58th Nordic Film Days Lübeck - News, first look programme highlights, and events

Lübeck, Aug. 31, 2016. For the first time this year, the Nordic Film Days Lübeck will present TV series from the Nordic-Baltic countries in a separate section, festival directors Linde Fröhlich (artistic director) and Christian Modersbach (managing director) announced today in the first press conference for the upcoming 58th NFL.  They were joined on the panel by Lübeck’s culture senator Kathrin Weiher and the curator and director of the Retrospective, Jörg Schöning.  The Series section will show small-screen gems on the big screen, including the Danish episodic dramedy “Splitting Up Together" (Bedre skilt end aldrig), as well as “Nobel” from Norway, about a special forces soldier, with Nordic stars Aksel Hennie and Danica Curcic.

“Especially in the last few years, we see high-end TV productions coming from the Nordic/Baltic countries, with well-known actors, setting international standards. We’re pleased to now have series in the festival that reflect that and will provide our audiences with an even better programme”, says Christian Modersbach, managing director of the Nordic Film Days Lübeck.  

The Nordic Film Days are presented by the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. This year’s festival will run from November 2 – 6, 2016. The NFL is the largest platform of its kind outside Scandinavia, showcasing the newest cinematic trends and highlights from the Nordic and Baltic countries, in addition to films from northern Germany. For the first time this year, the festival will feature a fulldome cinema, set up with the financial support of the Lübeck public utilities. It’ll be showing a selection of 360° films, curated by Ralph Heinsohn. “The Lübeck public utilities authority is pleased to be presenting this special experience of 360° cinema as part of the Nordic Film Days Lübeck. Thematically, it's a wonderful fit with our role as the major energy provider in the Lübeck economic area, because our key attitude toward customer needs and future challenges is that we need, literally, a 360 degree view of things”, enthused Jürgen Schäffner (managing director of the Lübeck public utilities authority).

This is the second Nordic Film Days for Kathrin Weiher, Lübeck’s senator for culture and education, since she took up her post last year. “I consider the Nordic Film Days a cultural asset that stands for a sense of community and a piece of the joint identity of the Nordic countries. I experience a kind of positive melancholy, a very special humour and, with that, films that counter the superficiality of our times”, she says.

The theme of this year’s Retrospective is “In fremden Welten – In Different Worlds” focuses on the paths of Scandinavian travellers in faraway lands. The programme will include an event screening of the silent documentary “Mit Sven Hedin durch Asiens Wüsten” (With Sven Hedin Across Asia’s Deserts, Germany/Sweden, 1929). Also on offer will be “Windjammer” about a transatlantic voyage on the training ship Christian Radich (dir: Louis de Rochemont, 1957/58), or two documentaries by the Finnish director Jouko Aaltonen – “Lähettiläät“ (Ambassadors, 2003) and “Kongon Akseli” (A Man from the Congo River, 2009). Linde Fröhlich announced that Aaltonen will also be represented in the festival’s documentary section with his latest film, “Tunteiden temppelit” (Temples of Dreams). For the third time this year, the Retrospective will be complemented by the “Lübeck Film Studies Colloquium”, directed at (film) studies experts and students.

This year’s Master Class for documentarians from Scandinavia, the Baltic states and northern Germany will revolve around the documentary “Les Sauteurs” (Those Who Jump). The three directors, Moritz Siebert, Estephan Wagner and Abou Bakar Sidibé, will travel to Lübeck for the event. In addition, this year the NFL is celebrating 10 years of audible films, working with the non-profit Andersicht and broadcaster NDR, two films will be shown with audio descriptions for blind and visual impaired audiences. The anniversary will be accompanied by a panel discussion.

In terms of financing, Christian Modersbach announced that the upcoming NFL has funding from the EU Creative Europe MEDIA programme, and financial support from the main sponsors and partners.  He made a point of thanking the festival’s main sponsors – STAWAG, partner of the Lübeck public utilities authority, the Radisson Blu Senator Hotel Lübeck, the CineStar Group, the state of Schleswig-Holstein as supporters of the Lübeck Possehl foundation, and the Nordic Film Days Lübeck Friends Association, as well as all the other sponsors, partners and those who endow the prizes, for their commitment to the NFL. For the upcoming festival, we are pleased to have Tallink Silja as a new sponsor. The shipping line runs 11 cruises between Scandinavia and the Baltic states. The new sponsorship should be of particular interest to festival audiences: Those who participate in voting for the audience prize offered by the Lübecker Nachrichten newspaper will be eligible to win an exclusive trip to the Tallinn Music Week with Tallink Silja.

At the press conference, culture senator Ms Weiher also made it clear “that the Nordic Film Days are also of great economic significance for Lübeck, of course, since a lot of festival visitors eat, drink and shop here. Also almost 4,000 hotel accomodations in the city are generated.”

This year, the Nordic Film Days will also be continuing their long-standing media partnerships with broadcaster NDR – Norddeutsche Rundfunk and the Lübecker Nachrichten newspaper.  In addition to its news coverage of the festival, NDR will once again be broadcasting its beloved "Scandinavian film series" on TV, and the Lübecker Nachrichten publishes special pages in support of the NFL as well as the “young festival bloggers” youth project.

One special festival guest expected this year is American opera singer and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who will be on hand to help director Ralf Pleger introduce “The Florence Foster Jenkins Story” (in the Film Forum section). Above and beyond the cinemas, a wide range of events are planned to involve visitors in the festival scene. Once again this year, we'll be setting the table at “Crisis Cuisine”, an initiative for the support and integration of refugees. Launched in 2015 with financial support from the people of Lübeck, the successful project gives festival visitors the opportunity to meet people from crisis regions and sample the food of their homelands.

In addition to the main festival cinemas, the CineStar Filmpalast Stadthalle, Kolosseum and Kommunales Kino Lübeck, this year's venues include the CineStar FilmHaus, St. Katharine Church, the European Hansemuseum, and the fulldome cinema.

You can find up-to-date information on the Film Days at www.filmtage.luebeck.de, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.com/nordicfilmdays Accreditation begins in September 2016.The press conference to announce the full NFL programme will be on October 12, 2016.

Press contact
Silke Lehmann
Nordic Film Days Lübeck
Director of press and publicity
Schildstr.12, 23539 Lübeck
Tel: +49 451-122-1454