Linde Fröhlich, artistic director is particularly proud to welcome Bent Hamer: “Almost 20 years ago, his debut filmEggs won both the NDR Film Prize and the Baltic Film Prize in Lübeck and since then, all his films have screened here.”1001 Grams (pictured) is among 18 films in the main competition section, vying for the €12,500 NDR Film Prize. Other strong contenders include Roy Andersson’s Golden Lion winner A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence and the Nordic Council Film Prize nomineesBlind and Force Majeure.
Besides the Feature Film section, the Children and Youth sidebar will offer the most eclectic and extensive film programme with 36 titles. “We might be an ‘old’ festival but youngsters represent a big chunk of our annual visitors who attend school screenings and other initiatives aimed at their target group,” notes Fröhlich. This year’s new ‘Young Nordic Filmmakers’ initiative will bring together 16 young people from Germany, Denmark, Finland and Norway who during seven days will develop their own short documentaries. The resulting films will screen on November 2 in Lübeck.
Looking backwards, this year’s Retrospective programme will showcase Scandi comedies from 1917 to 2007…”just to prove to German audiences that Nordic films are not only doom and gloom but can also make you laugh”, adds Fröhlich.
More comedies and the ever popular Nordic noirs will make up for NDR television’s ‘Scandinavian film series’ reuniting 11 titles set to premiere from October 27 through November 16 on the German pubcaster. Those include Just Another Love Story, The Hour of the Lynx and Max Manus.
Nordic films platformed at Lübeck that will subsequently open in German cinemas include Force Majeure (November 13, Alamode), In Order of Disappearance (November 20, Neue Visionen), 1001 Grams (December 18, Pandora Film Distribution), A Pigeon Sat on a Branch reflecting on Existence (January 1st, Neue Visionen), The Absent One(January 22, NFP) and Miss Julie (January 22, Alamode). “Arthouse distributors in Germany are struggling like in the rest of Europe, nevertheless as many as 24 Nordic films were released in German cinemas in 2014 and some of them were very successful such as The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared[the film sold more than 1.1 million tickets via Concorde]”, said Fröhlich.