Childhood dreams and youthful transgressions – the Children and Youth programme for the 58th Nordic Film Days Lübeck

Lübeck, Oct. 13, 2016.- The films for young people at the 58th Nordic Film Days Lübeck are set in scenes like the graffiti milieu in a Danish suburb in the early 90s, the dreary Latvian provinces, the vast expanses of the southern tundra, and the seeming endlessness of a Swedish summer. The counterpart is a film programme for children that’s broader and stronger than it has been in a long time, with a total of eight films for children under 12.

During the Nordic Film Days from November 2 to 6, 2016, the films in the Children and Youth section will give audiences stories of big dreams, but also of marginalisation, shame, rage and loneliness. One focus of this year's selections is charged topics such as bullying. With "Face to Face”, Icelandic director Bragi Thor Hinriksson, who - like many directors - will be a guest at the festival - has succeeded in making a sensitive film about bullying, which addresses the subject in a way suitable for children. The screening at the Nordic Film Days Lübeck will be the German premiere of the film.

Bullying is also the subject of the Swedish TV series for young people “#Hashtag” by Anders Hazelius, the first time a TV series has ever been shown in the Children and Youth section.  “Take a selfie, post it, share it, like it!” is the favourite occupation of girls at Maryam’s school. She’d like to be a part of it, but she’s got no chance with the cool girls. The film is loosely based on the “Instagram riots” in Gothenburg in 2012. In dramatic scenes, the Swedish teenage thriller “Alena” tackles a modern form of cyber bullying. That film (dir: Daniel di Grado) is also being shown for the first time in Germany.

On November 2, Swedish director Suzanne Osten will be in Lübeck to personally present her film “The Girl, The Mother and the Demons”, which deals with the issue of mental illness in the parent of an eight-year-old.  The Danish film “Anti”, another German premiere, is a story of difficult relationships with parents and a crisis in two boys’ friendship. It’s set in 1991, with Simon joining the graffiti scene in Copenhagen, which has become aware of his artistic talent, but also puts his back up against the wall. There’s been great demand from schools for the insightful and powerfully-acted drama “One-Two-Three GO!” by Barbara Topsøe-Rothenborg about impossible true love between young athlete Jeppe and Cecilie, who has been diagnosed with cancer.  Despite the heavy subject matter, the director has managed to make a life-affirming, bright film.

The search for identity is the subject of the documentary “The Whisperers”, the first time a documentary has been shown in the Children and Youth section of the Nordic Film Days. The film, about young Sami girl Ellen-Sara from Norway, reveals her as an observer between two worlds and cultures, with all their communalities and contrasts, and follows her all the way to the USA in this multi-faceted coming of age film. The film is a successful hybrid of mobile phone images, animated scenes and fantastic shots of nature, recommended for young and adult audiences.

Younger children will enjoy the whirlwind utterly lovable characters who whirl across the screen in Rasmus A. Sivertsen’s action-packed stop-motion animation film "Louis & Luca – The Big Cheese Race”. An equally lovable character is the zany, colourful troll in “Rolli and the Secret of All Time” by Taavi Vartia, familiar to every child (and adult) in Finland from children’s TV or radio. An international premiere in this year's programme is “Gilbert's Grim Revenge”. In this wonderfully politically incorrect comedy by Norwegian director Hanne Larsen, young Gilbert, allergic to eggs, battles his nasty Aunt Doris. Besides impertinent, simpatico young boys like Gilbert, 6-year old Villads in "Going to School” or charming class clown Iqbal in “Iqbal Farooq and the Secret Recipe”, audacious young girls also feature prominently in this year's films.

Strong young women also play a role in the three short film programmes, particularly the one for young people titled “Love and Battle”. Twenty-year old director Tone Ottilie from Denmark has succeeded in producing a haunting short film with “Lulu IRL”. The young director was active at the 2015 NFL as part of the youth project “Young Nordic Filmmakers” and her movie is nominated for the Danish film prize. She is a good example of the value of fostering young filmmakers.

This year too, for the 7-day “Young Nordic Filmmakers” project, 16 young people between the ages of 16 and 21 from Germany, Denmark, Finland and Norway will develop and shoot short documentary films together from their own scripts. In workshops, they will learn the necessary fundamentals and get their first intercultural experiences in the film industry. Professional filmmakers who are showing their work at the festival will be available for mentoring. The finished films will be screened on Sunday, November 6th at 11:30 at CineStar 1. Admittance is free. The project has been expanded this year with the participation of the young people at the film festival in Tromsø in January 2017, where they will make short narrative films. The project will be realised with the friendly support of Erasmus+ in cooperation with the Norwegian agency Aktiv Ungdom, The Nordic Council Culture Fund and NORDBUKk – Nordic Committee for Children and Young People, the Schleswig-Holstein student union from Kiel’s Christian Albrecht University, and the German Federation of Film Clubs for Children and Young People (BJF) - subsidised with funds from the European Union.

In keeping with tradition, a group of young people will be out and about at the festival as “young festival bloggers”, gaining journalistic experience, interviewing guests and writing film reviews, which will be posted on the festival homepage as well as the online edition of our media partner, the Lübecker Nachrichten newspaper.

The children's jury, composed of four children between the ages of 10 and 12, will screen all the festival’s children's films and choose their favourite. The children’s jury prize is endowed with € 5,000, donated by the Radisson Blu Senator Hotel.

The full programme of the Children and Youth section, as well as the rest of the NFL programme, will be available online beginning October 21, 2016. Advance ticket sales begin at 3 pm on October 29th. Additional information is available at, and on Facebook / twitter /

Press contact:

Silke Lehmann
Wiebke Reichenbach
Zara Zerbe
Press and publicity department
Nordic Film Days Lübeck
Schildstr. 12
23539 Lübeck, Germany
Tel: +49 451 122 1455