Lübeck, Oct. 21, 2014. The 18 films of the diverse main segment of the 56th Nordic Film Days Lübeck are shaped by stories of change and new beginnings. The films will compete for three different prizes, while 16 of the features will be in the running for the Baltic Film Prize, awarded each year to an “exceptional feature from the Nordic countries”. The festival’s main competition features eight German and two international premieres.
Young protagonists in films set in the 1960s make fresh starts in life, inspired by music or new subcultures. The first is “Beatles” by Norwegian director Peter Flinth, who will be in Lübeck to introduce his film, and then there’s the Danish “Itsi Bitsi”, with director Ole Christian Madsen and lead actor Joachim Fjelstrup also guests at the festival. Audiences can be turned on to the present by fast cars along with the young protagonists in “On the Edge”, to be introduced at the NFL by director Christian E. Christiansen. Another guest in Lübeck will be Ronnie Sandahl, with “Underdog”, in which unemployed young people are forced to try their luck in the country next door. In “Speed Walking” and “Boy Upside Down”, the loss of a parent or parents drives young men to re-evaluate the direction of their lives, as they find new friends and grow up along the way. The Finnish director of the latter film, Juha Lehtola, will be a guest at the NFL.
Lithuanian director Audrius Juzena will also be in Lübeck with “The Excursionist”. Based on a true story, it tells of 10-year-old Marija, who fled the threat of Stalin’s gulags in the 1950s, undertaking a journey of 6,000 kilometres from Russia to her Lithuanian home. Meanwhile, the protagonists of Ilmar Raag’s “I Won’t Come Back” are travelling in the other direction, to Kazakhstan. Raag won last year’s audience prize in Lübeck with “Kertu” and will be in town again this year with his new film. Like the Finns in “They Have Escaped”, these young people come from a care home and are searching for a place to call home.
But new beginnings are not only for the young. In the festival’s opening night film, “1001 Grams” by Norwegian filmmaker Bent Hamer, scientist Marie Ernst is moved to re-calibrate her life’s priorities. Distributor Pandora Film Verleih is releasing the film in Germany on December 18, 2014 and the director will be on hand in Lübeck for the German premiere. A teacher also finds a new path in “Paris of the North”, along with the people in “Life in a Fishbowl”, which will be introduced at the NFL by lead actor Thorsteinn Bachmann. The fast-paced soundtrack of “Paris of the North” was provided by Icelandic artist “Prins Polo”, who will play live on October 31 in treibsAND and who will also be at the film screening to answer questions.
Facing up to change is also the theme in “HelloHello” for Disa from the Swedish backwater, played by Maria Sid, who will also be a guest in Lübeck, and for Kesse, the traditional fisherman on the Jutland coast in “The Sunfish”. In “Letter to the King”, asylum-seekers in Oslo attempt to build a new life. The film’s director Hisham Zaman will be at the NFL to introduce his film. And the characters in Eskil Vogt’s “Blind” are also forced to re-orient themselves after losing their footing through separation or strokes of fate. In “Force Majeure” it’s nature that delivers the impetus when an avalanche in the French Alps disrupts the inner balance of a Swedish family. Director Ruben Östlund will present the film in Lübeck. And finally, the Nordic Film Days is pleased to host the German premiere of this year’s winner of the Golden Lion in Venice, “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” (German distributor Neue Visionen, opening January 1, 2015). This year’s NFL Retrospective is also presenting an homage to the film’s director Roy Andersson.
A total of eight prizes will be awarded on November 1 at the Film Prize Gala in Theater Lübeck. Advance ticket sales begin on October 25 at 3:00 pm online and at the CineStar Filmpalast Stadthalle in the Mühlenstrasse. The full programme of 172 films of the 56th Nordic Film Days Lübeck, along with press materials for download, is available on our website www.filmtage.luebeck.de.
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