Lübeck, 09.10.13 – Adventurous, cheeky and with a catchy soundtrack: the description fits many of the films on the current children and youth film programme at the 55. Nordic Film Days Lübeck. The films from the entire programme are not only amusing and entertaining, but they also address serious and thought-provoking topics. Tough girls, boys with magic powers and adolescents who must meet the challenges of growing up all play major roles. “We are very happy that once again many of the films in Lübeck are having their German premieres. As a measure to further strengthen the location of Lübeck as a good place for children’s and youth films, this year’s Co-Production Meeting is dedicated to the topic of children’s film,” says Franziska Kremser-Klinkertz, Head of the section.
This year’s youth film programme presents powerful coming-of-age stories and turns a number of conventions inside out. Things get crazy and colourful when young men play adolescent girls, like in the Norwegian contribution “Tina & Bettina”. The film stars Odd Magnus Williamson, who is a very successful comedian in his homeland. Teenagers are also paid special attention in “Miss Blue Jeans”, when the 17-year-old Välde makes his first band experiences in 1977 Oulu, Finland, and falls in love with Pike, who models jeans. “Shed No Tears” is a bittersweet film about three friends aged 18 to 22, which tells of love and friendship, parties and the breakthrough of a singer/songwriter. The film is based on songs by Håkan Hellström, a star in Sweden who also has fans in Germany. The Icelandic debut film “Ferox” is dark and intense as it recounts how the 16-year-old Arnaldur dreams of revenge after his brother’s suicide, and becomes entangled in dangerous occurrences. “The Weight of Elephants” tells the sensitive, delicate tale of Adrian, who was abandoned by his mother and lives with his grandparents. His friendship with the slightly crazy, enigmatic outsider Nicole and her little sister helps him emerge from isolation. In “Bitch Hug”, the 19-year-old Kristin goes into involuntary exile. She is supposed to travel to New York as a columnist for the local newspaper, but she misses her flight and seeks shelter with her wilful friend Anna.
The film programme for younger viewers aged 8 to 14 features a number of adventures and challenges to be met – for girls and boys alike. Brave, young Sonja is the protagonist of “Journey to the Christmas Star”, which the German distribution company polyband Medien is releasing in German cinemas after the festival on 14. November 2013. She embarks on a quest to find the Christmas Star in order to save Goldenhair, the king’s only daughter. A classic fairy tale told in a modern fashion. “Mother I Love You” tells a very authentic, believable story in which Raymond fights both for his mother’s recognition and for his saxophone. In “The Tough Guys”, from Norway, the 11-year-old Modulf allows the school bullies to mob him so as to save others from that fate, until the new girl Lise joins the class and forces him to change. “Eskil and Trinidad”, a boy and an extraordinary woman, enter into an unusual friendship as they get together to build a ship that will take them to the Caribbean. “The Anderssons in Greece” are also southbound when an “all inclusive” holiday entails amusing entanglements and an encounter with their neighbours from home. In “Antboy”, the 12-year-old Pelle gains superpowers when he is bitten by an ant. He needs them as battles his nemesis “Fly”. Especially when the latter kidnaps the prettiest girl in the class.
The short film programmes for various age groups are always very popular, presenting powerful, multi-faceted work. On the last day of the festival, “Short Films for Short People” presents a colourful pallet of films for our youngest audience aged 4 up. The programmes 12plus and 14plus suit their respective age groups and feature films about friendship, parties and first kisses such as “On Your Lips” and “Belinda Beautiful”. But topics also include experiences with drugs or tattoos, like in “Tattoo” by Kati Kaverna. There is also a documentary film programme with three short films on the topic of home.
The selected works in the children’s and youth film programme originate from all over the Scandinavian and Baltic countries, from the Faroes to a New Zealand co-production, once again presenting the vast range and the courage to approach modern topics within this genre in the Nordic countries. Not an easy task for the Children’s Jury and the Jury of the Children’s and Youth Film Prize who will present their awards amounting to altogether 10,000 euros on the Film Prize Night gala on 2. November 2013.
The children’s and youth film programme is presented at CineStar Filmpalast Stadthalle (Mühlenbrücke 11) and at Kolosseum (Kronsforder Allee 25). The films are suitable for ages 4 up.
Please also download the school cinema brochure (PDF) of the children’s and youth film section, containing this year’s programme, at the Nordic Film Days Lübeck website.
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