The Filmforum – strong young talents, political subject matter and exciting directorial debuts

Lübeck, Oct. 22, 2020. The Filmforum section of the 62nd Nordic Film Days Lübeck (Nov. 4 – 8, 2020) will present 39 films from northern Germany. “This year’s programme is a winning line-up of feature debuts, an unusual range of subject matter, and strong young talent”, says Lili Hartwig, the section curator, “Each of the films finds its own cinematic languages and has an individual signature”.

In addition to documentaries, narrative features, and shorts, audiences can enjoy two highlights from the upcoming TV season. In his directing debut, “Sörensen’s Fear”, well-known actor Bjarne Mädel plays detective Sörensen, who is faced with solving a murder on his very first day on the job in the Frisian town of Katenbüll. The pilot for the episodic adaptation of the Sörensen detective series by writer and screenwriter Sven Stricker displays a captivating dry humour against a rain-soaked backdrop. Bjarne Mädel is known to audiences from his roles in series such as “Stromberg” and “Mord mit Aussicht”. He won the Grimme Prize for his portrayal of Schotty in the “Crime Scene Cleaner” series. In the TV series “North by Northwest”, actress Jana Klinge can be seen as the new detective Hannah Wagner in the episode “The Attack” directed by Nina Wolfrum. When Hauke Jacobs is suspected of murder, the new chief detective must decide whom she can trust. “The Attack” is her second episode of “North by Northwest”, from a script written by series creator Holger Karsten Schmidt.

All three of the theatrical features screening in the section are debuts by women who take cinematic risks. Lena Knauss’ feature debut “Equinox” is a poetic drama about the nature of love, sudden loss, and the power of dreams. The director’s short “M as in Martha” was shown in the 2015 Filmforum. Lead actress Aenne Schwarz was a recipient of the German Film Prize in 2019 for her role in “All is Well” directed by Eva Trobisch. Hamburg’s Sabrina Mertens presents an unusual psychological drama with her “A Time of Moulting”. In 57 images, the film follows the main protagonist Stephanie from childhood to young adulthood. Each shot captures the small details of family life and there is always the sense that something is hidden just beneath the surface. Salka Tiziana’s “For the Time Being” is about a family reunion, and radiates a sense of the summer heat and atmosphere of Spain’s Sierra Morena mountains. The film was nominated for the “First Steps” prize for young filmmakers and had its premiere at this year’s Max Ophüls Preis film festival. 

The documentaries in the Filmforum range from intimate glimpses into interesting situations, to dealing with controversial subject matter. In “Nuclear Forever”, director Carsten Rau explores the logistical consequences of a nuclear energy ban, using calm, observational camerawork to shed light on a subject that is linked to a long, deeply ideological debate. “Renegades” is a docu-drama about the force of fanaticism, questions of blame, and the power of new beginnings in the shadow of terrorism. A documentary film debut, the directors Mariam Noori and Lisa Maria Hagen have been working together since 2018 on research into ISIS. It took several months before Oliver, a former member of ISIS, was willing to allow the camera into his life. The feature documentary “Habitat” by Pola Rader is about the cultural region of the Sami, which has never been a separate nation-state. Today, that region is spread across four countries. In Russia, the Sami live as an ethnic minority and fight for their rights and for recognition of their culture. Pola Rader was born in Russia and now lives in Kiel. She is a member of the board of the non-profit Filmkultur Schleswig-Holstein. 

This year’s short film compilation programmes – “Me, myself, and the others”, “Panorama Earth”, “Traces of the past”, “Bound by life”, and “Time Shift” – encompass subjects ranging from politics to history, as well as personal narratives. In “Staircase” by Friedrich Tiedke, a painter tries to keep his secret from others, but his increasing dementia is causing him to lose control. Friedrich Tiedke, who was born in Eckernförde, made his first prize-winning short films while still in school. His film “Man in Blue” was seen in 2018 at the Nordische Filmtage Lübeck. Meanwhile, in “First in, First out”, the director films a portrait of his father in an attempt to learn more about his family history, but faces challenges when the older man can’t or won’t talk about the past. The twilight state of institutional life is in the spotlight in “After Two Hours, Ten Minutes Had Passed”. It’s about the daily routine in a youth detention centre, an existence marked by yearning and a sense of time standing still. The film premiered at last year’s Venice festival. With his impressive animated short “Chimney Swift”, director Frédéric Schuld depicts the hopeless lot of young chimney sweeps. The film tackles the issue of child labour in the 19th century.

“Niels and the Nydam Boat” is an historical exploration of the German-Danish border region. The Nydam Bog was a holy site in the Iron Age. A boat found there is on display today at Gottorf Castle near Schleswig. The film looks at how it got there and what role it plays in the cultural relations between Germany and Denmark. Filmmaker Sebastian Husak from Schleswig-Holstein shines with his mid-length film “Octopus and Moray”, a striking coming-of-age story. It’s about old friends, farewells, and how we sometimes have to revert to old patterns to understand the changes we’ve undergone. The film was shot in Neustadt/Holstein and subsidised by the Schleswig-Holstein association of film and youth (LJF). The director’s prize-winning short “Rhythm” was shown in the Filmforum of the 2016 Nordische Filmtage Lübeck.

Advance ticket sales begin on November 1 at 1pm at the festival website, at, and at the box office of the CineStar Filmpalast Stadthalle Lübeck. For the first time in 2020, selected festival films will be available for online streaming, in cooperation with Kulturserver gGmbH and its platform Culturebase. Those films will be marked as such in the programme and can be booked for streaming once advance ticket sales begin.


Press and Publicity Department
Nordische Filmtage Lübeck