The Children and Youth film programme – Bold, clever and imaginative

Lübeck, Oct. 18, 2017. The selection of films for young visitors to the 59th Nordic Film Days Lübeck (Nov. 1 – 5, 2017) comprises 18 selected features, and short films grouped into three programmes for different age groups, making it more comprehensive than ever before.  We present stories of families learning how to deal with challenges, and of strong young heroes, but especially heroines, who take the big screen by storm this year.

The films for young adults are about young women liberating themselves ("Team Hurricane", "Dreams by the Sea", "The Swan"), young men hoping to prove themselves ("Teenage Love Bomb”, “Screwed”) and love stories that overcome a wide diversity of obstacles ("My Future Love", "Strawberry Days"). The short films are divided into three series for differing age groups and are as diverse as the features. “Shorts for Shorties” is for children age six and over, “Growing Up” for ages 12 and up, and the films in the “Dreams and Trauma” are approved for young adults over 16.

Franziska Kremser-Klinkertz, Curator of the Children and Youth section, says “More and more often, the films are set in the far-flung regions of the north –  from the seclusion of northern Sweden, to the Faroe Islands, or the Icelandic fjords, spectacular natural vistas play an important role and give the films a special appeal”.

This year’s competition for the children’s jury prize includes 10 films, which will present a particular challenge for the young jury. This is the first time that the four young film critics, between the ages of 11 and 13, will be tasked with reviewing this large a volume of films. The children’s jury prize is endowed with € 5,000, donated by the Radisson Blu Senator Hotel Lübeck.

The littlest festival goers can enjoy the colourful Finnish adventure film “Jill & Joy and the Mysterious Stranger” (Onneli, Anneli ja Salaperäinen muukalainen, 5+ years); in “Casper and Emma go Hiking” (Karsten og Petra – Ut på tur, 6+ years), the two title characters hope to get their parents paired off; suspenseful and humorous scenes keep viewers guessing along in “Next Door Spy” (Nabospionen, 7+ years); and “Santa Swap – Merry Christmas Mr. Anderson” (Snekker Andersen og Julenissen, 5+ years), a heart-warming Christmas film from Norway, rounds out the children’s programme in style. For moviegoers over the age of eight, there’s “Anchors Up – Boats to the Rescue” (Elias og Storegaps hemmelighet, 8+ years), an animated film that can hold its own with productions from Pixar & co. Young viewers will see some action in “Kidbusters” (Kidnapping), which makes the point that riches are not the same as money, and meet another bold female hero in  “Up in the Sky” (Upp i det blå, 8+ years) from Sweden, when the parents of 8-year-old Pottan, who is supposed to be going to a riding camp, mistakenly drop her off at a recycling centre. The lovingly designed film by Petter Lennstrand is studded with absurd moments; puppets and human actors interact seamlessly in a story that illustrates how friendship can rouse us to unexpected feats. On a slightly more serious and emotional note, in Bragi Thór Hinriksson’s family drama “Promises” (Loford, 9+ years), we experience divorce from the point of view of the children. For children ten and older, the Film Days recommend "Cloudboy" by Meikeminne Clinckspoor, the story of a patchwork family, "Trio - The Hunt for the Holy Shrine” (TRIO - Jakten på Olavsskrinet, 10+ years), and the horror film “Room 213” (Rum 213, 12+ years).

Teenagers 14+ will enjoy “My Future Love” (Flykten till framtiden, dir: Ulf Malmros and Jaana Fomin). In the film, a deathly ill young man outwits his destiny by time travelling from the 1970s to 2016.  In the sensitive coming of age drama “Dreams by the Sea” (Dreymar vid havid), two characters come together despite their differences, and dream of a future together, while Wiktor Ericsson's “Strawberry Days” (Jordgubbslandet) portrays tender love under difficult circumstances. And “Teenage Love Bomb” (Vindmøllernes sus) by director Mads Erichsen (DK) is about young people searching for recognition and love – and the problems they face while doing it. Annika Berg’s terrific film “Team Hurricane”, a teenage drama about eight maladjusted girls, is stunning in its realness and innovative narrative form, bringing the world of the YouTube generation to the big screen. Its remarkable authenticity is largely due to the non-professional actors, who were cast via social networks, and who Berg encouraged to bring their own emotions to the parts. In “The Swan” (Svanurinn, 16+ years) from Iceland, director Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir tells the story of a taciturn young girl who is forced to spend the summer holidays with relatives in the country, and Finland’s “Screwed” (Pihalla, 16+ years) by director Nils-Erik Ekblom, is an intelligent and tender coming of age drama, with the main character, Miku, slowly coming to grips with his repressed homosexuality.

Many of the screenings will be followed by discussions with guests of the festival, who will be available for Q&A with audiences. Among those coming to Lübeck to get to know their audiences will be Frederik Meldal Nørgard (dir. “Kidbusters”), Emelie Lindblom (“Room 213”), Mads Erichsen (“Teenage Love Bomb”), and Bragi Thór Hinriksson (dir. “Promises”), who is already a well-known face at the festival. To whet your appetite, the Nordic Film Days Lübeck will release video messages made by festival guests, called "Director's Voices", at regular intervals on our social media channels. These will include guests from the Children’s and Youth section.

We will be hosting guests not only in connection with festival films, but also as part of the project "Young Nordic Filmmakers", launched three years ago. The programme involves four young people from Germany, and an additional 12 from Denmark, Finland, and Norway. The participants range in age from 16 to 21.  This year, as in past years, they will spend seven days developing their own scripts, and shooting short documentaries together. 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 5th at 12:00 p.m. at the CineStar 1. Admittance is free.

“Young Nordic Filmmakers” is a co-operation between the Danish film school for young people “Station Next”, the Youth Culture Centre TVIBIT in Tromsø (Norway) and the Oulu International Children’s and Youth Film Festival (Finland).
The project receives financial support from the Nordic Culture Fund, the German Federation of Film Clubs for Children and Young People (BJF)  - with funding from the German Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth (BMFSFJ), the Schleswig-Holstein association of film and youth (LJF), and the Schleswig-Holstein student 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 web pages of our media partner, the Lübecker Nachrichten newspaper, and of the Centre for Children’s and Youth Films (KJF), as well as on the festival homepage. Young festival bloggers is a cooperative venture with the Lübecker Nachrichten, and broadcaster NDR, and receives financial support from the KJF.

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, 2017. Advance ticket sales begin on October 28, 2015 at 3:00 pm in the CineStar Filmpalast Stadthalle and online. Highlights, news, and videos by NFL guests  can be found at Facebook / Twitter / Press photos for festival films will be available online at:



Press contact:

Silke Lehmann, Luisa Wellhausen, Svenja Knoke, Melissa Harms
Nordic Film Days Lübeck
Press and publicity department
Schildstr. 12, 23539 Lübeck
Tel: + 49 / (0) 451 / 122 1454