The Nordic Film Days Lübeck, first presented by the Lübeck Film Club in 1956 and taken over by the Hanseatic City of Lübeck in 1971, has one of the longest traditions of any film festival worldwide. It is the only festival in Germany, and the only one on the European continent, which is entirely devoted to the presentation of films from the North and Northeast of Europe.
Feature films, documentaries and short films from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden are presented at this five-day event every year at the beginning of November. In addition, there is an extensive children's and youth film programme, a section for Nordic and Baltic drama series as well as one for Immersive Media, including 360° + VR films. A retrospective is devoted to important eras, specific genres or famous persons of film history. The section Filmforum presents films from North Germany (Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg). Accompanying the film programme are seminars, discussions, roundtable talks, concerts and readings.
The Nordic Film Days Lübeck is both an audience festival and an important meeting place for the film industry in Germany and Northern Europe. Many directors whose debut works were presented in Lübeck have gone on to earn fame around the world - such as Bille August, Lasse Hallström, Aki Kaurismäki , Fridrik Thór Fridriksson or Sara Johnsen.
The filmfestival is put on by the Hanseatic City of Lübeck in cooperation with the Scandinavian film institutes and foundations as well as the corresponding film institutions in the Baltic countries. Patrons of the festival are the ambassadors of the Nordic countries in Germany. Honorary President is the Norwegian actress and film director Liv Ullmann. Media partners are the television and radio broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) and daily newspaper Lübecker Nachrichten.
Altogether twelve prizes are awarded every year, for details please see Awards.