60. Nordic Film Days Lübeck - This year’s anniversary festival celebrates an extra day of film fun with the "Baltic Transfer" Retrospective, a focus on 100 years of the Baltic States, Iceland, and Ingmar Bergman, as well as presenting a long-lost Lübeck star projector.

Lübeck, Aug. 29, 2018. The Nordic Film Days Lübeck 2018 gave its first press conference today at the Hotel Park Inn by Radisson in Lübeck. At the podium were the two festival directors Linde Fröhlich (artistic director) and Florian Vollmers (managing director), alongside Lübeck’s culture senator Kathrin Weiher, Lübeck, and curators Jörg Schöning (Retrospective) and Ralph Heinsohn (360° Films/Immersive Media), to provide a first look at the anniversary programme and introduce the festival’s new elements. In 2018, the NFL are celebrating their 60th year. In honour of the anniversary, the festival is starting a day early, on Tuesday, October 30. From then until November 4, 2018, visitors can enjoy six days of the newest highlights and innovative cinema from the Scandinavian and Baltic countries as well as northern Germany, with a focus on Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg.

In this anniversary year, the Nordic Film Days Lübeck is looking to young filmmakers. For the first time, the NFL will award a prize for Best Feature Debut. The award is endowed with 7,500 euros sponsored by the Friends of the Nordic Film Days Lübeck. The prize is aimed at supporting young filmmakers, encouraging them to bring interesting stories to the big screen as feature-length films. The CineStar Group also had a piece of good news to announce. It is raising the endowment of the CineStar Prize, awarded since 2013 as part of the Film Forum section for the best short film made in northern Germany from 3,000 to 5,000 euros. That means nine awards with a total endowment of 47,500 euros will be awarded in Lübeck in 2018.

After greeting the assembled guests, including NFL sponsors, partners, and the media, culture senator Kathrin Weiher stressed the cultural and financial importance of the film festival to the city of Lübeck. As the organizer of the NFL, Lübeck provides the main portion of the funding for the festival – a powerful regional and international draw – with the help of partners and sponsors. Lübeck is celebrating its own 875th anniversary in 2018 with numerous special events. As part of those celebrations, the Nordic Film Days have been presenting a series of screenings “Lübeck on Film" since January, showing classics that were either shot in and around the city, or reference it in some way. The film series will continue until December.

The curator of the section “360° /Immersive Cinema“ Ralph Heinsohn gave a first look at the programme and presented highlights of the 360° films that will once again be shown (with the support of the Lübeck public utilities company) in the Fulldome at Klingenberg square. One true discovery, a kind of “astro special” is a little-known planetarium projector manufactured in Lübeck. The original machine, "made in Lübeck” in 1937, was commissioned by a Copenhagen planetarium, where it was re-discovered and will now be re-visiting its home town for six days after more than 80 years. Planetarium projectors represent the origins of 360° cinema – and this model was made to compete with Zeiss, at the time the world’s only manufacturer. A projector produced that early, and in Lübeck was virtually unknown in the planetarium world until now. Two live shows will be presented with it each day. The first is a format for children (6+ years), and an evening programme for adults. The fulldome film ”The Baltic Sea” by Finland’s Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen represents another world premiere in the NFL programme. It’s a poetic, panoramic film about the Baltic as a habitat, which however also tackles the problems of plastic waste, harmful microorganisms, etc. in the sea. The two directors previously presented “The Secret World of Moths” at the 2016 Film Days.

In honour of what would have been his 100th birthday, Swedish uber-director Ingmar Bergman is the focus of a small homage this year as part of the “Specials” section. In addition to well-known films such as “Beröringen/The Touch”, Bergman’s first international co-production (Sweden/USA, 1971), the NFL will show lesser-known works such as “Hamnstad/Port of Call” (SWE 1948) and the German-Austrian TV film “Aus dem Leben der Marionetten/From the Life of the Marionettes" (1980), in a programme rounded out with documentaries and short films. Linde Fröhlich, artistic director of the Nordic Film Days Lübeck, stressed the historical importance of the year 1918, when numerous European countries declared their independence as World War I came to an end. Last year, the festival celebrated “100 years of Finland”; this year it focuses on the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Baltic states Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as Iceland’s independence. Each section of the NFL will highlight screenings of films from those countries. In addition, Ingmar Bergman’s milieu film “Port of Call” will open this year’s Retrospective; it's a film in which the director depicts, with surprising realism, the world of the marginalised in post-war Göteborg.

