The prize winners of the 61st Nordische Filmtage Lübeck – With “A White, White Day” the NDR Film Prize once again goes to Iceland – Mika Kaurismäki takes the Audience Prize

Lübeck, Nov. 2, 2019. The NDR Film Prize of the 61st Nordische Filmtage Lübeck, endowed with € 12,500, goes to an Icelandic film. During the Prize Gala at Theater Lübeck, lead actor Ingvar E. Sigurðsson accepted the award on behalf of “A White, White Day” (“Hvítur, hvítur dagur”), directed by Hlynur Pálmason. The distributor Arsenal will release the film theatrically in German beginning February 13, 2020. The Friends of the Nordic Film Days Prize for Best Feature Debut, endowed with €7,500, goes to “Aurora” directed by Miia Tervo from Finland. The film’s star, Mimosa Willamo, was onstage to accept the award. The Audience Prize, endowed by the Lübecker Nachrichten newspaper with €5,000, also went to a film from Finland, director Mika Kaurismäki’s “Master Cheng” (“Mestari Cheng”). The award was accepted by lead actress Maija Tuokko. The prize is selected by the festival’s largest jury – the audiences, who had the opportunity to vote online for the first time this year. The movie will be distributed in Germany by MFA+ Filmdistribution. The Baltic Film Prize for a Nordic Feature Film, endowed with €2,500, was won by a Danish movie. At the Prize Gala for the 61st Nordische Filmtage Lübeck, director Ulaa Salim accepted the award for her debut “Sons of Denmark” (“Danmarks sønner”). The Interfilm Church Prize, endowed (with €5,000) by the Protestant-Lutheran church district of Lübeck-Lauenburg, goes to “Echo” (“Bergmál”) by Rúnar Rúnarsson. Accepting the award on behalf of the film was producer Lilja Ósk Snorradóttir.

“This year’s Competition was full of favourites, which kept the competition for the awards exciting until the very end”, says Linde Fröhlich, artistic director of the NFL, “I’m very happy that the winners display a diversity of genres and cinematic styles, and reflect the state of our society from very different points of view”. Festival manager Florian Vollmers says he hopes all the winning films will have successful theatrical runs in Germany, “After the Nordische Filmtage Lübeck, many of the films that won here will be released in German cinemas. I hope that the Lübeck awards mark a rousing opening, and I’m very pleased that the NFL helps good films from the Nordic regions find even larger audiences in Germany”.

The newly-renamed Documentary Film Prize of the North DGB District (trade union federation), with an increased endowment this year of €5,000, goes to a film from Finland’s far northern region – “Power of Yoik” (“Luodi fábmu”). Director Paul-Anders Simma was expected in Lübeck, but a massive snowstorm made travel impossible. Another Finnish film won the Children’s & Youth Film Award of the Gemeinnützige Sparkassenstiftung (Savings Bank Foundation), also endowed with €5,000 – “Stupid Young Heart” (“Hölmö nuori sydän”), the country’s submission for this year’s foreign language Oscar. Director Selma Vihunen was on hand to accept the award personally. Danish director Christian Dyekjær also looked delighted as he accepted the Children’s Jury Award of the Radisson Blu Senator Hotel (€5,000 endowment) for his film “All I Want for Christmas” (“Julemandens Datter”). With its endowment raised to 5,000 euros in 2018, the CineStar Group’s CineStar Prize for a short film in the Filmforum section went to director Julius Dommer for “Ascona”. The film is a portrait of sorts of a miniature golf course in Bad Oldesloe.

The Nordische Filmtage Lübeck, presented by the city of Lübeck, represent the largest festival on the European continent devoted to films from the northern and Baltic countries, and northern Germany. There will be repeat screenings tomorrow, the final day of the festival, of all the narrative features, as well as films from other sections and the following award winners: “Aurora”, “Master Cheng”, “Echo”, “All I want for Christmas”, “Sons of Denmark”, and “A White, White Day”.

The winners and honourable mentions at the 61st Nordische Filmtage Lübeck:

NDR Film Prize
A WHITE, WHITE DAY (Hvítur, hvítur dagur),
dir: Hlynur Pálmason, Iceland/Denmark/Sweden

Friends of the NFL Prize for Best First Feature:
AURORA (Aurora), dir: Miia Tervo,

Lübecker Nachrichten Audience Prize
MASTER CHENG (Mestari Cheng), dir: Mika Kaurismäki

Interfilm Church Film Prize
ECHO (Bergmál), dir: Rúnar Rúnarsson

Baltic Film Prize for a Nordic Film 
SONS OF DENMARK (Danmarks sønner), dir: Ulaa Salim, Denmark

Documentary Film Prize of the North DGB District
THE POWER OF YOIK (Luodi fábmu), dir: Paul-Anders Simma

CineStar Prize
ASCONA (Ascona), dir: Julius Dommer, Germany
Honorable Mention goes to:
PICTURES I DIDN‘T TAKE, dir: Anna Grabo, Germany

Children’s and Youth Film Prize
STUPID YOUNG HEART (Hölmö nuori sydän), dir: Selma Vilhunen, Finland/Netherlands/Sweden Honorable Mention goes to:
AWAY (Away), dir: Gints Zilbalodis, Latvia

Children’s Jury Prize 
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS (Julemandens Datter), dir: Christian Dyekjær, Denmark
Honorable Mention goes to:
PHANTOM OWL FOREST (Eia jõulud Tondikakul), dir: Anu Aun, Estonia 

A group photo of the award winners is available on our website for download. All jury statements as PDF.

City of Lübeck
Nordische Filmtage Lübeck
Press and Publicity Department
Schildstr. 12, 23539 Lübeck
Tel: +49 451 122 1455