56th NORDIC FILM DAYS LÜBECK: Retrospective showcases Scandinavian humour – special series focuses on Finnish / Baltic films – new partners and this year’s sponsors – financing in place

Lübeck, August 26, 2014. The highlights and programme sections for the 56th Nordic Film Days Lübeck (NFL) were introduced to the press today by the festival directors Linde Fröhlich (artistic director) and Christian Modersbach (festival manager), appearing alongside Lübeck’s cultural affairs senator Annette Borns, and Jörg Schöning, curator and director of the retrospective section. The NFL is mounted by the Hanseatic City of Lübeck. This year’s festival runs from October 29 to November 2, 2014.

Senator Annette Borns opened with a confidently optimistic forecast about the festival’s future, saying “the Nordic Film Days are a key component of Lübeck’s cultural landscape. That is reflected in the city of Lübeck’s unchanging sponsorship of the event”.

Across Europe, the NFL festival is the largest showcase for Nordic films outside of Scandinavia. The Nordic Film Days festival presents original and contemporary work from the neighbouring Scandinavian countries, as well as from the Baltic States and, in the Filmforum section, northern Germany.

The festival’s artistic director, Linde Fröhlich, presented two noteworthy focal points in this year’s “Specials” section. In addition to previews of Nordic films that will soon be released in German theatres, the festival is also looking towards northeastern Europe, with an invitation to explore Finland’s film scene. The Guest of Honour at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, Finland will be represented in Lübeck with several film versions of classic novels and remarkable works by film greats such as Teuvo Tulio or Mikko Niskanen, who have yet to be discovered in Germany. The Baltic States also receive special attention this year. When the Berlin Wall came down 25 years ago, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania also fought to regain their sovereignty. Art and culture played a notable role in that process, one that the NFL will look back upon with films, a book presentation and a panel discussion.
As early as 1990, Lübeck was the first festival to fully integrate Baltic films into its programme, even before the countries had regained full independence”, Linde Fröhlich said, “it was here that the first Nordic-Baltic filmmaker encounters happened, and here that the first cooperation contracts were signed. Given the remarkable developments since then in the political and cultural life, and the film scene in the Baltic states, as well as the current alarming situation in eastern Europe, we feel it’s important to make that a focus”.

The Retrospective programme turns its attention to the cheerful and funny, with a look at the long and rich tradition of Scandinavian comedies. Titled “Pure Reason Died Last Night at Eleven – the liberating power of laughter”, it comprises a series of indisputable film classics, with many of the comedies never before seen in Germany. Under the direction of Jörg Schöning, the section will present films by Ingmar Bergman (“All These Women”), Carl Theodor Dreyer and Lars von Trier, among others. Finnish films also have their place in the comedy retrospective, including the first of three cult movies from the “Inspector Palmu” series.
Curator Jörg Schöning noted “our northern European neighbours are considered serious and rational. But they don’t disappear into a back room to laugh – instead they go to the cinema! I’m happy that the Lübeck festival, working with the authors of the Swedish Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, will be exploring this still little-known chapter of Scandinavian film history”.
The NFL has guest commitments from Norwegian actors, as well as film studies teachers from Lund, whose lectures will complement the screenings. Following its warm reception two years ago, the Retrospective will once again include a silent film gala in cooperation with the Musikhochschule Lübeck (Lübeck University of Music). This year, the university will be setting the Swedish film classic “Erotikon” (1920), directed by Mauritz Stiller, to music.

Festival manager Christian Modersbach introduced a new component of the Youth Film section, the international project “Young Nordic Film Makers”. The initiative provides an opportunity for a total of 16 participants between the ages of 16 and 20, from four countries, to work together developing and realizing short documentaries. In addition to Germany, the young guests will come to Lübeck from Denmark, Norway and Finland. The films that come out of the YNF project will be shown publicly at the 56th Nordic Film Days in Lübeck, followed by screenings in the partner countries. The international partners for this project are the Danish film school for young people “Station Next”, the Barne Film Festival and the Kristiansand Film Festival UNG (Norway), and the Oulu International Children’s and Youth Film Festival in Finland.

With “Young Nordic Film Makers”, the youth section also acquired a new sponsor, the Dräger Foundation in Lübeck, and in 2014 will also be supported financially by Schleswig Holstein student union of Kiel’s Christian Albrecht University. Modersbach thanked the new supporters, along with current donors, partners and prize sponsors, especially the main sponsors, the Radisson Blu Senator Hotel and the CineStar group, as well as NFL supporters the Possehl Foundation in Lübeck and the state government of Schleswig Holstein, which have financed the festival and offered staunch support for some time.
“The Nordic Film Days in Lübeck are not showing a trace of their 56 years. The festival is and will remain an attractive event for sponsors, supporters and the Hanseatic city of Lübeck, and we appreciate their support and partnership again this year. We who make the festival happen are very happy to know that, once again, we have strong and dependable partners at our side, whose help makes a new and exciting edition of the festival possible”, said Christian Modersbach.

Modersbach also announced that the financing for the 56th Nordic Film Days Lübeck is in place and, with the help once again of funds from the EU’s Creative Europe MEDIA programme and financial backing from the main sponsors and partners, the smooth operation of this year’s festival is assured. In addition to the programme of narrative films and other film series, the funding also provides for sidebar events, such as “total recall”, an evening competition of people re-telling the story of their favourite film.

The NFL festival is also looking forward to cooperating again this year with our primary media partners, broadcaster NDR – Norddeutscher Rundfunk and the Lübecker Nachrichten newspaper, with the active participation of both outlets contributing greatly to the festival’s success.

The full programme of the 56th Nordic Film Days Lübeck will be announced at a press conference on October 7, 2014. This year’s venues are once again the CineStar Filmpalast Stadthalle, the Kolosseum and the Kommunale Kino Lübeck.

Up-to-date information about the film festival can be found online at www.filmtage.luebeck.de and on our Facebook page facebook.com/NordicFilmDays. Applications for accreditation will be accepted throughout September 2014.

Press contact:

Silke Lehmann
Head of Press and Public Relations
Schildstr.12, 23539 Lübeck, Germany
Tel: + 49 / (0) 451 / 122-1454
Fax: + 49 / (0) 451 / 122-17 99