With “BALTIC TRANSFER – the Baltic and northern harbours on film", this year’s Retrospective, dedicated to “overseas relationships”, was introduced by long-term curator Jörg Schöning. It is an invitation to discover cinematic stories of ship's passages and ferry connections, and seafaring trade and tourism, but also inevitably of war and migration in the 20th century. Most of the films were made before the turn of the millennium. In addition to maritime subjects, the Retrospective films also tell stories of life on land – from loading and unloading, love and work at the harbour, to port romances and realities. At the centre of the section is “harbour cinema”. For four evenings in the "Schuppen 6" venue on Lübeck's Untertrave quayside, we will show silent films (mostly) with live music. They are stories of the old seamen’s employment office in Lübeck (Baldevin’s Wedding, NOR, 1926), the fight against a smuggling ring in Gdynia (The Call of the Sea, POL, 1927), evil machinations in Oslo’s port neighbourhood (Cafe X, NOR, 1928), and the illegal liquor trade in Tallinn’s dive bars (Waves of Passion, EST, 1930).

Managing director of the Nordic Film Days Lübeck, Florian Vollmers, announced that this year’s anniversary NFL was fully funded, thanks to financial support from the main sponsors and partners, as well as funds from the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme of the European Union. He expressed his gratitude to the partners and sponsors at the conference, and included in his thanks all the Nordic Film Days funding entities and prize sponsors. The festivals main sponsors include the CineStar Group, the Radisson Blu Senator Hotel Lübeck, the Lübeck Possehl foundation as key supporters, and the Schleswig-Holstein ministry of science, culture, education. Other financial supporters and sponsors of the 60th Nordic Film Days include STAWAG (Lübeck public utilities partner), the regional savings bank foundation Gemeinnützige Sparkassen-Stiftung, LYNET Kommunikation AG, Tallink Silja, AVIS car rental Lübeck, the CITTI Group, the Friends of the Nordic Film Days Lübeck and the Wessel foundations. Additional awards are endowed by the Lübeck trade unions, the Lübeck-Lauenburg Protestant Church district, and Baltic Films. Last but not least, the renowned marzipan manufacturer Niederegger, headquartered in Lübeck has expanded its sponsorship as only it can – guests from Scandinavia, the Baltic states, and northern Germany can look forward to a special issue marzipan coin as an anniversary present to the 60th Nordic Film Days Lübeck.

Also in 2018, we can look forward to the strong support of long–term NFL media partners and prize donors, broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) and the Lübecker Nachrichten newspaper. Thanks to their extensive coverage, visitors and fans will be kept up to date on all the details of the festival films, the guests, and the various sidebar events.

A press conference to announce the complete programme for the 60th Nordic Film Days Lübeck will be held on October 10, 2018. The cinemas and venues already pledged for 2018 are the CineStar Filmpalast Stadthalle as the main cinema, including for opening night, the Kolosseum, Kommunale Kino Lübeck, and Filmhaus cinemas, and the Retrospective harbour cinema at the Schuppen 6 venue. Additional screening locations to be announced.

The Nordic Film Days Lübeck has a new Internet address and e-mail domain: www.nordische-filmtage.de. This replaces the previous domain www.filmtage.luebeck.de.

At www.nordische-filmtage.de, you’ll find up-to-date news and information about the Film Days, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.com/NordicFilmDays. Applications for accreditation will be accepted throughout September.

Press contact:
Silke Lehmann
Press office
Schildstr.12, 23539 Lübeck
Tel: + 49 / (0) 451 / 122-1454