Press release

Winners of the 57th Nordic Film Days Lübeck jury prizes / NDR Film Prize goes to Norway’s “Returning Home” / Icelandic films win three prizes / Audience award for “Virgin Mountain”

Lübeck, Nov. 7, 2015. A Norwegian film has won the main prize at the Nordic Film Days Lübeck (Nov. 4 – 8, 2015). Director Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken seemed over the moon as he accepted the NDR Film Prize, endowed with 12,500 euros, from the jury for his film “Returning Home” (“Å vende tilbake”).

The strong showing of Icelandic films in this year’s festival was reflected in the awards as well. “Virgin Mountain” (Fúsi) not only won the Lübecker Nachrichten Audience Prize (endowed with 5,000 euros) but also the Interfilm Church Prize, endowed with 2,500 euros donated by the Lübeck-Lauenburg Protestant-Lutheran church district. Director Dagur Kári was on hand to personally accept the prize. He was accompanied by lead actor Gunnar Jónsson, who received an honourable mention for his performance in the film.

The third prize to go to an Icelandic film came from the Baltic jury, which each year honours a Nordic narrative feature. The award went to “Rams” (“Hrútar”), which opened the Nordic Film Days. Producer Grímar Jónsson accepted the award, expressing heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the director Grímur Hákonarson.

From Denmark, director Camilla Nielsson’s “Democrats” received the Documentary Film Prize of the Lübeck trade unions, which carries a purse of 2,500 euros. For her documentary short “The Ferryman and his Wife” (“Der Fährmann und seine Frau”), director Johanna Huth took the CineStar Prize for best short film in the Film Forum section, which the cinema chain endows with 3,000 euros.

To kick off the awards ceremony, the children’s jury, composed of four boys and girls aged 11 to 12, awarded its prize to “Operation Arctic” (“Operasjon Arktis”); the 5,000 euro purse is donated by Lübeck’s Radisson Blu Senator hotel. Meanwhile, the Children’s and Youth Film jury selected a film from Finland for its honours, choosing “Other Girls” (“Toiset tytöt”) by director Esa Illi. He accepted the award personally. The prize money of 5,000 euros is donated by the Gemeinnützige Sparkassenstiftung (regional savings bank foundation) of Lübeck.

Mounted by the city-state of Lübeck, the Nordic Film Days is the largest showcase in Europe outside Scandinavia for films from the Nordic and Baltic regions and northern Germany.

On Sunday, November 8, 2015, the last day of the festival, there will be screenings of all the films in the main competition, including the prize winners “Returning Home”, “Virgin Mountain” (along with the drawing for the Lübecker Nachrichten raffle among everyone who voted), “Rams”, “Other Girls” and “Operation Arctic”.

Winners and Honourable Mentions

NDR Film Prize

RETURNING HOME (Å VENDE TILBAKE), Dir: Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken, Norway

Honourable Mention to

Actors Ghita Nørby and Sven Wollter in KEY HOUSE MIRROR, Dir: Michael Noer, Denmark

“Lübecker Nachrichten” Audience Prize

VIRGIN MOUNTAIN (FÚSI), Dir: Dagur Kári, Iceland

Baltic Film Prize

RAMS (HRÚTAR), Dir: Grímur Hákonarson, Iceland

Honourable Mention to

Actor Gunnar Jónsson in VIRGIN MOUNTAIN, Dir: Dagur Kári, Iceland

Interfilm Church Prize

VIRGIN MOUNTAIN (FÚSI), Dir: Dagur Kári, Iceland

Documentary Film Prize

DEMOCRATS (DEMOCRATS), Dir: Camilla Nielsson, Denmark

Honourable Mention to

THOSE WHO DARE – On the Solidarity of Small Nations (THEIR SEM THORA – NEED, KES JULGESID),Dir: Ólafur Rögnvaldsson, Iceland

CineStar Prize

THE FERRYMAN AND HIS WIFE (DER FÄHRMANN UND SEINE FRAU),Dir: Johanna Huth, Germany

Honourable Mention to

FRANZ TO LOCKE 2 (FRANZ AN LOCKE 2), Dir: Pia Lamster, Germany

Children’s and Youth Film Prize

OTHER GIRLS (TOISET TYTÖT), Dir: Esa Illi, Finland

Honourable Mention to

ZERO POINT (NULLPUNKT),Dir: Mihkel Ulk, Estonia

Children’s Jury prize

OPERATION ARCTIC (OPERASJON ARKTIS), Dir: Grethe Bøe-Waal, Norway

Honourable Mention to

THE CHRISTMAS FAMILY (FAILIEN JUL),Dir: Carsten Rudolf, Denmark

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.