Gesine Danckwart and Annika Pinske receive the first two Lübeck Script Developments Grants

Annika Pinske, Gesine Danckwart © Hanna Lenz

Lübeck, November 2, 2023. The first two recipients of the Nordic Film Days Lübeck Script Development Grant for German-language projects have been chosen.  The names were announced during the opening night ceremonies for the 65th festival (November 1-5, 2023).

The grant for a well-known writer with a new film goes to Annika Pinske for her cinema project “Im Fluss”. The second grant, for an author with a biographical connection to Lübeck and a visual narrative in an open format and platform, was awarded to Gesine Danckwart for her VR project HERZKAMMER - EIN ESCAPE-ROOM FÜR FORTSCHREITENDE.

The jury of Barbara Häbe, deputy department head for theatrical and television films at ARTE, film and music maker Brenda Lien, and Florian Weghorn, head of Berlinale Talents, chose Annika Pinske and Gesine Danckwart from almost 90 submissions.

“We congratulate the two grant recipients and welcome them to the 65th Nordic Film Days and to Lübeck. Not only did their projects convince our jury, we look forward to their script development in dialogue with the festival and our Lübeck network over the coming months”, said Thomas Hailer, artistic director of the NFL.

Annika Pinske grew up in Frankfurt/Oder. While studying philosophy and literature, she worked for stage director René Pollesch, and then as an assistant director for Maren Ade. In 2011, she started her directing studies at Berlin’s DFFB film and television academy. Her short films have been shown and lauded at festivals world-wide. Her narrative feature debut “Talking About the Weather” celebrated its world premiere at the 2022 Berlinale. The film was nominated for the GWFF Best Debut prize, and the screenplay was awarded the German film critics’ prize. With sales of 25,000 tickets, it was 2022’s most successful debut film in German theatres.

The project she submitted to the NFL SDG, “Im Fluss”, is about Else (84) and her trip on a Danube river cruise, complete with ice cream bombes, captain’s dinner, and the usual tourist attractions in Vienna, Budapest, and Bratislava. She meets Captain Niko (41). A tender friendship develops between the two contrarians. On the journey, they both wonder about long-supressed issues such as motherhood or masculinity, homeland, and the (im)possibility of becoming somebody completely different.

Gesine Danckwart works internationally as a film and theatre director and writer at established companies and freelance. She develops specific formats, often in public spaces, such as radio performance projects, or playing with avatars. She developed the multi-media artists collective Chez Company, which mounts projects at the intersection of performance, sound, film, and theatre. Two of those, done with the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, were the essay film “Makingofblond” and the interactive children’s film “Karaoper” (2022).

Her texts and stage work have been seen at the Thalia Theatre in Hamburg, Vienna’s Schauspielhaus, the Nationaltheater in Mannheim, the Burgtheater in Vienna, the Schauspiel in Cologne, Hau Berlin, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Expo Shanghai, and in Taipeh, Alexandria, Sao Paolo, and Johannesburg, among others; they have been turned into audio plays many times, and have been translated into more than 15 languages. Her narrative feature “Umdeinleben” premiered at the Munich film festival. Gesine Danckwart was born in Schleswig-Holstein. She grew up in an around Lübeck and now lives in Berlin.

With the project she submitted for the development grant, “Herzkammer – ein Escape-Room für Fortschreitende”, Gesine Danckwart hopes to develop a narrative that takes place in an apartment – across a variety of epochs. For centuries, the domestic arena has been the traditional sphere of women. A world about which we know less than we do about the history of the trading, powerful men outside. Extensive research in Lübeck, where it takes place, will be developed into a script that will allow audience members to move independently through the narratives. Using VR, people will be able to walk through the room and move playfully in time by picking up an object, reading a letter, finding pictures; to be chased through crazy pictures, points-of-view, dreams and, finally, an ending that will point towards a utopian future.

The grants, of € 35,000 each, are funded by the Possehl Foundation for an initial period of three years. In addition to the initial grant, the foundation will also provide the recipients with individualised advice, including script counselling, as well as residency, research, and networking opportunities in Lübeck and at the Nordic Film Days festival.

The grant recipients will be hosted by the Nordic Film Days Lübeck, in cooperation with the non-profits Kino Koki repertory cinema and the Waldzimmer cultural association, as well as the Lübeck municipal library. One special aspect of the grant is an open exchange with the city’s public. Anyone who is interested can attend workshop discussions, curated film series, and script readings, participating directly in the creative process. The recipients will also be actively networked with local filmmakers and players in the cultural scene.


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Press contact Nordic Film Days Lübeck

Kristian Müller & Dr. Kathrin Steinbrenner

SteinbrennerMüller Kommunikation


Tel: +49 (0)30 – 4737 -2192 / -2191


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