Lübeck, Oct. 11, 2017. At today’s press conference for the 59th Nordic Film Days Lübeck (Nov. 1 – 5, 2017), the two festival directors, Linde Fröhlich (artistic director) and Florian Vollmers (managing director), joined by other section curators, announced the programme for this year's festival. 195 films, including 18 in competition for the NDR Film Prize, endowed with 12,500 euros, will be shown over five days in the four festival cinemas as well as a variety of special venues. More than half of the Competition films are directing debuts. Denmark has five films in competition, Sweden has four, and Norway and Finland are represented with three films each. The Nordic Film Days Lübeck is the only festival in Germany or Europe that focuses on films from the northern countries and the Baltic states.The film festival is presented by the city of Lübeck.
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 film is representative of the many productions in competition that put young protagonists at the centre of the action, and portray their environments across a broad range of subject matter. In many of the films, we see young women in a diverse range of lead roles.One example is “Miami” by Finland’s Zaida Bergroth, about two very different sisters travelling around the country.The director and her two lead actresses will be in Lübeck to present the film.And in Joachim Trier’s “Thelma”, the title character is a young woman who has just started university when love unleashes her supernatural powers.“Darling” from Denmark is the story of a young ballet dancer who has to end her career due to illness (dir: Birgitte Stærmose, with Danica Curcic, Gustaf Skarsgård, Ulrich Thomsen and others), while in Estonia’s “The End of the Chain” (Keti lopp / Das Ende der Kette), directed by Priit Pääsuke, the protagonist hopes for a new beginning.Numerous features deal with relationships in complex ways, such as “The Ex-Wife” (Ex-frun) by Swedish director Katja Wik, which portrays three women at various, very different points in their relationships. Meanwhile “A Horrible Woman” (En frygtelig kvinde/Eine fürchterliche Frau) is busy exerting her destructive strength in a relationship. The film was directed by Dane Christian Tafdrup.
"The Charmer" (Charmøren) by Danish director Milad Alami shows Esmail, a young Iranian man, who is also moving between cultures, as he seeks a Danish wife so he can stay in the country.
Other films deal with inter-generational conflicts. In “What Will People Say” (Hva vil folk si/Was werden die Leute sagen) by Iram Haq from Norway, which won the 2013 NDR Film Prize in Lübeck, the young female character has to deal with her parents, who send her against her will to live with relatives in Pakistan. The film was co-produced by Germany's Rohfilm Factory; Pandora Film is the German distributor. On the other hand, “Disappearance”, a Dutch-Norwegian co-production, directed by Boudewijn Koole, is about a young woman’s attempts to reconcile with both her mother and her fate. By contrast, 15-year-old Klas in “Ravens” (dir: Jens Assur, Sweden, based on the eponymous novel by Tomas Bannerhed) is in conflict with his father, who is determined that the young man take over the family farm, while he would prefer to move on, the sooner the better. A strict father also motivated young Leevi to go abroad in “A Moment in the Reeds”, directed by Mikko Makela (Finland), and when he returns, he falls in love with a young immigrant. "Star Boys” (Kaiken se kestää/Sternsinger) by director Visa Koliso-Kanttila, takes us back to the 1970s, where two young men are confronted by their parents’ attempts to enjoy the sexual revolution.
"The Charmer" (Charmøren) by Danish director Milad Alami shows Esmail, a young Iranian man, who is also moving between cultures, as he seeks a Danish wife so he can stay in the country. Meanwhile, hoodlum Metin faces a completely different set of problems in a Swedish suburb when his “A Hustler’s Diary” (Måste gitt / Tagebuch eines Gangesters, dir: Ivica Zubak) falls into the hands of a publisher. Both the director and the lead actor will be in Lübeck to introduce the film. Bank robber Mikael is also accused of criminal activities, meaning he will be working for the police from now on, as long as they provide the "3 Things" he asks for in the film of the same name. Jens Dahl from Denmark wrote the script and directed, while the celebrity cast includes leads Nikolaj Coster Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) and Birgitte Hjort Sørensen (“Borgen”). A rather bizarre dispute among neighbours could have fatal consequences, as the black comedy "Under the Tree" (Undir trénu / Unter dem Baum) by Iceland's Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson points out. The film was co-produced by Germany’s One-Two-Films. We get a vision of the future in “QEDA – Man Divided”, which depicts the year 2095, when the Earth’s ecosystem has been totally destroyed. The film’s Danish director, Max Kestner, is also represented in the Documentary section this year, with "Amateurs in Space".
Launched last year, the Fulldome cinema will be set up at a new location on Lübeck’s Klingenberg square, showing a series of impressive 360° films. This year, the Nordic Film Days will be presenting a world-wide innovation with interactive real-time VR experiences, which will be reflected on the domed screen of the Fulldome space. With this format, the festival is blazing a brand new path; INTERACTIVE DOME VR involves new technology, developed specifically for the NFL by the 360° programme curator Ralph Heinsohn, along with the Film Days‘ partners, VR Nerds GmbH in Hamburg, and media artists Michelle and Uri Kranot. Unlike in linear film narratives, the immersive storylines do not follow a fixed timeline. The pieces “Nothing Happens” (prod: Dansk Tegnefilm, DK / Miyu Productions, F) and "Lucid Trips” (VR Nerds) are better regarded as performative, installation works, in which the audience becomes a part of the presentation. With this format, the viewer can literally move through new worlds. With the VR headset, an individual viewer can move all the way around an object seen in the film, look behind walls, and decide when and how quickly he or she wants to proceed – in contrast to a “classic” film, where the narrative determines the pace. For the first time, it will now be possible for the audience to follow along with the perspective of a VR player in full surround, becoming part of the player’s actions and experiences. It’s a completely new approach created specifically for this year’s Film Days
In addition to the four festival cinemas CineStar Filmpalast Stadt, Kolosseum, Koki, and the Filmhaus, other unusual venues will include St Catherine's museum church, and St Petri church.
Press photos from the films showing at the Nordic Film Days Lübeck are available now as downloads in the press section at www.filmtage.luebeck.de. The screening schedule and additional details on the films, special events, and the side-bar programme will be posted on the festival homepage on October 21, 2017. Advance ticket sales begin on October 28 at 3:00 p.m. at the CineStar Filmpalast Stadthalle cinema, online at the festival website and at www.cinestar.de.
A total of eight festival prizes will be awarded on November 4, 2017 at Theater Lübeck. The Nordic Film Days media partners are the Lübecker Nachrichten newspaper, and broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk, which has 10 of its own productions screening at the festival this year.
In addition to the complete screening schedule, special events, the newest highlights, and news, as well as clips of festival guests are regularly posted at www.filmtage.luebeck.de and can be found on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram.com / nordicfilmdays.
Silke Lehmann, Luisa Wellhausen, Svenja Knoke, Melissa Harms
Press and publicity department
Nordic Film Days Lübeck Schildstr. 12, 23539 Lübeck
Tel: +49 451 122 1455