Lübeck, Oct. 27, 2017. There are 18 films in the 2017 Competition section of the 59th Nordic Film Days Lübeck (Nov. 1 – 5, 2017), vying for the NDR Film Prize, endowed with 12,500 euros. Lübeck can look forward to a host of interesting guests, as many of the films will be personally presented by their directors or producers. The festival will open on November 1, 2017, with the German premiere of the Swedish film “Beyond Dreams” (Dröm vidare/Träum’ weiter), young director Rojda Sekersöz’ feature debut. The director and her lead actor Evin Ahmad will be in Lübeck to introduce the film, accompanied by producer Annika Hellström, as well as Monika Kijas from the German distributor eksystent, which plans to release the film in the spring of 2018.
As in “Beyond Dreams”, young women also play the leads in “Miami” by Finland’s Zaida Bergroth – in the latter case they play two sisters. The director and both actors, Krista Kosonen and Sonja Kuittinen, will be on hand to meet Lübeck audiences and engage in stimulating discussions.“Miami” focuses on the dynamic between the two contrasting sisters, and depicts their porous dream world in garish colours - this intense films turns from a road movie into a melancholy thriller. Iram Haq from Norway, who shared the 2013 NDR Film Prize in Lübeck, will be back in the city this year with “What Will People Say” (Hva vil folk si / Was werden die Leute sagen). The film is about a generational conflict in values between the 16-year-old daughter of Pakistani immigrants in Norway, and her traditional parents. A father-son conflict is the background for “A Moment in The Reeds” (Ein Augenblick im Schilf), which will be presented in at the NFL by director Mikko Mäkelä, and actors Janne Puustinen and Boodi Kabbani. His father’s strictness has driven young Leevi to go abroad, but he returns for a summer and falls in love with a young Syrian immigrant.Swedish actor Ardalan Esmaili plays an immigrant from Iran in the Danish film “The Charmer” (Charmøren / Der Charmeur) by Milad Alami, an intense psychological drama that renders the unhappy hero’s purely instrumental attempts at seduction in luminous, cool images. Ardalan Esmaili will be in Lübeck alongside the film’s screenwriter Ingeborg Topsøe.
Meanwhile, hoodlum Metin faces a completely different set of problems in a Swedish suburb when his “A Hustler’s Diary” (Måste gitt / Tagebuch eines Gangsters) falls into the hands of a publisher, who smells a literary sensation. Both the director Ivica Zubak and the lead actor Can Demirtas will be in Lübeck to present the film. Director Jens Dahl will introduce his film “3 Things” (3 ting / 3 Dinge), with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (“Borgen”), a high-tension, intimate thriller about a bank robber, who tells the police that there are conditions before he will testify. Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken, winner of the 2015 NDR Film Prize, will be coming to Lübeck with his most recent film “Going West” (Rett vest), for which he functioned as director, producer, and screenwriter; alongside him will be lead actor Benjamin Helstad. It’s a road movie along Norway’s west coast, with the protagonists drawing strength from every odd encounter along the way after suffering great misfortune. Things get a little bizarre “Under the Tree” (Undir trénu / Unter dem Baum), when a neighbourhood dispute gets out of hand.Icelandic director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson will personally introduce the film alongside producer Grímar Jónsson. We go back to the 1970s and the days of the sexual revolution in the Finnish film “Star Boys” (Kaiken se kestää / Sternsinger) by director Visa Koiso-Kanttila, who will also be a guest in Lübeck.
Writer Mads Tafdrup will be showing his relationship drama “A Horrible Woman” (En frygtelig kvinde / Eine fürchterliche Frau, dir: Christian Tafdrup) at the Film Days, a precise, brilliantly acted portrait of a destructive relationship. Director Katja Wik and actor Nina Zanjani will introduce “The Ex-wife” (Ex-frun / Die Ex-Frau), the story of three women at differing points in their respective relationships. Young actress Eili Harboe is coming to Lübeck to present Joachim Trier’s “Thelma”, a masterly psychological thriller that puts together a mosaic piece by piece in elegant yet extremely intense images. Director Birgitte Stærmose from Denmark will accompany her film “Darling” to the NFL.It’s the saga of a ballet dancer whose career ends after an injury, and who must accept her young replacement.Estonian director Priit Pääsuke, alongside his producer Marianne Ostrat, will also be guests of the Nordic Film Days, showing “The End of the Chain” (Keti lopp / Das Ende der Kette), about a young woman's last day of work in a fast food restaurant.
In “Ravens” (Korparna / Die Raben), Jens Assur’s film based on the eponymous novel by Tomas Bannerhed, the 15-year-old son of a hardworking farm family dreams of taking his beloved birds and escaping the demands of his increasing irrational father. In “Disappearance” (Verdwijnen / Das Entschwinden, dir: Boudewijn Koole), the goal of photo-journalist Roos is to reconcile with her mother, but past suffering and constant reproaches initially prevent them from talking. The emotional impact of the Dutch-Norwegian film unfolds less in words than in the magnificent images and sounds.
The Danish film “Man Divided” (QEDA / QEDA – Der geteilte Mensch) develops its science-fiction vision as a mythology of time travel, and keeps us riveted with its complex, captivating plot and aesthetically impressive worlds – present and past. “Lübeck Enjoy!” says director Max Kestner in the “Director’s Voice” video he sent to Lübeck audiences, as he unfortunately cannot attend this year's NFL. 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 the social media channels.
The 18 films in the Competition programme are in the running for a total of four awards - the NDR Film Prize, endowed with 12,500 euros; the Lübecker Nachrichten audience prize, worth 5,000 euros; and the INTERFILM Church Prize, which beginning this year, is also endowed with 5,000 euros. Seventeen of the films are also eligible for the Baltic Film Prize, which has carried an endowment of 2,500 euros since 2017.
The complete programme of Competition films, and the rest of the festival, has been online since October 21. Advance ticket sales begin at 3 pm on October 28th, both at the festival homepage and at www.cinestar.de.
Highlights, news, and videos by NFL guests can be found on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.com/nordicfilmdays. Press photos for festival films are available online at: www.luebeck.de/filmtage/de/presse/pressefotos/.
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 1455