The Award Winners of the 52nd Nordic Film Days

NDR Award for Best Feature Film
Svinalängorna / Beyond
directed by Pernilla August

Statement of the Jury:
A film that moves us deeply on account of its topicality and its radical intensity. The consistent artistic realization combined with impressive acting performances and visual accomplishments is very convincing. We were deeply touched by the topic of a seemingly hopeless living environment that offers no perspective, but which is nevertheless overcome in the end. A film that is both socially relevant and of artistic quality as the cosmos of its story unfolds.

LN Audience Prize
The Good Heart / Ein gutes Herz
directed by Dagur Kári

Baltic Films Prize
Sound of Noise / Sound of Noise
directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson

Statement of the Jury:
The Baltic Jury Prize goes to a film that succeeds in showing us familiar things from a new perspective. A film, that, against our better instincts, encourages us to step up against the dictate of routine. A film that surprises and inspires, without missing a beat.

Interfilm Church Prize
Between Two Fires / Between Two Fires
directed by Agnieszka Lukasiak

Statement of the Jury
Marta, a young woman, flees Belorussia in search of protection from violence and abuse. In Sweden, where she hopes to find refuge, she encounters cold administrative structures and only rare moments of human warmth. Agnieszka Lukasiak, the director and her protagonist Magda Poplawska succeed in depicting the manifold aspects of the situation which asylum seekers encounter in an authentic way. Marta preserves her human dignity even though she is forced to make sacrifices in a bureaucratic and cold system.

Special Mention
Mamma Gógó / Mamma Gógó
directed by Fridrik Thór Fridriksson

Mamma Gógó is a sensitive film about a woman suffering from Alzheimer's. The story is told with subtle irony and in metaphors, which express visions of hope and meaning even in disturbing and sad moments.

Documentary Film Prize
Miesten vuoro / Steam of Life
directed by Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen

Statement of the Jury
The directors have chosen bizarre surroundings to show the joys and sorrows of people with different fates. Not only do the latters' pores become unblocked in the sauna, but their innermost feelings also come to the surface. Emotional outpourings alternate with images of slightly flippant sauna locations. Allowing for long silences enables the protagonists to open up completely, and while the audience forgets the presence of a film team, it seems to be sitting alongside the protagonists in the "Steam of Life".

Children's & Youth Film Prize
Sebbe / Sebbe
directed by Babak Najafi

Statement of the Jury:
Director Babak Najafi's feature film debut "Sebbe" hurts. 15-year old Sebbe is alone. He desperately hopes for his mother's love while being utterly at the mercy of her emotional unpredictability. Sebbe has no chance of escaping his everyday life, shaped by poverty, strokes of fate and a lack of perspectives. It is the quiet acting of the film's stars Sebastian Hiort af Ornäs and Eva Melander that particularly gives the film a vehemence that captivated us from beginning to end. The film is delicately composed and meticulously directed. The harmonious teamwork of all the creative departments has created a provocative social drama of hopelessness with a lasting effect on its audience.

Special Mention
Superbruder / Superbror / Superbrother
directed by Birger Larsen

Director Birger Larsen has sensitively staged the relationship between 10-year old Anton and his autistic older brother Buller. The impressive acting performances by the two young lead actors is very convincing in its full range of emotions. "Superbrother" is both virtuosic popcorn cinema and moving tragedy - imaginative, entertaining and original.

Prize of the Children's Jury
Asfaltenglene / East End Angels
directed by Lars Berg

Special Mention
Julenatt i Blåfjell / Magic Silver
directed by Roar Uthaug and Katarina Launing

Statement of the Jury
We were probably the happiest kids in town these last few days, sitting in comfortable cinema seats rather than at school desks. As the children's jury, it was our important and difficult task to choose the best film out of six. We discussed and evaluated every film thoroughly and soon narrowed the choice down to two films, which ultimately made the final decision all the more difficult. Both films captivated us during their screening and continued to so long after. We would like to begin by highly commending the film "Magic Silver" by Roar Uthaug and Katarina Launing. We were very impressed by the film's motto "if you're never afraid you can never be brave" and the ensuing character development of the protagonist Princess Bluerose. We also liked the music, the gnomes' display of solidarity and the princess' brave deeds. The winning film, too, demonstrates that friendship, solidarity and imagination can help attain the highest goals. It was the lead actresses' acting performances in particular that added the right amount of spice to the action-laden scenes. But the film's main focus lies on the solidarity of three girlfriends who won't be discouraged by adult prejudices. We will hold onto the film's motto "one for all and all for one" and present the Prize of the Children's Jury to "East End Angels" by Lars Berg.

Cinegate Prize
Go Bash! / Go Bash!
directed by Stefan Eckel and Stefan Prehn

Statement of the Jury
Stefan Prehn and Stefan Eckel's entertaining and provocative short film satirizes the pursuit and commercialization of ever-new youth trends by the media. To this purpose, the two directors have confidently and competently made use of a whole range of cinematic and TV formats - from mobile phone videos to sensationalist news shows - displaying both an astute approach to current issues as well as a professional and visually remarkable realization thereof.

A Special Mention goes to the director Lena Liberta: Two films, entirely different on visual and narrative levels yet made by the same hand: Director Lena Liberta displays an extraordinary range of skills in her two compelling and entertaining films "Silent Sea" and "Uwe & Uwe". Lena Liberta is a graduate of the Hamburg Media School Masterclass, and the already very confident directing style and visual panache evident in these two very different thematic foci of the past two semesters make us look forward keenly to her further development.