild Telemark and film possibilities here. 

Photo: Ian Brodie

Feburary - 75 years since WWW 2 sabotage


The Hydrogen Production Factory that was located at Vemork is famous as the target of Operation Gunnerside, the February 1943 WWII heavy water operation called the most successful act of sabotage of World War II. 

Penetrating a virtually inaccessible location in the frozen mountains near Rjukan, Norwegian commandos successfully destroyed the heavy water production that may have brought Adolf Hitler the atomic bomb. 

We are privileged to assist the NIA with the 75th anniversary on February 28th.

January - International Blues Competition


We travelled to Memphis, USA with Steven Van Zandt for the International Blues Competition, a competition of 250 bands from all over the world, a week-long event organized by the Memphis-based Blues Foundation.

Thanks to the hosts, we had all access to the most influential studios in town:

Ardent Studios- Sam & Dave, Bob Dylan, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Allman Bros

Sam Phillip’s Studio: Elvis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Howlin Wolf

Royal: Al Green, Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy, Tom Jones, Bobby Blue, Rod Stewart, Ike & Tina Turner

January - Bluestown Rising website goes live


The factories in this isolated town of Notodden shut down in 1987, leaving nothing but silence where jobs had once been. 

Against all odds, a small group of young men and women of the town create the Notodden Blues Festival that now 30 years later is one of the best in the World. 

Blues enthusiasts will cheer the spirit of the story and the music, others will relate to the universal theme that nothing is impossible.  

The documentary is coming this autumn. Check out the Bluestown Rising website.

December 10 - Steven Van Zandt to Memphis


Steven Van Zandt confirmed that he will be going to Memphis, Tennessee to judge the International Blues Challenge (IBC) at the famous Orpheum Theatre. The IBC is organized by the Blues Foundation, and Norway Communicates will be onsite with Jostein Forsberg of the Notodden Blues Festival.    Keep posted for further updates!

December 8 - Bluestown Rising in the news


The  'Bluestown Rising' documentary team was in Notodden, Norway all this past week as we moved the story of the world's most unique Notodden Blues Festival, and 'the town that wouldn't die' forwards. Next stop, New York City and the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation on December 20th.

November 30 - Flim Location Rjukan on top


Film Location Rjukan presented its Phase I Results at Visit Rjukan's annual meeting held at the Gvepseborg Restaurant at the top of Rjukan's famous Krossobanen. David oriented about the Film Location Rjukan findings thus far as we build upon Tinn Municipality and Rjukan's film history to make this region the location of choice nationally and internationally.

Nov 23 - Norway Communicates visits Drumintoul, Scotland


Scotland's Highlands and the Heavy Water Heroes of Telemark have an unbreakable bond. We made the trek through the snows to Drumintoul, where the officers led by Joakim Ronneberg prepared for their historic mission. Drumintoul has been in the Grant family since 1560, and we were welcomed at a dinner in the main house hosted by James Grant. The first of many visits between Vemork and Drumintoul! 

November 8 - Little Steven's All Stars at the Juke Joint Studio


Little Steven's Blues School All Star Band feat. Shennie was in Notodden's famed Juke Joint studio armed with Quinn Sullivan's song 'For your Love'. This song is in post production now with all proceeds from the single going to support the Little Steven's Blues School. 

November 6 - Historical Press Event at Vemork


The Norwegian Heavy Water Saboteurs enter the cellar of the Hydrogen Production Factory in the early morning hours of February 28th, 1943 - and today on November 6, 2017 invited press representatives were taken back in time following the historical footsteps of Jaokim Ronneberg and his team. International interest, including BBC and others are in the wind.

October 20 - UK visit with Allan Tomkins and Pinewood Studios


Alan Tomkins Art Director of 'The Empire Strikes Back', 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Batman Begins' - and of the original Heroes of Telemark is a big Ambassador to Rjukan and Telemark. Norway Communicates was invited to Pinewood Studios to learn more about Alan and his illustrious career. 

October 11 'The Snowman' Premiers in Rjukan


Filmed on location in Rjukan, the much awaited 'Snowman' film starring Michael Fassbender had its international premier in the main square in Rjukan with over 1,000 people braving the first chills of the coming winter. Film Location Rjukan is building upon this and other films as we continue to raise the region's profile.

October 5th - Historical Find at Vemork


The Heavy Water Heroes of Telemark story has been told again and again, but it was not until October 5th, 2017 that the historical find was made by the industrial archeologists led by the NIA (Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum) in close collaboration with the County of Telemark. Contact Norway Communicates or the NIA for more information.

October 5 - Agreement signed in NY with HSN and the Rock & Roll Forever Foundation (RRFF)


Norway Communicates brought Steven Van Zandt together with representatives from the University College of Southeast Norway (HSN), signing a historic agreement sealing the cooperation to create a Blues Masters Curriculum in Norway. This is the first international agreement for the RRFF, a historic milestone for Steven's 10-year old foundation.

September - National Geographic 'Drains the Tinn Lake'


National Geograhic's popular 'Drain the Ocean' film team was onsite in mid September in Rjukan (Tinn Municipality) to film an episode featuring the ship 'Hydro' that was sabotaged in February 1943 with a full load of heavy water onboard. This NatGeo episode of 'Drain the Ocean' will be show in 2018. Contact Norway Communicates for more information.

The 30th Notodden Blues Festival breaks all attendance records!


Nearly 40,000 people visited Notodden during this historic festival featuring artists that included Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, Buddy Guy, Quinn Sullivan, Beth Hart, Joss Stone and many others. The Bluetown Rising documentary team filmed through the week as we prepare the documentary for screening next August at the Bok & Blueshuset in Notodden.