Nordic Film Days Lübeck, first presented by the Lübeck Film Club in 1956 and taken over by the Hanseatic City of Lübeck in 1971, has one of the longest traditions of any film festival worldwide. It is the only festival in Germany, and the only one in Europe, which is entirely devoted to the presentation of films from the North and Northeast of Europe.
Feature films, documentaries and short films from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden are presented at this five-day event every year at the beginning of November. In addition, there is an extensive children’s and youth film programme and a retrospective devoted to important eras, specific genres or famous persons of film history. The section Filmforum presents films from North Germany. Accompanying the film programme are seminars, discussions, roundtable talks, concerts and readings.
The Nordic Film Days Lübeck is both an audience festival and an important meeting place for the film industry in Germany and northern Europe. Many directors whose debut works were presented in Lübeck have gone on to earn fame around the world – such as Bille August, Lasse Hallström, Aki Kaurismäki or Fridrik Thór Fridriksson.
The film festival is put on by the Hanseatic City of Lübeck in cooperation with the Scandinavian film institutes and foundations as well as the corresponding film institutions in the Baltic countries. Patrons of the festival are the ambassadors of the Nordic countries in Germany. Honorary President is the Norwegian actress and film director Liv Ullmann. Media partners are the television and radio broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) and daily newspaper Lübecker Nachrichten.
The 2015 official programme will be released early October, but here are some of the previous years winners for you to find some Nordic Films to keep you going until then!
The NDR Film Prize for Best Feature Film.
Endowed with 12,500 euros this prize has been awarded annually since 1990 for a “feature film of special artistic quality.” The film should “reflect society in an independent creative language and open up new perspectives in terms of content and aesthetics.”
Straße der Hoffnung / Vonarstræti / Life in A Fishbowl
Baldvin Z (Zophoníasson), Iceland 2014
The oldest festival prize, was founded in 1979 by the newspaper Lübecker Nachrichten. Since 1993, it includes prize money amounting to the current value of 5,000 euros. The prize is awarded to the winning feature film in competition on the basis of an audience ballot.
HalloHallo / HallåHallå / HelloHello
Maria Blom, Sweden 2013
Baltic Film Prize for a Nordic Feature Film.
In 1991, filmmakers from the Baltic States created a film prize for an outstanding feature film from the Nordic countries.
Schwedenbastard / Svenskjævel / Underdog
Ronnie Sandahl, Sweden 2014
Photo: © Ita Zbroneic– Zajt
Documentary Film Prize.
The Confederation of German Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund) awards a film prize for a “socially and politically committed film” from the festival’s documentary film programme. The award carries a cash prize of 2,500 euros. In previous years, the prize was awarded by the Lübeck Trade unions.
Früher träumte ich vom Leben / Näin Unta Elämästä / Once I dreamed of Life
Jukka Kärkkäinen and Sini Liimatainen, Finland 2014
Children’s & Youth Film Prize.
This prize, created in 1983 by the Nordic Film Institutes, has been awarded to the best Scandinavian children’s or youth film since 1993. A genre which has been an important component of the Nordic Film Days since 1979. From 2008 on this prize is endowed with 5,000 euros, donated by the charitable foundation Gemeinnützige Sparkassenstiftung zu Lübeck.
Der Lehrjunge / Oppipoika / The Disciple
Ulrika Bengts, Finland 2013
Linde Fröhlich announced the first high point of this year’s festival with the opening night film, “Rams” (Hrútar) by director Grímur Hákonarson, an Icelandic-Danish production that won the Un Certain Regard Prize at this year’s Cannes film festival. The NFL is pleased to welcome the Icelandic director and his two leads, Sigurður Sigurjónsson and Theodór Júlíusson as guests at the NFL opening night celebration on November 4, 2015 in Lübeck (the film will be released in Germany in autumn 2015 by Arsenal Filmverleih).
“The Icelanders are powerful storytellers and Grímur Hákonarson’s “Rams” is the best example of this. The film is a human drama, filled with empathy for the protagonists, as well as odd situations and comic moments, all set in a spectacular landscape,” said Linde Fröhlich.
Curator and director of the Retrospective, Jörg Schöning, presented this year’s look back, dedicated to “Northern journeys. Travelogues & Road Movies”. Audiences will be “transported” back in time with a screening of the silent Swedish outdoor drama “The Strongest” (1929), shown with musical accompaniment in cooperation with the Lübeck Academy of Music under the direction of professor Franz Danksagmüller, as well as by maritime documentation by shipboard photographer Richard Fleischhut (1881 – 1951) and film treasures from the National Library of Norway. On top of that, selected road movies will take audiences on sometimes comic, sometimes melancholy, but always adventurous paths to far-flung locales in the Scandinavian film landscape. The series will include films by Ingmar Bergman, Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, Mika and Aki Kaurismäki, as well as directors Karin Ottarssdóttir and Auli Mantila. The Retrospective will open with the world premiere of “Hit the Road Gunnar” by young director Nicolas Ehret.
For more information about this years event and other features head over to www.luebeck.de