The Specials at the 61st Nordische Filmtage Lübeck display a range of stunning nature imagery and a focus on artists from Norway, the guest of honour at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair

Lübeck, Oct. 25, 2019. The Specials section of the 61st Nordische Filmtage Lübeck comprises nine feature films and three silent shorts, which will be shown with live music in a “Cine Concert”. The selection includes impressive nature films and interesting portraits, for instance of the life and work of Edvard Munch.

“With the Specials, we’re shining a spotlight on the art and literature of Norway”, says Linde Fröhlich, the artistic director of the Nordische Filmtage Lübeck, “but Specials are also films that cross boundaries and can’t be consigned to a specific genre”. One example is nature films that go above and beyond simple documentation, with magnificent visuals and striking musical scores that create an enduring experience for the senses; or observations of rural life that tell the story of an entire summer; or a family tale that turns out to be a subtle horror story.

“Aquarela” by Victor Kossakovsky explores the element of water in its various states and manifestations – as ice floes, glaciers, monster waves, and floods. Shot at 96 frames per second, and accompanied by the haunting sounds of cellist Eicca Toppinen, the combination exerts a kind of pull that is hard to escape. With his “Nature Symphony”, director Marko Röhr takes the audience on a cinematic journey through Finnish landscapes across all four seasons. Woven together with a score by Finnish composer Panu Aaltio, the impressive imagery – on land and underwater – offers a captivating movie experience. “Queen Without Land” uses beautiful, but also nightmarish footage to show how the ice is literally melting away beneath the paws of a mother polar bear and her cubs. The director Asgeir Helgestad spent five years following the endangered bear family to complete this special project.

Director John Skoog returned to his home village of Kvidinge for a summer in “Ridge” (SWE, 2019) to create not just a documentary portrait of a Swedish dairy farm, but also an impressive study of the things, small and large, that influence how very different people interact, no matter where on Earth.

Daniel Borgman’s “Resin” (DEN, 2019) tackles a darker subject. The film, based on the eponymous novel by Ane Riel, draws a sombre portrait of life in close contact with nature, skilfully evoking the horrors of a man obsessed with family.

A very different kind of life is on display in director Anne Sewitsky’s biopic of Norwegian figure skater and actress Sonja Henie, “Sonja – The White Swan” (NOR, 2019), it’s a life amid fame and frenzy in Hollywood, but also the story of a ‘modern’ career woman in the 1930s.

“Munch in Hell” examines the dark side of the brilliant Norwegian artist, a man beset by demons who felt that his homeland did not appreciate him. Meanwhile, “The Other Munch” looks at the artist’s later, lesser-known works chosen by Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgård for an exhibition. Fellow writer Tomas Espedal gets his own portrait in “I Want to Live in my Name”.

The Specials programme will also screen work by Norwegian film pioneer Hans Berge, with the short films “Toboggan Race at Korketrekkeren”, “1920s Era Skiing”, and “Firefighting in Berlin”, depicting everyday life some 100 years ago in fun and surprising black-and-white images. Those three shorts will be presented as a “Cine Concert” on Nov. 1, 2019 at 6 pm at the Schuppen 6 venue (an der Untertrave). Admittance is 3 euros. The youth project is a cooperation between the Nordische Filmtage Lübeck and the Lübeck college of music and art, in cooperation with the Festival La Rochelle Cinéma, Lübeck’s partner city in France, and its conservatory of music and dance. With the financial support from the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO), sixteen young musicians from Germany and France jointly composed music to accompany silent films that will be presented at both festivals.


You can find the complete Specials programme hier.

Press photos for the films, alongside information about the festival is available at, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram/nordicfilmdays.

The screening schedule for the entire NFL, and additional details on side-bar events are available now on the festival homepage. Advance ticket sales began on October 26 at 3:00 pm at the CineStar Filmpalast Stadthalle cinema, online at the festival website, and at


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